Guilt. A lot of people talk about mom guilt. I have general, all-purpose guilt -- all.the.time. Here are a few things that pull at me daily:
Free time. If I’m not working (whether it be work that I am getting paid for or work around the house), I feel guilty. I am always tired - but I struggle to allow myself to relax. When I force myself to stop, I choose to think about the list of things I should be doing. In some ways, I like this about myself: I’m motivated. But in some ways I think I’m totally insane.
Activities. My son loves activities - he is athletic and can't stop playing sports, any sport. My daughter is more artistic and loves to make things at home. Many (most?) weekends, we are at the soccer field watching my son play for the better part of the day. My daughter is great about this: never complains, happy to go. It’s a part of her life. But is this fair to her? Am I creating a situation where all the attention is on one person? Guilt.
Money. When I spend money on myself, I feel guilty. I’m not an over spender - I try to be reasonable about what I buy. I suspect that I spend less than most on clothes/skincare, etc. However, I spend more than others on food at restaurants (oh, I also hate cooking - another source of guilt). Post spend, I have buyers remorse for hours to days. I explain why I bought something to my husband (“I needed another jacket to wear to work”) and he laughs and says, “it’s FINE! You never buy anything!”. That takes the guilt down a notch - but it still lingers.
Attention. Splitting time and attention between my kids, husband and everyone else is tough and is an ongoing source of guilt. I try to be aware of who needs what/when and spend more/less time with that person accordingly. But I don’t do this well and feel like I fail a lot. Each night, I lie in bed with my son to get him to sleep. It's a pattern that we created long ago and have yet to break. As I lie there, I stew: I should be hanging out with my husband, or reading to my daughter. But my son needs sleep and lying with him is the only way to achieve that.
The list goes on…
I assume that every person, especially every mom, deals with these issues. Right?
I know that I am doing my best and that I need to shut down the negative feelings. Some days I do better than others.
But I wonder, how do I beat this feeling? Will the guilt ever subside?