Is Guilt a Female Thing?
Posted on 10th August 2020 at 16:49
As I write this blog, it’s day 2 of the school holidays. Finally, we can press “pause” on home schooling and have a bit of a rest. Time to have a well deserved chill out, or so you’d think.
I don’t know how you’ve found home schooling, living and working in the same space, but I for one have found it much harder than I thought I would. I am used to working from home but I have the place to myself, it’s quiet and the biggest stress on my time is making a latte. I have been spoilt. This was my place during the day. Not anymore. I now have to share. I always thought it was toddlers who struggled with this concept but it turns out that 48 year old women aren’t great either.
It strikes me that lockdown has created two types of people. Those who have been bored and tried to fill their time AND those who have been busier than ever. In the case of my husband and myself, we have become slaves to our offices and lap tops. In the morning over our porridge, we say a sad farewell. Once we enter our offices, who knows when we might come out again. Marathon video calls, training courses, client meetings…
As a self-employed person, I do not want to complain about being busy. It’s good news, especially when so many people have been struggling to keep food on the table. Being busy is great but one of the biggest side-effects is a big helping of guilt. Guilt about:
…not giving my daughters enough time and attention for home schooling
… not working enough
… not always cooking healthy, balanced meals
… working too hard
…not having a fully schedule itinerary for the 7+ weeks of the school holidays
I could go on. The question, isn’t “what do you feel guilty about?” but “What don’t you feel guilty about?” Women, whether they are mothers or not, seem to carry guilt around like a ball and chain. Why is that? I am often amazed at how my husband reacts to the same situation as me, in a totally different way. Guilt barely features, but rather a logical response to a situation that isn’t ideal. To him, guilt is a wasted emotion and, of course, he’s right. Guilt doesn’t help us be better, more useful or effective, and yet we continue to worry and punish ourselves over things we cannot control. Why is that? What does it give us?
My challenge for us all, (in the words of Frozen) is to “let it go”. Ask yourself:
1. Am I giving what I can to those I love?
2. Am I trying my best?
3. Is everyone safe and well?
If the answer is “yes” then you are winning. You deserve a medal. Even better, you deserve bolt cutters. It’s time to get rid of that ball and chain, once and for all.
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