Do you feel guilty as a mom? I do. I feel guilty for spending too much time working and not enough time with my kids. I feel guilty when I’m too tired to engage with my kids and would just rather sneak out onto the front porch with a glass of wine (or, if it was a really bad day, a lemon drop martini, thank you very much). I feel guilty about whether or not I’m making the right decisions about how I’m raising my kids.

How do you manage guilt? I often turn to my sister, confide in her my worries, and seek reassurance. She does the same with me. We often talk about what our mom used to tell us: “Parenting is the toughest and most important job in the world — and the only one that comes with no instruction manual or on the job training!”

Being a parent – being a mom – is tough. It’s harder than any corporate job I’ve ever had. At the end of the day, if the company loses money over a mistake I made, they’ll recover it…but if I make a mistake as a mom…wow. You never really know what the consequences will be.

Unfortunately, worrying about whether or not you are doing a good job as a mom can actually keep you from doing a good job. Ironic, I know….but think about the difference between you, the paranoid first-time mom who went “by the book” and you, the relaxed second-, third-, or fourth-time mom who knew it was ok to let the baby cry for a minute while you went to the bathroom.

I’ll never stop worrying and wondering if I am doing it “right.” I’ll never stop feeling guilty for having to focus on the work that pays the bills instead of sneaking off for an afternoon to play Barbies with my daughter or listening to my son play his drums (ok, so sometimes I don’t feel guilty about that one – they are so LOUD). But I try to reassure myself that as long as I love my kids and make sure they know it every single day, everything else will be all right.