As most moms, I can carry a lot of guilt around what I do and don’t do for my kids. I have been raised by a selfless, completely giving mother who would rather go without so we could have what we wanted or needed. Time and material things. In fact, she still says when it’s time to eat: ‘watching you eat fills me up’.
Although both my parents taught us an incredible work ethic and how to be grateful, my mom passed down the unwavering giving and guilt that comes with giving that I now carry with my boys.
I suppose that is how it has gone for all generations.
I have recently discovered in myself that guilt is also attached to permission. In a strict greek household I would ask permission for what I wanted to do – even while I rebelled against it, it was obviously instilled in me.
Fast-forward - I am educated, independent, married to an incredibly supportive man who encourages my growth and creative outlets. And yet, I still find that I sometimes tip toe around my needs. If I juggle it all, clean it up, prepare it all, everybody will be happy – yet strife still comes up. I have to believe that strife surfaces because my self-care at that point has hit a low, and I realize I don’t want to do it all.
I was recently away on a girls weekend - filled with self-care. Girl time, hiking, great food and conversation. But bad weather and flight cancellations kept me away an extra day. I was apologizing profusely to my hubby because I was worried about how he would be with the boys for another day unplanned. I was almost in tears. Sure I was tired and I missed my kids, but I didn’t get any strife from the other end, only concern that I was safe and happy.
By 40, a happy marriage, and 2 kids later I know that I don’t need to ask for permission - other than to be courteous. I am supported and capable. I know that I am the only one that is filling me with guilt. The feelings engrained in us as children are ones we carry into adulthood, sometimes all our lives.
As QueenBees lets be here to release ourselves from the guilt, the ‘shoulds’. Release the childhood emotions that can come up under moments of stress. They are not our reality. We are enough, we are always doing our best, even though some days are best is only a fraction of what it is on other days. Stay positive, and light-hearted towards yourself and I will do the same to myself.