mommy guilt culture (I’ve opted out)

January 7, 2016

Dear PMG* poster on Facebook who wrote this:

“I am going to admit to something…
Off tomorrow from work and strongly considering not telling my live in nanny. Leaving at my usual 6:30am but going to the gym, then treating myself to breakfast, getting hair colored and blown out, going for a massage and then meeting up with a friend for a late lunch 
Feel like a bad mom (have 5 month old twins)”

My thoughts:

1) YES OF COURSE you have permission to go take the day for yourself.  Seriously, do you think your 5 month olds are going to know that you did that!?

2) I am happy that you got some validation, but sad that this is even a post, and one with 2000+ likes, at that.  I greatly dislike that our culture seems to support the idea that a woman with young children should never ever take any time to do anything for herself and that by doing so it is something deviant or really outside the norm in any way.

3) I feel bad that you cannot tell your nanny (or . . . your partner) that you are tired and want a day off!  I truly hope that — considering you have baby twins! — your nanny would tell you to please please enjoy some much-needed rest and rejuvenation.  If not, I am not sure it sounds like a great relationship.

4) You are SO NOT a bad mom.  But you might become one if you continue to propagate the idea that women who take time to rest are doing something that requires a confession.

5) I think you should sleep in later than 6:30 am.

6) To be fair, I might have had similar thoughts back in my pump-output-obsessed days.  And you may be quite sleep deprived and hormonally motivated.  So please understand that I mean all of this in a supportive way.


* Physician Mommy Group, an enormous Facebook group comprised of, well, physician mothers

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