Inherent Guilt and the Motherhood Shuffle
I made a decision to dedicate this entire month to Moms.
The obvious reason is that moms need a lot of help. I’m not being facetious, I’m telling the truth.
Moms are so busy spending energy on everyone else that there’s often none left over to give to ourselves. To top it all off, there seems to be a certain amount of guilt thrown into motherhood that seems unavoidable.
I was at the pediatrician’s office this week with my son. It was a routine physical and as the pediatrician walked in he asked me how I was doing.
He specifically asked, “How are you doing Mom?” which is a different question than how I am doing personally.
So I replied with, “I’m figuring it out, it’s taken me 20 months.”
To which he replied, “Well when you figure it out let me know, my son is 20 years old and I’m still figuring it out.” We laughed a bit over that and then I said it was about me creating balance in my life and how I was getting closer to the level of balance that I wanted and needed.
His response was, “You will never reach the level of balance that you want because the minute you became a mother there was an inherent amount of guilt built into your life.”
I was a bit taken back by his statement. The little voice in my head started screaming, “What do you mean I will never reach balance? Never is a strong word and seems so hopeless. Surely there is hope for me?”
So…I asked him exactly what he meant by that…
He suggested that the guilt of motherhood comes from an uncorked well where a mother ruminates on how she can give more and do more for her child thus being unable to achieve the balance she so desires.
Hum…well how about those apples…
Then throw in a career, running a business, being a wife, managing a household, and taking care of myself. Well, when you put it that way… I took a good hard look at the obvious. The balance scales of my life are in constant flux and it would be a magical day for them to sit in perfect harmony in light of all the crosswinds.
So what’s the answer? Be content with the shifts, know that life is constantly changing and be sure to put yourself on the weekly schedule.
Here are a few thoughts about how important you are and why you need to be on the weekly schedule.
There are a lot of things that you do each day not to mention each week. Neglecting yourself is a recipe for disaster. Not just for you but for the whole family.
I ask my patients how long they have been married. It seems the longer you have functioned as a couple the more time your spouse has had to recognize your value.
You are the gorilla glue for your family, without glue the whole thing just falls apart. By making YOU a priority it reinforces the strength of the glue.
It’s ok to make a doctors appointment, or have some personal time. You deserve it.
Inherent guilt may be built into motherhood but you shouldn’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself. Shed that guilt and start feeling good about taking care of you now.
This is the difference between a crazed gorilla and a content one. I know your family chooses content and you should too.
-With Unconditional Love