The guilt trap or is it just love?
I have read and heard so much about mum guilt , I feel guilty about it....
I don't know why mums seem to feel guilty and dads, not so much. Maybe dads do feel guilty but they just don't harp on about it? Or maybe it's just the way we have evolved. In pre-historic times, women looked after the children, while men went off to hunt. It makes sense then, that to protect the human race's very survival a women should feel guilty about everything to do with her children.
Perhaps our pre-historic brains just haven't evolved enough to cope with this modern society yet. The animal in us doesn't realise we have to work, we sometimes want a night out, we can't always give our children the best of everything, we sometimes lose the plot because they've pulled our hair for the 100th time that day and we are not sure how we are ever gonna get any work done, as they just won't have their nap.
Women have a natural propensity to put themselves last. We create a false prison for ourselves in our quest to make sure we are doing everything perfectly for our families. I have recently noticed, that becoming a mum, has cured my natural aptitude for being lazy and putting everything off until tomorrow. Now I do what has to be done as it comes up. It's like being a mum has put me in this tight space in which everything must get done. There is no room in my life for lose ends anymore and that's because I now only have room for Phoenix and his dad and that's why I know that 'mum guilt' is not 'guilt' at all, it's an overwhelming love for our children. So much love, that they fill every part of us to the brim, they imprison us with the fear of losing the joy they bring and there is no longer any room for nonsense of any kind. The guilt/love prison, is a backs against the wall, wonderful, scary place to be.
When I sit down to write my blogs at night and Phoenix is happily playing with his father. I thought I felt guilty about leaving him. Not so, I just love him so much I miss him.
I'm doing a presenting job next Wednesday, which means I'll have to leave Phoenix with my mum, as I'll have to stay in a hotel the night before. He loves his granny and she will look after him a million times better than I ever could. Still though, I thought I felt guilty about leaving him, in case he's worried about where I am. Not so... My heart just misses him before I even go.
I'm a terrible cook and I know he doesn't eat as super healthily as his peers. I thought I felt guilty about not being able to give him the most nutritious diet on the planet. .... But it's not really guilt. It's love. I love him so much, I want to be the best mum I can be and the only reason I feel so guilty about anything, is because I love him so darn much.
There are probably 20 things a day that I feel guilty about when it comes to my family. 20 reasons that show just how much I love them.
I know it's the same for all of us. Mums and dads too but guilt is just love and that's to be celebrated.
So now when I feel guilty about anything, I am going to remind myself to smile about it and allow my heart to grow with it. I'll smile because it's a reminder of what a wonderful family I have and how lucky I am that I feel so guilty about them. I don't want to get rid of my guilty feelings ever because they mean I know true love. I will happily live in my mum cage, trapped by guilt and fear. It's a beautiful place to be.
I'm not saying, give in to the guilt and stop everything you're doing. We are sensible enough creatures to know when the guilt is just a love pang and when it's a warning that we need to change our ways for our babies happiness. I imagine 99 times out of a hundred though, it really is just a love pang.
So next time you feel guilty, don't fight it off. Say, YES! What a wonderful feeling of love. How lucky I am to experience the greatest love of all with such intensity. Embrace the guilt, dance with it! It's your guide to make sure you are doing a great job. Look on it as the spirit of your ancestors watching over you because they know the value of new life and they are just reminding you that it's the most natural and 'species protecting' thing in the world to feel guilty. To protect the future. To feel true love......