The Guilt

Guilt.

Find an article about a working mother without the word being mentioned.

Go on, I dare you. You’ll be a while looking.

Guilt.

“It’s a useless emotion.” “Don’t waste your time on it.”

Let it go, like Elsa famously said.

I’m sick and tired of being told what to do with my guilt.

Guilt is a feeling.

Feelings are valid.

People can get overwhelmed by this feeling.

I know I have been.

On the treadmill, getting from weekend to weekend, one lunchbox at at time.

Feeling like you’re not doing enough for your kids.

Feeling like you should be there more, or should do more with them.

Feeling bad that they have to miss something because of your work.

Feeling guilty that you’re too tired to do all the things you want to do with them.

All feelings, and feelings are valid.

So please don’t tell working mothers not to feel guilty or that there’s no point in it.

Those of us who feel it, feel it.

Some feel it more than others.

Some feel it more often than others.

Some barely feel it at all. Or don’t dare to admit it.

But it’s a feeling, and anyone telling us not to feel it is being dismissive  showing disrespect.

It’s nobody’s right to tell someone else how to feel.

It’s nobody’s right to tell someone else that their feeling is wrong.

It’s OK to feel guilty.

Feel it.

But don’t let it consume you.

What then?

Look at what you can do to feel it less, or feel other emotions more.

Are you putting unrealistic demands on yourself or expecting too much?

Are you being martyr?

Are you comparing yourself too much to others?

Don’t let the guilt go, look it in in the eye, feel it, challenge it.

Don’t let it consume you, but don’t feel bad for feeling it.

Because if you do, it wins.

Own it, roll with it, consider it  a symptom to be treated.

Don’t ignore it.

Face it, wallow a little, and look at your options.

Look at the pluses, make the most of the time you do have.

Don’t let the guilt win, feel it, but fight it.

You got this.

4 Comments

  1. I’m totally with you. There’s nothing more annoying than being told how to feel or how not to feel, or people interpreting “guilt” as meaning we feel we shouldn’t be at work, and that we’re somehow letting the side down by admitting to guilt. Grr.

  2. I’m feeling it this week and it certainly is a valid feeling as I lie awake in the middle of the night…

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