Ahh, Mother’s Guilt. An emotion us women have a great knack for.
What is Mother’s Guilt, you ask?
Well, Mother’s Guilt is a curse.
Along with periods and hormonal rages, us women have been cursed with the wretched feeling of constant guilt.
It is the feeling every single mother feels, every single time they leave the house; that feeling that they are abandoning their children and husband.
Because, the following crazy thoughts taunt us:
- If I take too long, will my husband cope?
- If I go to dinner with my girlfriends, will my children cry and miss me?
- If I sleep in, will the husband mind?
- If dinner is not ready by 6, will my children starve?
- If I get the kids babysat so I can have a rest, will I look weak?
If this, if that… you get the gist.
See – Mother’s Guilt is a curse.
And one I don’t buy into very easily.
This is why.
I was doing it to myself – so I stopped
When I first had my babies, every time I would leave the house, I would rush.
Rush to the shops, rush into the shops, run to get the milk and curse management for making the toilet paper all the way on the other side of the massive building.
Buy things in a hurry and then get home, tyres screeching as I pull into my driveway, imagining the babies crying and the Husband rocking back and forth in the corner.
Whilst that scenario is totally plausible, it would only be possible if I left my family for four years, not forty minutes.
Instead, I would get inside the house and find the baby peaceful in her cot, the husband pottering around the house, the Earth still spinning around the sun, and no one – absolutely no one – affected by my very short absence.
And when I would explain to the Husband why I’m in such a frazzled and rushed state, he would explain only as a brave husband could, that no one else was rushing me but my own crazy self.
Very reluctantly, I had to admit that the Husband was right and so I stopped running everywhere and enjoyed the short trips out into the world. It’s been delightful.
There’s no such thing as Father’s Guilt for The Husband
It’s not that the Husband doesn’t care. It’s just that, well, he doesn’t care. Like, he doesn’t leave the house worrying about the family the entire time. He gets easily distracted by shiny lights, meaning as soon as he’s out the door, his thoughts move on with him.
He doesn’t carry the burden of worrying about the laundry and dishes, and vacuuming and window washing, like I do.
It’s like women take it upon themselves to be the carers of all things bound to the house. Men don’t carry that weight with them.
And so I have adapted to the man school of thought and I worry about the present, not about all the things that I put on my own invisible-list-of-shit-to-do.
I am number one
And the last reason I don’t succumb to Mother’s Guilt is this – no one in the world will care for me if I don’t care for myself.
And if I’m not cared for, my family is not cared for.
If I’m constantly rushing and stressing about everyone else and if I never took time for myself – well, that’s not beneficial for anyone.
Everyone needs a break, mother’s especially deserve free foot massages and gold rose petals thrown before their feet. But honestly, we would settle for a bit of alone time to drink a freaking coffee in peace.
This is why I always make time for myself and enjoy a regular a massage or movie, time to go out to dinner with my girlfriends, time with the Husband.
I won’t apologize for that and I sure as hell won’t waste that time stressing about it.
Women, free yourselves!
So many of us work and look after our homes and families, getting lunches ready, dinners ready, making sure everyone has clean clothes – and all that before 8am.
What we do is amazing. But it’s hard and it’s stressful and we alone are not responsible for every aspect of life around us.
So to you all, I say – FREE YOURSELVES!
Take time out, demand it. Go get that manicure in peace and enjoy it. Take a walk in the evenings and breathe in some fresh air. If you don’t have the time, make it.
Love you all, and remember – don’t be a dick!