I've heard it. You've heard it. "I work. I love it. But you know, mom guilt." "I have to split my time between the two kids sports but I can't be in both places. You know, mom guilt." "After all day with the kids I'm exhausted. I love it but sometimes I just wish I had my own time. Mom guilt."
It seems that moms (me included) revel in this mom guilt. We use it as a cover for our real feelings. Like loving being home but needing a break. Like loving being at work. By constantly covering up our feelings by saying "mom guilt" we are discounting ourselves. We are discounting who we really are. We are somehow saying that our true feelings aren't important.
And I get it. We get frustrated and upset when we're working and our kids are sick and we're torn between 5 different places. But should we feel guilty? What benefit does feeling guilty have?
Have you done something wrong before? Maybe when you were a kid. Like legit wrong. Told a lie. Hurt someone's feelings. Broken a vase. And you felt guilty right? If you were like me it would weigh on you. The guilty was way worse than the lie or issue. The guilt would just sit on my shoulders and push me down. Until something broke.
So here are my questions. How is that guilt any different than this mom guilt that so many women carry all the time? What are we doing to ourselves by covering our true feelings with guilt? These are not hypothetical questions. Instead they are real questions I want to answer. When I feel guilty I'm more stressed with a shorter fuse. Of course one option is to eliminate stress but isn't another solution to eliminate the guilt?
For that we have to find forgiveness with ourselves. I'm kicking off my understanding of guilt, forgiveness, and women with The Book of Forgiving and a whole lot of research.
I promise to report back on what I find. Maybe we don't actually have to feel guilty. Wouldn't that be a nice weight lifted?