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How EC Helped Ease My Mommy Guilt

EC eases mommy guilt

This post was originally posted on April 21, 2016, and has been fully updated on August 10, 2021 to include an audio (Podcast) version, a video (YouTube) version, and to include some basic updates. Enjoy! xx Andrea

Listen to the Podcast

Watch the Video Version

If you want to watch me record today’s podcast episode, you can do that on my youtube version:

This is a guest post from our Go Diaper Free Certified Coach in Scottsdale, Arizona, Jessica Barra. I hope you enjoy her honest explanation of how EC has helped ease her mommy guilt (and how gracefully she does EC while also working outside the house). xx Andrea

Oh, mommy guilt. That horrible beast that strikes every mom at some point as a sinister little voice in our heads. You’ve heard it tell you all sorts of ridiculous things like, “You mean you actually spent 30 extra seconds in the bathroom to be alone instead of cherishing your children? How could you! They’re only young once! They’ll never be successful, competent adults now!”

Let’s all collectively punch mommy guilt in the face.

I struggled with pretty significant mommy guilt after my son Owen was born. I had to work four days a week starting when he was just six weeks old.

How would he love me the same when I was out of his sight? How could I be so irresponsible to have a baby when I couldn’t stay home with him? Leaving him at SIX WEEKS? He’s too young! On and on.

I discovered EC when Owen was 9 months old. To my utter surprise, he hadn’t yet forgotten who I was, but mommy-guilt still insisted something horrible was bound to happen to our relationship while I was out working.

Not only was I drawn to EC because of the no-more-poopy-diapers aspect (but seriously, who doesn’t love that part of EC?), I was intrigued by the connection EC builds between the “EC’er” (parent, grandparent, caregiver, etc.) and the child. I excitedly bought the Go Diaper Free book and my husband and I dove in head first.

Over that first weekend, we spent time with Owen without our usual distractions. Learning to communicate with him about when he had to pee and poop was so intriguing.

Observing his signals let me see things about him I hadn’t noticed before: facial expressions, squeaks and squeals, shivers, movements.

As he started catching on to what we were doing, it was fun learning how he communicated his needs to us, and so rewarding when we realized we interpreted his signals correctly. My intuition regarding when he had to go was improving, and overall I felt incredibly connected to my son.

And then, all too soon, it was Monday. Time to go back to work, and time for mommy guilt to suggest that our new EC connection would be spoiled.

Well, guess what happened?

I came home from work to find a happy, healthy baby who was excited to see his mama (whom he loves most), and who signaled to me that he had to poop.

Owen on Tiny Potty

Take THAT, mommy guilt!

My second baby, Eloise, is 3 months old and we started EC at 1 week old. Creating that same connection with her has been amazing and fills me with joy.

Sometimes the memory of holding her squishy thighs over the potty as I wait for her to go is what gets me through the workday.

No, EC is not the end-all cure for mommy guilt. But, it does help me grow a deeper connection with my children that acts as a shield when the guilt strikes.

You may have thought EC was just about poop and pee, but no. I assure you, it is much, much more.

You might want to grab the book that we used and start your EC journey today!

And please leave me a comment, below, if you've dealt with mommy guilt, too, and how you managed it. I'd love to hear from you.

Resource Recommendation

Potty Time Master: a MiniCourse that helps you get extremely good at detecting the 4 ways to know the baby has to pee.

Go Diaper Free: my popular EC book that simplifies EC, beginning to end.

Tiny Trainers: 100% cotton training pants in size 6mo to 4T

Jessica Barra

About Jessica Barra

Hi! I’m Jessica, an Elimination Communication (EC) and non-coercive potty training coach. I am currently on a hiatus from offering phone, video, and in home consultations for EC or potty training.


  1. Avatar Heidi on April 28, 2016 at 4:04 am

    Beautiful story and photos! Thanks for highlighting the wonderful connection that EC builds.

  2. Avatar Monika on February 3, 2017 at 4:14 am

    The Mommy guilt on their ease helped so processing in your another project so remaining in this blog.

  3. Avatar Kristina on August 2, 2017 at 1:21 am

    I do part time EC even though I’m a SAHM. This is my second EC baby (she’s 3 months old) and it’s fun this time around, as opposed to with baby #1, long story… but with this baby I have much less time/focus for it because of other needs in the family. I feel like a bad mother every time i suspected baby was signaling but i let her go in her diaper! And every time she wakes up from a nap and i don’t potty her. Of course, there are many reasons i feel like a bad mother off and on every day. Just like other good moms,
    LOL! However, I’m so proud of myself and my baby every time she looks at me imploringly while grunting, I take her to the potty, and she goes! Even though life is less conducive to unusual parenting practices this time around, I am doing ec much earlier and more often in the day than with baby #1! Plus, I didn’t notice signaling from baby #1 so I had no idea why people talk about connection and relationship. It’s real and it’s so cool! So, I’m not the best mom, but clearly i learn new things and try to be better. That is the biggest reason I know that my kids will know I love them, even if they turn out super neurotic like me. EC is inconvenient, embarrassing for me in front of most people, and some days it isn’t fun and doesn’t save any diapers. So I do this weird thing i had to go out of my way to learn, to give it as a gift to my kids. I’m so grateful to all you ec coaches for teaching it!

  4. Avatar Sheri Jennings on August 10, 2021 at 6:48 am

    Or EC can cause mommy guilt. I’m in the middle of observation, because I haven’t been making very many catches in the five months since I started. It’s been a week, and there doesn’t seem to be any natural timing pattern or signals. I’ve tried to find signals, I’ve tried common timing, I’ve tried to find her natural timing, and I tried using my intuition. I swear she tries to hold it until nap time. My little one is only 7 months old, and so far EC has made her LESS communicative about pottying.

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on August 26, 2021 at 3:33 am

      Oh my… that is not suppose to happen. Don’t feel guilty, it is hard enough being a mom, without the added pressure. Take a break if you need.

      There are times when babies go through phases where they have a bit of a pause.Yours might be going through that phase. Though it sounds like your little one is asking for a bit of privacy. At 7 months old that might mean you look away while baby is sitting on the potty.

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