The Guilt Game



One thing I’ve noticed about being a working mom is that it comes with a heaping helping of guilt.  There have been times I’ve felt guilty leaving work early to pick up my kids from school, and times I’ve felt guilty for asking someone else to pick them up while I was busy at work.  I’ve felt guilty for being too tired to exercise, too busy exercising to help my husband fix dinner for the kids, too busy helping kids to call a friend, too tied up on the phone to do whatever it was I was going to do.  I can’t even remember what it was, but I still feel guilty because somewhere a ball has been dropped and I’m pretty sure if I’d only done/been/planned better I could have prevented it.

And then I realized… all that guilt was a bunch of crap.  Sorry, but I’ve gotta call it like I see it.  Seriously, only one person was making me feel guilty.  Me.  I’m not sure when I turned the corner, but one day I asked myself who I was trying so hard to please.  My boss, my friends, my man, my kids, parents, teachers, neighbors, co-workers… I should have been too exhausted to even notice the guilt, but I carried it around like a badge of honor.  No more!

If you’re guilty of being guilt-ridden, ask yourself these questions.

–       Who are you really trying to please?

If you feel guilty, then you’re trying too hard to please others, and probably too many others.  God is the only one that needs to approve of your schedule/choices/motivation.  Ask Him how you’re doing.  And ask Him for help.

–       What’s the worst that could happen?

Once you identify the worst case scenario and realize it won’t kill you, then pretty much everything else is a step up.

–       What are you doing better today than you did yesterday?

Did you lose your temper one less time?  Did you have a little more patience?  Did you check one more thing off your to-do list?  Give yourself credit for the things you are doing right.

–       How much of your time is spent focused on you? 

If you’re always feeling like you’re not doing enough, either you’re not doing enough, OR you’re spending too much time worrying about yourself.  You might not like hearing this (I know I didn’t) but perhaps you are not SO important that everyone is taking notes of your every move.  Shocking right?!

Now that I’ve learned to let go of the guilt I really do feel more productive all around.  If I need to leave work early to pick up the kids, then I just do it (with permission from the boss of course).  And on the nights I need to work late, that’s okay too (as long as I call the hubby).  Balance is a much better motivator than guilt any day.

What makes you feel guilty?

(post archived from Mar. 13, 2013)

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