Minnie Mouse Goes To Work {Letting Go of Mom Guilt}


It was a normal Sunday morning and we were playing with Minnie Mouse legos. I was sipping a cup of coffee and my husband and I were watching my 3 year old play, when suddenly the game of pretend took a turn and deeply cut my (probably over-sensitive) heart.

“And then Minnie can go in the car and she can go to work!” My 3 year old started zooming Minnie around in her car, pretending she was on the way to her office.

Cue the working Mom guilt.

mom guilt

My mind started racing. What kind of example was I setting for my kids? Why was my 3 year old pretending that Minnie Mouse was driving to work? As I thought about it, I suddenly remembered a similar incident with my older daughter, involving a baby doll whose mommy had to go to work and leave the baby at daycare. Still, in that moment, I felt terrible about my role as a working mom and that my daughter’s first inclination was to pretend that Minnie Mouse was driving herself to work.

In retrospect, I have questions for myself. Why was my immediate reaction to feel guilty? Why didn’t my husband bat an eye at the “Minnie is going to work” comment? Why wouldn’t I be proud that my daughter assumed Minnie Mouse was a career woman?


Yes, my daughter sees me going to work each day and she has been attending daycare since she was very young. That’s all she knows, so it’s natural that one place Minnie might be going to is work.

It wasn’t an insult toward me.

In fact, when I stop to think about it, there are lots of great lessons my kids are learning from watching Mama go to work every day. Here are just a few:

They’re seeing a mama who is a small business owner.

They’re seeing a mama who earns an income and contributes to the household finances.

They’re seeing a mama who valued her education (and the older one loves to ask questions about college and law school).

They’re seeing a mama who helps people each day when she goes to work – and that’s fostering an environment where we can discuss the value of serving others.

Most importantly, they’re seeing a mama who truly loves her job and is happy to go to work each day.

I hope that through these lessons, my daughters both see their own worth. I hope they watch me pursuing a career that I love with ambition and success. Most of all, I hope that if someday they want to pursue a career for themselves, too – they can do it without the mom guilt.