What is it about parenthood and guilt?
My life seems to revolve around a continual cycle of guilt at the moment; guilt at working too hard, guilt at not working hard enough, guilt at spending too little time with my toddler, guilt at worrying about spending too little time with my toddler, guilt at eating too much, guilt at eating too little, the list goes on and on and on.
Guilt, guilt, guilt.
It’s exhausting. And also, totally pointless.
The thing is, I think I’m partly motivated by guilt. As much as I hate to admit it, the pangs of guilt that I experience every hour of the day – that unanswered email, that chocolate biscuit, that “I’ll be there in a second darling” moment – all help stop me giving up completely and slumping on the sofa with a jumbo packet of crisps while my toddler jumps on me. In a way, the guilt keeps me going, doing, striving and being.
Then again, it’s not particularly healthy to feel guilty all the time. And also, not particularly nice.
Pangs of guilt stop the enjoyment of a chocolate biscuit, for example. They can mar the deliciousness of an afternoon doing nothing much but cuddling up on the sofa with a sleepy two year old. In short, pangs of guilt may be motivating, but they’re not much fun.
So, from now on, I’m going to try really really hard to give up the guilt and be a bit easier on myself.
Just one question – how?!
Do you ever suffer from guilt pangs? How did you let them go? How do you get the balance right so the guilt doesn’t rule you, just keeps you on the straight and narrow? I’m listening.