I feel guilty that I constantly hurry the kids up. All I seem to say is ‘quick sticks’.
I feel guilty that I’ve been working every day.
I feel guilty that I’m missing little moments with the kids because I don’t have lots of time to play.
I feel guilty that I had to work while we were on our recent family holiday.
I feel guilty that the kids’ journals I used to write in weekly have been gathering dust, unopened for almost a year.
I feel guilty that Mabel won’t eat anything that’s green.
I feel guilty that I haven’t planned anything for Alfie’s birthday which is a minute away.
I feel guilty that being so busy doesn’t leave much room for spontaneity.
I feel guilty that I don’t parent like her.
And so the list goes on and on and on.
On Saturday afternoon I wanted to stay at home and hang out with my family, but instead I was on the road for work. As I drove my throat got tight and big fat tears started to roll down my cheeks.
I pulled over and sat there totally weighed down with the worst type of guilt of all – that I was blowing it. That I wasn’t living the life I wanted. That the days were slipping by and I was missing it all in a frenzy of busyness.
I want to be a hands-on mum but I also want to work. Both motherhood and running my own business fulfill, energise and inspire me. And most importantly, I know that these two halves make up the whole of my happiness.
While I’ve long given up searching for that illusive beast, balance; I know I’ve got to find a a better way of living with the push/pull of being a working mum – and the first step I’m taking is to quit the guilt.
After all, Daniel Nayeri in Another Faust puts it perfectly:
Guilt is a useless feeling. It’s never enough to make you change direction – only enough to make you useless.
I’d love to know how you handle mother guilt? Is it always there or have you found a way to ditch it and move on?