I'm passionate about philosophy, but after having my girls I'm even more passionate about Mommy Matters

Monday, May 20, 2013

Guilt As Self-indulgence

     Yesterday I was reading in a book and the following dialogue struck me: 
     "There you go again."
     "What?"
     "Feeling guilty... you are a wonderful, honorable man--
     but you really are quite prone to self-indulgence."
     Guilt? As Self-Indulgence? "I never considered it that way
     before."
     After reading this I realized that I hadn't ever considered it that way before either. This subsequently made me think back to a conversation Husband and I had last week wherein he asked me if I ever don't feel guilty for doing something or not doing something. I said I guess I don't. I was talking to him about how I feel guilty for not making any money right now because I have put us into debt with my student loans. Plus I'm the one spending our money since I do the shopping as the stay at home parent. For the first time since I was about 16 I'm not making any money and it's just weird. This guilt thing isn't a new problem for me though, there are other times in my life that I hold over my own head because I made a mistake and can't forgive myself, despite the fact that no one was hurt and no one else seems to remember or care as much as I do about it. Not only are there specific mistakes I've made that I can't get over, I also tend to feel guilty if I'm not productive enough, which prevents me from ever really having a day off. My husband constantly tries to get me to just relax and let go, but for some reason I can't. If our house is a mess I feel guilty because I should be cleaning more, if I just "waste" the day away reading or looking stuff up online I feel guilty for not doing something else that I think "needs" to get done.
     My friend wrote a post on her blog awhile ago about self-esteem. I think that most of the time I have good self-esteem, especially since I've been married because my husband is always so good to me. While I was pregnant I was proud of being big and didn't really feel fat or sad about getting stretchmarks (I would have preferred to not have them of course, but I feel like they are just proof of my motherhood). I don't really think I'm one of those people who needs to be constantly complimented in order to feel like a beautiful woman or a good mother, but I obviously still judge myself when I don't do all that I want to do or think I should do. Why is that? 
     Maybe the passage from my book is right and I have given into a form of self-indulgence. I'm making my agenda and the list I have in my head more important than anything else, especially my own peace of mind and self-worth. So today I have decided to be better to myself and let these things go. All of the little mistakes I have made and haven't let myself forget are going out the window because I have learned my lesson from them, now it is time to learn an even bigger lesson. Not only is it more important to be happy than right, it is also more important to be happy than productive. It is nice to be right and productive, but it is better to let those things go and be at peace with myself instead. As long as Squeaker is taken care of and I'm doing all I can for her then everything else is just extra. If the house is clean, good, but if it's not that's good too. 
     I hate that there is a stigma in the world concerning stay at home mothers. They are lazy women with too much time on there hands who aren't ambitious. I can't believe that people think this way and when someone asks me, "What do you do?" I feel almost - you guessed it - guilty to say, "I'm a stay at home mom." I am not a lazy person and I'm not going to let myself feel guilty and lazy for not getting all the chores done everyday or making a four course meal everyday. I don't have too much time on my hands, if anything I have less than ever before and although I might not be ambitious about building a career outside of the home right now, I haven't ever been more ambitious in my whole life. I'm not ambitious about what society considers best for the economy, but I am ambitious about making my home a safe haven for my baby girl and helping her to be the best person she can be. I might not be climbing up some corporate latter, but I am raising a human being who will be helping to decide our future.
     So pretty much I wrote this because I knew that I needed to write it down before I started to let myself feel guilty for something else like not doing the dishes today or buying cloth diapers for my daughter when I'm not making the money that's paying for them. 
     I hope that all of you reading this know that you shouldn't feel guilty for doing what you love and being happy. I'm not going to anymore either. 

1 comment:

  1. Here you have started the toughest job on the planet, and you were feeling guilty because you weren't doing more? Hmm...

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