Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Guilt

Whether as a result of my religious upbringing (I'm an ex-Catholic - strong emphasis on the ex), or perhaps it's one of those emotions instilled in all mothers the moment they give birth, but some days, I have overwhelming feelings of guilt.

Most of it stems from things I feel I should be doing but am not, either because I'm too busy, tired or just plain overwhelmed at the thought of whatever I'm currently avoiding/ignoring/putting off until later. Some of it stems from things I am doing, but wish I were not.

There is so much to deal with during the course of a day that many little (or not so little) things get left by the wayside and pushed back to the place where guilt begins to fester.

I know I'm not alone, so I thought I'd share my top 10 guilt triggers. Maybe you'll relate. Or maybe I'm just a neurotic guilt-mongering, freak. Decide for yourself:

1. Not spending enough "quality" time with my son. Time itself is not the issue. When I'm not at work, he's with me all the time, especially lately, now with his Mama's Boy phase in full effect.  It's the playing and teaching time where I feel I'm lacking.   

2. Not spending enough time with hubby. I can't take full responsibility nor am I casting blame, but his job requires him to work long hours and at times, he'll get home, have a bite to eat and go straight to bed. It doesn't help that we don't have anyone close enough to babysit for more than a couple of hours at a time, so date night is nothing more than a novel idea for us.

3. Our Only Child dilemma. Not to totally  re-hash my previous post, but if Ciaran had a sibling, or playmate his age, perhaps I'd feel less guilty about point #1.   



4. No time for family. My entire immediate family lives in other provinces and now that we all have families of our own, we rarely talk, other than on birthdays and Christmas. I know that's life, but it makes me sad all the same.   

5. Losing touch with friends. Same idea as #4, only my friends live much closer, so in some ways, it makes me feel worse. Even finding time to pick up the phone to say "hi" can be challenging. Especially since I forget all their phone numbers!  

6. Not exercising enough. Supposedly I'd have more energy to expend if I exercised more. But if I have no energy, how can I exercise? It's a vicious, vicious circle, I tell you.   

7. Not eating / making enough healthy meals. I try. I really do. As long as I don't buy junk food, I don't see it and therefore, am not as tempted to stuff my face with Sour Cream & Onion chips right before dinner. However, my husband does most of the grocery shopping (yes, in some ways I'm lucky) and he tends to pick up those naughty but oh-so-delicious snacks that I just can't resist!  

8. Not reading enough. I love to read. It's my second biggest pleasure after writing and slightly before my love of caramel-flavored cheesecake. But, again, other less important but necessary evils such as laundry and housework often take precedence and my reading material (literally) gets shelved.  

9. Not being career-oriented enough. I've never been one of those corporate ladder-climbing types. I've made mistakes and chosen paths I was not meant to follow (Hi, customer service rep position(s)!). I'm happy with the work I'm currently doing, although I still feel like I should be much further ahead at my age. It is nice that I can leave at 5:00 p.m. and go spend some (non-quality) time with my son.  

10. Not thinking "positive" enough. This is one I struggle with more than I'd like to admit. I've read a few "positive thinking" books and I wholeheartedly subscribe to the idea of changing your thoughts and changing your life. Dr. Wayne Dyer is one of my favorite self-help gurus. It's a good thing he's not a cult leader because I swear, his voice could command me to do almost anything. However, being positive takes constant practice and I tend to fall back into negative thought patterns, thinking the worst in certain situations.

So there you have it - the things that make my guilt-consumed mind tick. It seems to me that if I had a handle on all of the above, I could finally reach perfection. Isn't that what most of us strive for? Of course, we know it's unattainable, but it doesn't stop us (me, at least) from constantly beating ourselves up.  I am getting better at letting things go. All the little life lessons I'm learning as a Mom are slowly teaching me that some things are not worth worrying about.

    3 comments:

    tracyo said...

    I totally relate :O) I may be "here" with my kids all day, but it really isn't quality time. As moms we can only do what we can do. There are only so many hours in a day to try and get everything done. In a perfect world, we would all be June cleaver lol! I go back to work evenings and weekends in another month or so leaving alot less time to do everything and to try and squeeze quality time in. Date night with hubby....what's that? I can't even remember the last time we actually spent a few minutes of carefree time together. Us moms need to try and make time for ourselves too. I think that is the most difficult thing to do....I'm still trying :O)

    The Mayor! said...

    I am ruled by my "Mom" guilt....I'm just not capable of putting myself before my kids, ever ever ever....went for my tattoo on my 40th & was in tears because it took so long & I had promised to spend the afternoon with them...on MY birthday LOL.

    BTW, I made you a blog button...cause I wanted you in my blog roll & you needed a button for me to put you in. I'm crazy like that....that's why they call me The Mayor of crazy LOL. Check it out, hopefully you love it, either way, it links back to you so it's all good LOL. I can teach you how to put it on your site.
    :-D

    The Empress said...

    Oh, ugh. That is my WHOLE life right there. On your list.
    Yuk.

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