Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Guilt

There's been a lot of talk on the airwaves recently about "Maternal Guilt". Basically what this says is that no matter what you decide to do as a mother, work, stay home, go to school, work part-time, put your kids in daycare etc etc etc...you are going to feel guilty. This sucks when you think about it, there es no way to win. I often have guilt- do I do enough around the house? Do my kids get enough individual attention? Do they get to much attention? These arwe NORMAL feelings. Sometimes I feel bad about my 10 minute shower feeling so good and wishing I took ten more minutes, then I feel bad about that. Every weekend I have guilt because Hey-I don't get days off work, hubby, you do, so take the kids for a while when you are supposed to be unwinding. I feel bad that I don't contribute financially-so things are pretty tight sometimes. HOWEVER, I realize that if I were working I would still have most of these problems, even less time to ddeal with them in, and any money I made would be paying for daycare, so someone else could raise my kids for me.
I think this whole concept is rediculous! Fathers have plenty of guilt but you don't get books and radio shows adressing that. Hubby works an average of 45 hours a week-oftentimes more, he only spends time with the boys when he gets home from work and all parties involved are tired and cranky, and on the weekends-his supposed days off, when he has housework he does plus any time we visit people come out of his weekend time. If the boys are sick and he wants to help out, we lose money or use PTO and lose vacation time. If he wants time to himself to unwind HE feels guilt because when do I get time to my self. Fathers have just as much guilt as mothers.
Here's the real deal as I see it. Parents have guilt. It doesn't matter how many kids you have, it's constant trial and error. You will never truly know how good a job you did raising your kids. No one ever has enough time to do what they want and need-children involved or not. All that making one parent or the other feel gender specific guilt will do is...Make them feel even more guilty and give them an out for feeling such. When I feel guilt I look at why and figure it out. If I'm in the shower it's necesary me time. I need to be clean and take 10 minutes to collect myself-yes-I could be doing other things, but they can wait. No I don't get a day off, but I get to witness every imprtant thing in my boys lives. Yes, hubby works hard to provide for us. At the end of the day, we are a well provided for family, not everything that we want, but everything that we need. Including strong rolemodels, the knowledge that our family loves each other, and the knowledge that my sons will understand sacrifice as they grow older. Sacrifice for ones family, hardly a sacrifice at all.

1 comment:

Sag66 said...

When I noticed all this parental guilt stuff in the media the first thought I had was that it was a ploy to get me shopping. In fact this isn't to far fetched since retail sales is mainly driven by either guilt or self dissatisfaction, which may be the same thing. I always remind myself that the only purpose of popular media is to keep their advertisers happy and that means getting us to shop shop shop.

Chris