I’m a relatively new mom (17 month old daughter), so this word is one that is very familiar to me these days.
I feel guilt often and for various reasons- mostly because I feel like I am not doing a good enough job. I work full time and like a lot of other Moms I know, have a lot of different responsibilities and expectations (most are self imposed). I do believe the old adage that we are our own worst critics.
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading about personal wellness and expectations, time management and “getting things done” as a working Mom. The changes in my personal life have significantly shifted my perspective on these topics. Where I used to focus on techniques like task lists and workbooks; think GTD and Lifehacker, my goals have shifted towards managing expectations (mostly my own). I’ve started listening to Lisa Byrne’s webcasts and have started to read some of Brene’s work. I find all of it inspiring, honestly.
I think that the biggest struggle that working mothers find is where we were once able to choose when we did each task and to schedule ourselves, now we have to choose which tasks we are able to do and which ones will need to fall to the wayside for now. I don’t physically have enough hours in my day to work full time, garden, make dinner, grocery shop, clean AND effectively parent my daughter. I have to pick and choose every day which of these things I will be able to do that day- and which ones are really important to me. Things like cleaning and gardening quickly lose importance on that list, until someone announces they are coming over, or I see a fabulous article about the importance of organic vegetables in a growing child’s diet. Then the GUILT sets in. All because someone or something has shone the light on the fact that I can’t do everything and I’m failing as a Mom or as a housekeeper, or as a friend.
The biggest struggle for me right now is that very often I am sitting under a huge list of things that I *could* do. I need to put importance on some of them, and then ACCEPT that later I might be faced with a situation where I am reminded that I wasn’t able to clean the toilet like I wanted to or fold the laundry. Acceptance of where you are in life and the fierce reality of that is the only way to happiness and contentment.
Google Lisa Byrne and the Well Grounded Campus for more useful information..