Do we have to deal with the guilt?

Motherhood. Work. Career.Busy kids. Home front. Chores to run. Meals to be cooked. Homework supervised. The list is endless.

The balancing act also involves plenty of guilt. For most mothers, dealing with guilt becomes a pre-occupation. You feel guilty about the time you spend away from the family, at work or in pursuit of work related travel. You feel guilty even when you are there with them, playing an active role as a mother and a wife because you believe sometimes that you are not spending as much time as you should. You feel guilt if you try to catch some Me time all by yourself. In the endless guilt trips you secretly take yourself on, you are never doing enough, never enough to be the perfect mother.

Let’s get that straight – None of us, how hard we may try or try to congratulate ourselves, will never be the perfect mother. Nor the perfect wife. We can only try to do our best under the circumstances. And you need to deal with that guilt. You need to be determined enough to put an end to the toxic thoughts that constantly try to press you down with the pity party. Well, the pity party is long over and you are trying to do your best, give your family the best you can give.

Sometimes, you may not really be up to it. All of us get that day off feeling. You are in the middle of a rush school day and there’s lunch boxes to be made and clothes to be pressed, your daughter gives you that look with hair ribbon in her hand and the clock is ticking. You secretly wish you could get away to a spa tucked away in some serene valley, just for the day.

Sometimes, it is one of those days when irritability teams up with a bad mood to set you apart in a category of it’s own. You yell and you fuss and later when they have all gone, you feel guilty. You need to be kind to yourself. Often enough, we have to learn to be not so hard on ourselves ; whether in being nice to our kids and husbands and colleagues , we tend to overlook ourselves.  

Take yourself out for a treat. It’s alright to indulge in some shopping, pampering and self-care. Just don’t over-do it. Some of us have life long pamper parties we never seem to leave. I try to catch up with some friends over coffee and talk of nothing important in particular, just some girl conversation that never seems dull but is always refreshing. We talk about our careers, our children, our husbands and our diets. And we go back to our homes, feeling good about all of that chatting.

No one ever promised an easy ride for a career woman who happens to be a wife and a mother with a full household to run. We need to strike a balance, a mental one that does not point us out to ourselves so often that we are on a constant roller coaster of guilt. The balance we all seek can only come when you learn to deal with the guilt in a positive manner.

Your kids may be older and your home chores lessened, but as a senior career woman once shared with me, the guilt has never left. In fact, she says, she has to constantly deal with it from the past tense to the present. You were never there when the kids were growing up is a favourite guilt line. 

The best way to deal with guilt is swiftly and consistently. You need to start telling yourself that you are doing the best you can. Keep talking – to yourself – you need to heat that positive voice in your head that can successfully counter the negative one. We need to deal with ourselves before we try to deal with the world and good luck. 

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