You’d think that staying home with my kids would be enough.
Neglecting my own career, letting myself fall into complaisance and inaction on that front (Praxis exam in one month? Studying? Nope.)…
You’d think that would be enough, wouldn’t you?
You might even think that spending each weekday with my kindergartener, facilitating his distance learning, helping him out and participating in ways previously unplanned would be enough.
What about meal planning? Making sure the fridge is stocked and we know what we’re going to eat?
Managing doctors appointments, dentist visits, haircuts, new clothes as needed…?
Shouldn’t that be enough?
No, evidently I am somehow not doing enough.
How do I know?
Because when I want to take the time to blow dry my hair… Or sit down and read a book… Or study for my Praxis exam… Or get on my exercise bike…
Or even (for Pete’s sake!) go to the gynecologist!
What do I feel?
This morning, for instance, I had a follow-up appointment with the gynecologist. (I still don’t have my genetic test results yet, by the way.)
When I got home, the first words out of my mouth as I walked in the door were, “I’m home, I’m sorry!”
Why was I sorry? Sorry because the appointment had taken longer than expected. Because I was away from the house long enough for it to potentially be inconvenient for my husband and son.
At This Point I Should Say…
That this supposed inconvenience does not exist.
This is all in my head.
My husband was quietly getting work done in the next room, while listening in on our son’s class.
He was not in any way inconvenienced, and his first concern when I got home was to know what the doctor had said and how my appointment had gone. He hadn’t even noticed the time.
Even on Sunday evening, after a nice weekend, when I had a headache and just wanted to sit in my chair, drink water and read my book, I felt a stab of guilt when I asked my husband to make dinner.
He had already seen I wasn’t feeling well. He was already on it. I didn’t need to ask. Much less feel guilty.
Why does the thought of taking time for myself make me feel such guilt?
Back when I used to meet up with people, why did I feel the need to apologize for wanting to spend an evening away from my family?
Most of all: Why do I feel like all that I do, is not enough? That it’s nothing special? That it’s not worthy of praise or being valued?
And I’m Not The Only One
A girlfriend recently told me she felt guilty for planning a weekend away to visit a friend.
When she asked her husband which weekend would be best for him, he literally responded with, “Whenever you want to go. I don’t care.”
Such nonchalance! Such unconcern!
How can we get that? How do we kick this guilt?
It Needs To Be Kicked
I feel like it’s important for me to kick this guilty feeling. It eats away at my mental health. It makes me feel like no matter what I do, it’s not good enough.
How can I possibly live up to these impossible standards I’ve set for myself?
I can’t. Because they’re not standards. They’re demands.
Unreasonable ones, at that.