And boy do we! I never understood the full power guilt held until I became a mother.
It’s almost a ruler-of-the-universe type power when you lay a little guilt trip on the kids. The older they get of course, the more creative we get to be in making sure the guilt is just the right thickness. Come on, admit it, it can be fun at times and no one else can lay it on like mother. As adults, we even KNOW mom is getting us with a good guilt trip, yet, do you not follow through and do what she wants??
But don’t think this post is about the power we have in guilt trips, actually, it is about the opposite. Sure, we can give it out but we sure do take the brunt of it as well.
Tell me who hasn’t set aside their interests, work, writing in order to do for the family–to make sure there is enough rice-krispie treats for the children’s whole class on Valentine’s Day, drop everything to take them to their sporting events, in the middle of a tense scene stop to read to them simply because they tap you on the shoulder and say please, take time off work when they are sick, make sure supper is ready at a half-decent hour no matter how hard we worked that day, fall into bed exhausted without even having wrote a sentence on the wip etc. The list could go on and on and on and is unique for everyone.
If we steal an hour in the afternoon, we feel guilty that we should be doing laundry or cleaning the house or getting an afterschool snack ready. Or usually we wait until they are in bed before we even think to work on things we enjoy whether writing, crafts, a good book etc because we feel guilty taking time away from spending it with them.
Writing is supposed to be fun but how many of you sometimes sit there looking over your shoulder every few minutes, listening for the patter of feet or the chatting, or waiting with tense shoulders knowing at any moment you are going to lose the flow because you’ll need to play referee?
These aren’t unusual things and IT IS NOT WRONG TO FEEL THIS WAY! It’s called motherhood. Young girls, even in this day and age, are trained to take care of others, family, friends, loved ones. It’s almost genetic. It’s also very hard to break.
Unfortuantely, there is no easy fix and the guilt is always there. But remember, you NEED to find time for yourself even if only a cup of tea or an hour to write. We all have those days where our nerves are just cracked, every noise sets us off. Part of that is because–and I know it is hard to admit to yourself because of the guilt factor– but our dreams are being put aside to help fulfill our family’s dream. Again, this is the way we were raised, but think of it this way, the happier you are, the happier you will be with and to your family. You will be surprised how just a few minutes a day doing something you love just for yourself (be it writing or walking or reading or just staring out a window at the birds in your backyard) will improve not only your outlook and how you see yourself progressing, but it will improve your family dynamics as well. Happy mommies make happy families.
No, every day won’t be perfect but feeling good about yourself and what you are doing will shine through. Don’t feel guilty about planning a little mama time–it’s healthy for your sanity!
~As mothers we look after everyone 24/7 but who looks after us? Exactly, we do. So remember, while taking care of everyone else, don’t forget to take care of yourself.~