I assumed it was real and that when I became a Mom I would probably experience it too. I assumed it would manifest itself by making me feel like I was not doing enough or expressing enough love for my child(ren)
Fast forward to the present time when I have one child and one incubating away in me and Mom guilt rears it's ugly head at times. But it also has friends named "Wife Guilt" and "Women Guilt" . I have Mom guilt all the time. I worry that the Little Man is being rushed out of his "baby years" due to the quick arrival of his baby brother. We always planned to have more children so he was always going to be a big brother, but soon he won't be my baby anymore. I feel guilty about that sometimes. I feel guilty that I do not have the energy to do as much as I would like with him every day. That by bedtime, it is Mommy who is barely holding on energy wise. I feel guilty that my baby who loves to be held, I can't carry as much as he likes because sometime it causes uncomfortable twinges of pain in my stomach and back. I feel guilt for Baby Brother that the world does not seem as excited for him, as they were his brother. That a lot of his things will be hand me downs. That because of moving near his birth, we won't be able to savor his newborn days as much.
I have wife guilt because I am always tired and emotional. China Man is having to be the rock for our family right now and be positive about all our life changes when it comes to buying/selling houses. We have already discussed, I am not the same person pregnant that I am normally. So I feel bad he has to deal with that. I miss being the regular Debbie for him. I feel guilty that our rare time together is usually spent dealing with business items and we rarely get to just be the two of us. Because of his work schedule we don't have the evenings after Little Man is asleep to talk and just relax.
Then women guilt is almost the worst one of the three! I feel guilty because almost daily I am told how I am lucky to be a SAHM and how I must have all this time with just one child to take care. So I feel like I should be able to do everything. I should not have trouble getting work outs in, keeping my house spotless, cooking uber healthy baby food and nutritious meals for dinner. I should have more than enough time and ability to craft, read and do whatever else. But I DON'T! So often I feel like I am doing something wrong. I am not a lazy person, I am not an undisciplined person, so why for the life of me can I not keep my floors clean or stay awake long enough to read 2 chapters of a book!? I feel as though I need to constantly prove that I can be a mom, still dress trendy, wear make up and be informed on current events both world and celeb.
If you google Mom guilt, lots of articles pop up. Tons and tons. They all basically say the same thing. You are doing the best you can and this is just a season. I believe that too. Because what was hard for me to get done in a day a year ago, I can now do no problem with Little Man. Life is constantly changing. If you do not like how today went, good news... tomorrow is brand new. So for me, I have to constantly remind myself that this is just a season. I am pregnant and while I don't always like to use that as an excuse for why I can't do things. It does mean my energy reserve is at a lower capacity these days. So yes, sometimes certain chores get pushed back. They still get done. Ultimately, I think deep down, you know if you are truly doing your best. If you know you are doing your best, then give yourself some grace and don't expect perfection. We aren't perfect people.
If you google SAHM mom guilt. Not so much pops up. Maybe there is more out there and I just did not find it in my quick google search but either way here is how I deal with it. Find your person. The person you can text when you are feeling incompetent. Whether it is your husband, your friend, your mother, your life coach. Whomever your person, they can be helpful when you are feeling low. Especially another SAHM mom. She will get your day. Secondly, celebrate the things you did get done and don't focus on the things that did not get done. You got the bathrooms cleaned this morning? High five friend. You did not get the laundry folded? Eh, clothes look better after they have sat in the dryer overnight ;-) You forgot half of your grocery list while you were at the store? But... your child did not have a melt down in the store so WIN! Perspective friends, it can change everything. And in reality what person really has it all together? Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, we just don't brag about the weaknesses as much :-)
As far as Wife Guilt, I am not a marriage expert at all so I am not going to pretend to make any suggestions on how to deal with that. I think it helps when you do try to regularly put each other first and make sure your spouse knows you love them every through both serious and silly gestures. Sometimes it is good to right love notes to your husband on his fruit for work. He really likes it ;-)
Ultimately, guilt of any kind does not help you or make you a better person/wife/mom. If anything it distracts you from doing the best job you can.