As hard as I try to keep things in perspective and look at the positive side of things, there are times when I just want to sit in my puddle. For maybe even a brief moment, I want to scream, “Doesn’t anybody care that I am exhausted, stressed and worn out? This is NOT NORMAL and I did NOT sign up for this!”
And I hate to admit it, but at times, I carry that attitude around like a blanket…surrounding me in all I think, say and do. After a while, I don’t even realize it’s there because it is so comfortable.
I wonder if at times, Moms have just grown accustomed to wearing their Guilt Quilt. Maybe we become very comfortable in surrounding ourselves with an attitude that says, “I am a Mom; Mommy Guilt is real and there is nothing I can do about it, so I will just get comfortable.” As if we do not have a choice. As if guilt chooses us, instead of us choosing when and why we experience Mommy Guilt.
How can we possibly take off this Guilt Quilt?
I encourage us all to think back to the last time we lived guilt free. And as a person familiar with Catholic guilt, I do not suggest that it means NEVER feeling guilty. More so, it means to not let the guilt drive your attitude, decisions and behavior. Feeling guilt is one thing, letting it drive, is another!
A few questions to get you started….we’ll call it the Quick Guilt Quilt Inventory:
- What comfort do you feel having Mommy Guilt? (i.e., I have to feel some pain to show I am a good, selfless Mother? Putting myself first is just selfish? This is how my Mom did it and she was a great Mother.)
- How prevalent is Mommy Guilt in your life? (How often are you wearing the Guilt Quilt).
- When do you feel the guiltiest? Have you talk these feelings through with anybody? Is it about something that you can change? Could you change your attitude about the guilt?
- Identify ONE THING, that you have felt guilty about in the past (6 months, 1 year, 5 years ago)…have your feelings changed over time? Why? Why not?
While these questions alone will not take off the Guilt Quilt for you, they may get you thinking that it’s Springtime and being covered by a Guilt Quilt is not only limiting and negative, but it’s going to get pretty uncomfortable under there!