It seems that every woman has a certain level of guilt that she has to deal with. No matter what the race, community, background, lifestyle, citizenship family structure, marital status – there’s always some guilt related to that singular fact – she is a woman. The more facets there are to your life, the more titles after your name, the more guilt.
As a mom, I have this constant stream of questions going through my head… most of the day.
Do I have a vegetable planned for dinner? What are we even having for dinner? Will I have enough time to make dinner? Are the kids getting enough rest? Are they active enough? Do they have shoes for playing? Do they have dress shoes? Do their shoes fit? Is baby girl’s hair still presentable? Did the boys get haircuts? Did they pack enough food for lunch? Do we have food for them to make lunch? Should I be getting up earlier to make lunch? Am I doing something wrong by making them pack lunch for themselves? Did I make the dental appointments? Are they supposed to go to the dentist twice for checkups or do the visits for other things like sealants count as visits? The list goes on and on. Twenty four hours worth of questions – yes – I even ask myself these questions in my sleep. I go to bed exhausted, and wake up in a panic, wondering if I got it all done yesterday, and if I will be able to do it all today. Not likely that the answer to either question is “yes”, and that’s where the guilt comes in. Should I have been able to do it all?
You would think that having the support of my husband, family, and friends would help lessen the feeling, but no – not really. I am grateful, but I still feel like I should have been able to do it all on my own. Sometimes admitting that I can’t do it all and relying on someone else makes the guilt even worse.
So what do we do? What can we do to lessen those guilty feelings? Here are three things that I do when it all seems like it is too much.
My mom said that talking to yourself doesn’t mean you are crazy, it is when you start answering yourself that there could be a problem. So first, I admit that I am a little… ahem… touched.
Second, I answer those questions that I ask myself. Should I be getting up earlier to make lunch? No. No I shouldn’t. If they can reach all those near impossible levels on video games, and weave intricate bracelets out of rubber bands, they can put peanut butter on some bread and put it in a bag. Are they getting enough rest? Probably. They are welcome to sleep in the car – since they aren’t driving. Unless I am poking them with a sharp stick during hours that they should be sleeping or making them work the nightshift on a job, it isn’t my fault if they are tired. They have plenty of opportunities to sleep. I welcome bedtime – if they choose to stay awake and giggle or tell stories? Not my problem.
Third, I end each one of my answers with, “…and that’s okay.” Because you know what? It is. The kids are happy (for the most part), fed (something), and clean (enough) … and that’s okay.
Do you have a constant stream of questions going through your mind related living life as a woman? What about the ones that usher in the “Daughter Guilt” or the “Single Woman Guilt” maybe the “Woman in a Position of Power Guilt”? Anyone dealing with the “All the AboveGuilt?” Let’s chat about it in the comments!
This post was inspired by The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by journalist Jenny Nordberg, who discovers a secret Afghani practice where girls are dressed and raised as boys. Join From Left to Write on September 16th as we discuss The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan . As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.