Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Yoke of Guilt - Part Deux

Cross-posted and archived from DC Metro Moms.  Original post date March 18, 2008.

Last year when I was new to the whole work at home Mom thing I wrote a post about the guilt I feel and lay on myself. It wasn't so much that I had guilt over not enough time with my child or family it was the day in and day out beating I gave to just me over staying home and continuing to work. I couldn't find the balance. I wrote-

What it all really boils down to is that inherently in me I've always had issues with being at home. Now that I'm here in the daily mire of it and yes, the joys of it, I'm conflicted. I just can't seem to hand myself over to that domestic mommy. I can't and won't give up trying to write, no one wants me to, but I can't seem to find a balance that sits well with me. I can't seem to cut that yoke of guilt that builds and builds it's weight on me until I practically collapse or have a series of breakdowns and fights with H (my husband).

Looking back now I realize that while I have gotten better, the guilt is still there. I feel guilty for having the privilege to stay home while others do not but may want to. I feel guilty that I don't bring in the same money that I used to and that has altered our life somewhat. I wonder if while pursuing my dream I am also being incredibly selfish. Then I think, screw it! It is my life and we made this decision as a family because if we didn't we were heading towards the big 'D'. Divorce.

The constant stress of my job, my need to break out and try writing, our business and my husband's 9-5 job had us pulled at all angles. Every point was a breaking point and if we had been given six more months of living like that I think we would have both been paying lawyer fees right about now. Our family was suffering tremendously and something had to give. The guilt I was feeling then was all consuming. It was the guilt of never having the time, patience or even desire to really be with my child. She was just another chore. It pains me to even type that but at the time she felt like a box to check on the giant checklist of day to day life. The guilt I had living and growing inside me then was dark and twisted. It ate away at me.

While guilt no longer eats away at me and I have found more of a balance in my work and home life I still allow myself to let that yoke fall down on me from time to time. I blame it on society for telling me to be all I can be and always want more, that what I have is never enough. Isn't that the best way to absolve yourself from guilt? Blame it on others? Well, there you go. In all seriousness, they only way I have found to absolve myself from this guilt is when I discuss it all with my husband and by blogging. Once it is out there like that I am free. In that way and so many others I am thankful that we have stayed together as a family and worked through everything. I'm thankful everyday for the opportunity to blog. The community out there in the blogosphere has done wonders in dealing with my guilt for the sheer fact that I know I am not alone.


Linda said...

I am right there with you. I worked from home on various contract jobs up until last July when I stopped bringing home a paycheck and started blogging/writing my book. It's been a nice balance for me since I no longer 'work for the man' but instead write when I'm inspired. My kids get my time and I get my projects. My husband knows how much I need this writing time so I get mother's helpers to play with my kids while I write. I, too, will never be the creative mom who gets down on floor every minute of the day to play blocks, Legos and house. I share most of my time with my kids, but need my own interests and outlets as well. I have gotten over the guilt now after 4 years.

Reply March 18, 2008 at 10:23 AM Lawyer Mama said...

This is part of my problem too. Working full time is just so exhausting that there isn't much left at times.

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