How to Deal With Mom Guilt While Studying

Practical tips to help you overcome mom guilt as a college student

One thing that comes up often as a college mom is “how to deal with mom guilt.”

You know you are doing the right thing for you and your family by going back to college, so why do you often feel guilty for ignoring your kids? Can you study without feeling like a bad mom?

Mom guilt is real and I am yet to meet a mom who hasn’t struggled with it. Working moms struggle with guilt, and yes, even stay-at-home moms have to deal with this issue. So, how do you overcome mom guilt while studying? Is it possible to get rid of it?

Here’s what I will say. While you probably won’t be able to get rid of mom guilt completely, there are ways to deal with it so it doesn’t get in the way. As moms, we will always find things to feel guilty about. It’s just natural. The problem is when you allow guilt to take over your life or dictate what you should or shouldn’t do.

So, as long as you are able to pursue your goals and make the best decisions for your family, then you will be just fine. With that said, here are some practical tips for dealing with mom guilt as a student.



One of the biggest reasons for mom guilt is not spending enough time with your kids. This problem is compounded if you are also a working mom.

It’s hard to make time for your kids when you work and go to school, but you still need to find a way to carve out time for your kids.

One way you can do that is to spend as much of your free time as you can with your kids. That means, instead of wasting time on social media, you should consider spending that time with your kids. Yes, you won’t have as much free time as you’d like, but time with your kids is precious and it beats any other activity you could be doing.

So, one way to get rid of mom guilt is to spend as much free time as you can with your kids without ignoring your studies.


There was a time in my life when it felt like the only things that got done were the things I scheduled in advance. If I didn’t schedule it, chances were it wasn’t going to happen. You can do the same thing when it comes to spending time with your kids.

As a mom in college, you probably already use a planner to keep track of your schoolwork (you should if you are not doing this). It’s okay to schedule other activities in your planner too.

I know it feels weird to schedule time with your kids, but when you are a busy mom with limited time, it’s easy to forget some things. However, when you schedule them, they are hard to ignore.

So, open up your planner, look for times or periods when you are not overly busy that you can devote to your kids. Small chunks of time are okay. Write down some activities you can do with them during those times. For example, read a book with Junior or watch a movie with Stacy.

If you can schedule little chunks of time throughout the day or week, you will find it takes the pressure off, and you won’t feel as guilty. Organize your time effectively, so you can free up some time, and remember to focus exclusively on your kids during the scheduled times.

You can also set aside a special time every day where you play board games, watch a movie, or play with some toys. It doesn’t have to be hours at a time, a few minutes here and there also works.

Scheduling specific, intentional blocks of time with your kids is a great way to get rid of mom guilt, so give it a try if you aren’t doing this.


How many times have you felt guilty because you told your kids you couldn’t play with them because you had to study, but you ended up not really doing much studying?

Yep! I have been guilty of that too. Using school or work as an excuse not to spend time with my kids, then feeling guilty afterward.

If you truly want to get rid of mom guilt, being productive is one of the best ways to accomplish that. Whenever I am being productive, working on my goals, or doing things to advance or better our family situation, I have little or no time to feel guilty. But, whenever I waste precious time, procrastinate or exhibit poor time management, I always end up feeling like a fraud and a bad mom.

So, if you are tired of always feeling guilty because you can’t be with your kids, ask yourself

  • What do I do with the time away from my kids?
  • Am I being productive?
  • Do I feel guilty for not spending time with my kids or for not studying or doing some schoolwork when I said I would?

While mom guilt is real, sometimes, the guilt comes from not being productive or not using your time effectively. So, take a look at how you spend your time. Are you usually productive or do you spend too much time on one task which leaves you with very little time for your kids?

These are tough but honest questions to ask if you are serious about dealing with mom guilt.


Why are you in college? What made you decide to go back to school? Getting clear on your goals is a great way to get rid of mom guilt.

For many moms, going back to school is a way for them to improve their life. I don’t know any mom who went back to school just for the fun of it.

When you are clear on your goals and you are working to achieve them, it leaves little room for mom guilt. Anytime you start feeling guilty for not spending enough time with your family, take a step back, revisit your goals, and assess whether you are still on track with them.

As long as you have clear goals you are working toward, you can get rid of mom guilt.


If you struggle with finding enough time to spend with your kids because you are trying to keep up with housework, it’s probably time to reassess that.

Do you want to spend valuable time keeping your house clean instead of spending time with your family? Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not telling you to let your house turn into a disgusting mess, but if you struggle to do it all, then you have to prioritize some things.

For example, do you prefer to spend time folding clothes or would you rather spend that time playing and interacting with your kids? Which is more beneficial to you?

As someone who likes to keep things clean and tidy, I do recognize it’s not easy for a lot of moms. Instead of beating yourself up because you can’t do everything, it’s okay to let some things go. You can live with a little mess or if you can afford it, get a maid or housekeeper to come in once or twice a month.

If you need help staying on top of housework, read the post below.

Related: How to Stay on Top of Housework (For Busy College Moms)


Do you want to know how to deal with mom guilt? Start with acceptance because no matter how much time you spend with your kids, there will always be some feelings of guilt. Whenever you have to say “no” to your kids, you are going to feel guilty about it.

Understanding and accepting that this is perfectly normal and not much you can do about it can free you from feeling guilty all the time. So, do the best that you can with the time that you have.

Don’t beat yourself up or give up on your dream because of mom guilt. Some moms have had to quit school because they were overwhelmed with guilt or because they didn’t want to miss out on their kids growing up.

While this is a personal decision, I feel that as long as your kids are healthy and happy, there’s no need to drop out of college unless there are other issues at play or you are completely overwhelmed.

Anyway, you can overcome mom guilt by accepting that guilt is normal and not putting too much pressure on yourself.


Let’s just get this one out in the open. Yes, your kids are going to get more screen time than normal. Yes, you are going to “babysit” your kids with one screen or the other if you have no other option.

Lots of studies have been done about the effect of too much screen time on kids. I get that, but if you have no other option, then you are just gonna have to roll with it.

But, as I said at the beginning, as long as you are being productive, you shouldn’t feel guilty about not spending enough time with your kids. Please don’t put your kids in front of the television for hours or give them an iPad for hours if you are not being productive.

It’s okay to use more screen time when you are busy with schoolwork or working for a better future. So, go ahead, use the screen if you have to, but make sure you use it wisely and in a way that benefits you and your family.


Between focusing on school and keeping your home from falling apart, it’s likely you don’t have much time to play with your baby or kids. As a mom, that sucks and it makes you feel like a bad mom.

You are not a bad mom for going to school or trying to balance it all. Instead of feeling terrible about how little time you spend with your kids, you can change your mindset and think of every interaction with your kid as special.

Yes, you probably feel like you only have time to feed, change or comfort your baby, but those times are precious, and you are bonding with your baby when you take care of them and meet their needs.

Don’t feel bad that you can’t do much for your baby or kids right now. Focus on making each interaction special, showing them how much you love them, and cherishing every moment.

So, enjoy life with your kids’ mama. Cuddle them as often as you can, play on the floor whenever you can, and don’t let mom guilt steal your joy or force you to take your eye off the ball.

Pro tip: If you have a baby and feel like you need to spend more time with them, consider babywearing. It’s an effective way to keep your baby close while working.

I completed lots of assignments, online quizzes, and tests while cuddling my baby. It’s very nice and comforting for mom and baby. It’s something to consider if you don’t do it already.


You can deal with mom guilt by focusing on the positives.

Instead of focusing on how little time you spend with your kids, focus on the positives like the fact you are setting a good example for them by going after your goals. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of modeling good character traits like perseverance, resilience, and the importance of hard work.

Mom guilt can cloud your judgment and make you forget all the wonderful things about being a college mom. Don’t allow guilt or negative emotions overshadow all the benefits of going to college or how you are a role model for your kids.

When I feel down at how much time I have to spend away from my kids (especially since I am a single mom), I always try to remind myself that I am setting a good example for them by working hard.

Of course, this doesn’t always work, but it does help to know I am modeling the correct behavior for my kids and also doing what I can to give them the best life possible.

Closing thoughts on how to deal with mom guilt while studying

Mom guilt is real and there’s no point pretending it isn’t. However, you can deal with it, so it doesn’t affect you too much.

I have given you lots of tips to help you get rid of mom guilt, so go ahead and use some of them. Yes, some days you are going to feel like a bad mom, and your kids will guilt you into feeling worse, but you gotta roll with the punches.

Remember you are trying to create a better life for them. Focus on that and let that be your motivation. You’ve got this!

Are you struggling with mom guilt? How do you deal with it?

Related mom and student articles

How to Improve Student Mom Life This Year

How to Stay Sane as a Working Mom and Student

Time Management for Moms in College: How to Balance it All

How to Deal With Mom Guilt While Studying

how to deal with mom guilt

Leave a Comment