The Truth About Mom Guilt for Powerlifters


Written by Lindsay Gray

“Why don’t you go take care of your disabled daughter?” … said the basement dweller. 

And just like that, the entirety of my Instagram almost got deleted. I have gone toe – to -toe keyboard to keyboard with my fair share of trolls, but in all of my days I have never been accused of being a bad mom. Of course, after a second I rolled my eyes & snort laughed because I know damn well that this person very obviously doesn’t know their butts from apple butter when it comes to my daily life.

But what about a mom who really questions how she’s doing? The ones more fragile? The one who is fresh out of the delivery room or fumbling around in the terrible two’s? Maybe she’s suffering from PPD (postpartum depression) or possibly just lets the idea lurk too often that she’s failing miserably at this motherhood thing.  A comment like this could crush someone under a different circumstance because the mom guilt is REAL.

And on that topic, I have one thing to say: SCREW mom guilt. 

To the mother trying to juggle strength training & potty training, the ones prepping for a meet after prepping dinner, DON’T feel as if the one thing you allow time for outside your kiddos is something you should feel ashamed of.

 Training is time-consuming. Competing is time-consuming. And we all know that the one most valuable thing you can give to your children is time. We are so terrified of feeling selfish or being viewed as selfish that we will either do what we want & feel immense guilt for it or skip out on something we are passionate about and feel regret for not going for it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. End the mom guilt. You are still a person, undoubtedly a much different person than before you took on this role, but still a person all your own. You do not have to exist on the back burner. Your passion doesn’t have to fall to the wayside. Motherhood merely adds a layer - the thickest of them all perhaps. This time you take solely for yourself for an hour or two a day is so crucial to maintaining a feeling that you are, in fact, still human. You still exist beyond laundry, playtime, snacks & errands. And above all, you’re allowed to do something for yourself & your well-being. 

We were in the NICU for six months with my oldest daughter, who was extremely premature. One piece of advice I got from our favorite nurse was that you must learn to take care of yourself & that means giving yourself some grace. Occasionally you will need space, a mental break or a quiet moment to recollect. At the time, I couldn’t grasp this idea because I would’ve given my left arm to shave a few days off our hospital stay & be with my daughter every waking moment, but eventually it hit home. We have to maintain a small chunk of the day for ourselves and our goals. The most important things- our kids- are a given, but that incredibly miniscule one or two-hour timeframe is yours. To let the rage out, to keep you sane. 

So, when you find yourself meandering into mom guilt territory remember that part of your mission is making them proud. A session running over by an hour isn’t what they’re going to remember. You going to the gym on a Saturday isn’t the memory they’re going to invest in. They are going to remember you on a platform with a medal & a big smile. They’re going to remember their mom all by herself in front of a big crowd, fearless & strong. And they will remember how brave you seemed standing up there doing something you love. You are a better mom for being your best self. Don’t give any space to the idea that you succeeding in something other than raising kids is somehow subtracting from their childhood. You are leading by example. Lift on. <3


  • Carolyn C: December 26, 2021

    Thank you so much for this. I read it while feeding my newborn daughter. I have a competition at eight weeks postpartum and have been struggling with guilt of taking a break for myself to train. If mama isn’t happy and healthy though, my baby will not be getting the best part of me!

  • Tracey Nugent: December 27, 2019

    I love this article & totally agree. Everything parents do are lessons and examples to children. While the process may need adjusted from time to time, they are watching. Showing children to set goals, put in the work, succeed , fail, and keep going to reach those goals is such an important lesson! This is part of parenting. Showing how to do this while working & parenting is the best gift you can show children, especially girls! As you said, you also need that for you – mentally & physically – to be the best you! That is most definitely when you will parent best / when you feel your best. I look at you “doing your thing/chasing your passion” all while parenting & working with admiration. You are rocking the mom life! Keep doing goin& if you get the mom guilt – for a moment – send those “haters who comment”’my way. I’m wicked in letting someone know – their place, mistaken tongue, and wrong thought process. I got your back!

  • Penny cooper: December 26, 2019

    Amazing article!!!

  • Penny cooper: December 26, 2019

    Amazing article!!!

  • Penny cooper: December 26, 2019

    Amazing article!!!

  • Gabriella Fonseca: October 17, 2019

    Thank you for sharing your heart. I needed to read this today.

  • Dixie Gray: September 16, 2019

    Evidently there are still people that do not know you at all and all the patience and grace you have taking care of those two great girls. Some people are so small minded and have blinders on. They don’t realize that you are keeping yourself physically and mentally able to do the wonderful job you do. I love seeing the pictures of your beautiful family but also the skill and determination you have in lifting. Lift on beautiful girl!

  • Linda Tompkins: September 16, 2019

    So true lady! You have been an inspiration to many! Teaching children the value of setting goals and being strong only makes it better!

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing

GWPL - Gift Card

Regular Price
from $ 25.00
Sale Price
from $ 25.00
Regular Price
Unit Price
Translation missing: en.general.accessibility.unit_price_separator 


Explain the benefits of subscribing

More posts

Quickly Breaking Down Training Volume

by Gage Reid of Nova Strength In the following article I'll be covering training volume, Minimum Effective Dose (MED), Max...