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What’s Your No. 1 'Mommy' Guilt?

Working Mother magazine recently studied what working- and stay-at-home moms are most guilty about.

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting topics.

This week’s Moms Talk question relates to the things we beat ourselves up about.

Every parent has that niggling little worry that keeps him or her up at night. (I know I do.) For some, it's the piles of toys on the coffee table or the dust bunnies under the bed. For others it's the amount of yelling at the breakfast table or the trip through the drive-thru as dinner-time approaches. For still others, it's being away at a conference during that important band concert or getting caught at the office during that first T-ball game. Working Mother magazine recently studied what working- and stay-at-home moms are most guilty about. This week, we want to know what issues are eating away at Lehigh Valley parents:

As a parent, what are you most guilty about? And, better yet, how do you try to cope with that guilt?

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is almost 2 and a 5-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing.
  • Jennifer Willenbrock of Nazareth is mom to two beautiful daughters, ages 5 and 6 weeks. She was previously employed by Catholic Charities, where she worked in a girl’s group home in Phillipsburg, N.J.  

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

Jennifer Elston April 23, 2012 at 01:41 AM
I also feel guilty when I lose my patience and raise my voice. I also have the same issue as Celeste. I spend, on average, an hour putting my kids to bed--between getting them clean and reading to them. On the nights when I can't give it my all I feel terrible.
Mary Anne Looby April 23, 2012 at 12:24 PM
I don't think mom's should feel guilty. Yes there are mom's out there who are doing unspeakable things to their kids they should feel guilty, but they don't. I doubt that they would reply to a question such as this. The Mom's who read these blogs are the kind of Mom's who shouldn't feel guilty, but do. A good, no a great Mom's is one who gives her very best each and every time. If your bedtime ritual is cut short, or you raise your voice, or you only listen with one ear, if it is the best you can do in that moment so be it. Your kids are not going to remember little infractions, they are going to remember the whole picture of a mom who was always there for the important stuff. Once my kids were grown and gone, I had plenty of time to think about how I was as a mom. I would rate myself as a strong "B". I was good, but like most of you I had my moments. Much to my surprise each of my kids has, on seperate occasions, told me that I was a great mom. It's quite nice to hear that when your kids are 32 to 43 and not looking to get on your good side! So what I am saying to all of you who feel guilty is don't let it keep you up at night. You're kids are going to remember you as a great mom. I'd like to wish all mom's an early Happy Mother's Day.
Lisa Amey April 23, 2012 at 01:35 PM
I would definitely say when I have lost my patience and yelled or snapped at my child, I just feel awful later. It's usually over something that's not even that important in retrospect, and the guilt is even that much worse. Moreover, I try to teach them not to yell at each other when they get upset, but yet here I am doing that. Ugh...enough to make this mom lose sleep over it!
Jennifer Elston April 23, 2012 at 02:01 PM
AND I remembered another big one! When I let my kids watch more TV than I know is appropriate I feel guilty. I know the guilt comes from wanting to be a great mom. I TRY not to let it get to me--but sometimes I can't help it!
Jennifer Marangos April 23, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Thanks Mary Anne for your perspective as a Mom who is in a different phase of mothering...I am going to try to keep in mind what you said tonight as I crawl into bed feeling guilty about the yelling...the cluttered house...the substandard meal I cooked this evening...

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