Guilty As Charged.

Tell me if this is just a mom thing. I think it is, although I’m not quite sure. Why is it, that whenever I pause to do something for myself, I feel enormous amounts of selfishness and guilt? I feel guilty if I sit down at the kitchen table to work on a jigsaw puzzle that has been collecting dust. Or when I look at my toenails thinking I could really use a pedicure. Or when I just don’t feel like preparing a fresh meal from scratch, so I gather all the leftovers in the refrigerator that night for dinner instead. It makes me feel like a slacker, or a spoiled housewife if I take a shortcut or take some me time.

We have a huge house. I’m not kidding, either. It’s nothing special in so far as styling or design goes, but it is a monstrosity. We only live in half of it. The rest collects dust until we get overnight guests. If I happen to venture over to the dark side, the guilt pangs return in full force. These rooms need to be vacuumed and dusted, and the crap therein (which gets deposited in such places to keep the remainder of the house uncluttered) needs to be sorted and stored.

I am so torn. I like to keep busy. It is good for me to stay on my feet and be active. My exercise routine on some mornings might take as long as 2 hours to complete. At times, this can make me feel guilty as well. But I feel my workouts have a double meaning. Sure, I do it for my sanity, and to keep my girlish figure, but above all, I do it to stay healthy and alert for my husband and children. If the workout or the run doesn’t happen, I get cranky. Then, everyone suffers. That isn’t fair to them.

Perhaps I look at the whole aspect of “me” time the same way. Everyone suffers in one form or another if I take too much of it…or any of it.

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Maybe I’m just putting all this guilt on to my own shoulders. Maybe I should just take the time and see what reaction I get…if I even get a reaction at all.

My kids get plenty of “me” time. Even my husband gets his share. In the meantime, I’m preparing meals while vacuuming dog hair, doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, and filling out paperwork or paying bills. I’m not sure why I find it so hard to just take a break, sit down, and paint my damn toenails.

This is why I like race days so much. Sure, they can be stressful. I have to be sure I get enough sleep, get up at the right time in the morning, and get to where I need to be on time, but the rest of the day kind of becomes mine. I can stop for a cup of coffee, get a long shower, work on that jigsaw puzzle, request that we eat out, take the time to call my sisters, and somehow, not feel as guilty as I would on any other day. I don’t know why this is.

If you can relate to any of this, please raise your hand. But if this is not you, and you make time for yourself on a regular basis, how do you fight off the guilt? Do you get hounded for doing it? Do you stand up for yourself? Do you demand it? Or is it just expected by everyone around you that you just take it?

I suppose if my husband or my kids told me, “You are working too hard. Sit down and take a break,” I would. But no one ever does.

Lately, I’ve been passing stuff down to my kids to do. And that helps. But half of the time I have to finish where they left off because no one can do it quite as good as I can…at least I think that in my own mind. Perhaps if I stopped that way of thinking, I wouldn’t be in this predicament to begin with.

What would I do if I had more me time? I suppose, if I had all damn day to do anything, I’d run. In fact, I’d probably run to the next city, or state just for fun…and to get out of the house. Screw the toenails. I might pick up some of those magazines I get on a regular basis. Or the book I just bought for my Kindle, which will be in it’s 3rd edition by the time I get to it. I might even turn on some music, or sit down at the piano. Or perhaps spend all day fishing. Maybe I’d return to scrap booking or spend the day organizing the boxes of photographs I have piled in my office.

As I look at that paragraph above, and consider it, the more I think I need to schedule me time. It has to be on the calendar, classified as such. This way, no one has to ask what is for dinner that night, or if the laundry is done, or if I found that paperwork yet.

I wonder if that would work. I wonder if it were written in ink (or in the Google calendar), it would happen. I can’t help but wonder.

I think perhaps it is time to let go of the mommy guilt and paint my damn toenails.

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I’ll let you know how it goes.

Share with me your mommy guilt…or any guilt you have with taking me time.

 

2 Responses to Guilty As Charged.

  1. Petite Pacer says:

    yeah.. no guilt here..

  2. Patty says:

    Um, yeah… I named my BLOG No-Guilt Life to remind myself every day that it’s ok to do things for me. Sometimes we need a reminder that’s in your face. My kids are old enough to do lots of things I used to do- and yes, they do it poorly. But the cool part is that they have gotten better as time goes on. Bathrooms are getting there, dishes are solidly on track. If they could just get the laundry put away… ha! Hang in there momma. Guilt is a wasted emotion. Let it GO for sure!

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