3/14/2017

mother guilt

It would be a lie to say that I don't have guilt in my life because I do. I always will. That's nothing new. But, here's the thing, I don't feel guilty about how I parent.

I work part-time. 3 days a week and sometimes I work more. I also set aside time for writing -- here and on other creative endeavors. All times where I can't devote time to Bailey. All times where I am away from Bailey. And, yet, I don't feel guilty about working. I never have. I never will. I don't see the point. It's stupid and ridiculous. No, I don't think you who do feel guilty are stupid. I just think working guilt is a waste of time. 

I do miss Bailey. If I could have it my way I would happily spend twenty four hours seven days a week with her. She is my world. I adore her. Not only as my child but as someone who is fun to be around. I miss her constantly because the world is a little less bright when she's not around. But I don't feel guilty for having to be away from her. 

And, yes, I do for financial and health reasons, need to work. To maintain a lifestyle that we have all become accustomed to, to fix significant financial errors I made during the worst years of my anxiety and depression. So, yes, due to my own shit, I need to work. But I don't ever feel the need to explain myself. I don't ever care about judgement or perception. I only care about the happiness of my family. Nothing else really matters does it?

I have to admit, that I don't understand mother guilt in this instance. I don't understand why we let other people's perceptions and ideas shape our happiness. Because it shouldn't. If you are a mum and you work that's fine. If you are a dad and you work that's fine. If you are a stay-at-home mum or dad that's fine too. Yet, we seem to let society pigeon hole us into who we are and who we should be. We let social media snapshots of perfect moments of someone else's life make us feel bad about our own. We let bikini bodies define us. We applaud "honest" revelations about marriage issues and screaming children and sneer at "fake" ones with seemingly perfect marriages and kids. Why?

I know it's really simple to say but who cares? I know it's easy to just have no fucking clue about it all because I don't care. I know that. But, honestly, why are people, and yes, women especially, spending their lives feeling guilty about something that is right for them and their family? Are we so terrified of judgement? So worried that people are going to look down on us? That people will think we're bad parents? Because we work?

Here's the thing. I don't care what people think of me. Yes, I have my down moments that are, annoyingly, linked to my mental health but, or the most part, for ninety five percent of the time I don't give a shit. Because humans are flawed. Because I am flawed. Because I actually like myself and what I see in the mirror. Because my family is really fucking weird and I adore them. Because I don't care to put up with people who are rude and judgmental. Because I know that's all on them and I don't think it has anything to do with me.

Because I can live quite happily in this world with people thinking that I am a bad mum because I work. Or that I was a bad female for being a stay-at-home mum. That I'm a bad wife. That I'm a bad daughter or a bad sister. That I wear stupid clothes. That I'm unfashionable or fat or ugly or stupid. Because I just don't care what anyone thinks of me. I know my heart. My daughter knows my heart. My Husband knows my heart. That's all that matters.  

I just wish that the world could be that simple. That we could embrace everyone for their differences and applaud people for doing what was right for them. For what made them happy. That we could stop letting other people define our happiness. Because I live in a world where only I can make me feel bad about myself and it's pretty fucking wonderful. 

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