Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Guilty as charged

I have been thinking a lot about guilt lately. I'm not sure why-guilt is always a part of my daily life. Why am I writing about it now? I don't know. I just know that I constantly feel guilt in all aspects of my life. No matter what I do I feel like I am cheating something or someone else out of something.

When I 'm at work I feel like I am being less of a mom. When I am at work and thinking about my kids I feel like I am doing a disservice to my students. When I am focusing on my husband, I feel like I should be paying attention to my kids. When I am playing with my kids, I should spend time with my husband. When I am reading a book, I should be cleaning my house. When I am cleaning the house I should be playing with the baby. Tonight I should be at a parent meeting for my first grader and I'm not. So I feel guilty. And the list goes on and on and on. . .

I can make myself feel guilty about the littlest things-like buying a coffee when I am trying to save money. But I can't seem to stop doing the actions or feeling guilty. Maybe I like to feel bad? Maybe I feel like feeling like a martyr?

I have a wonderful husband who never makes me feel guilty. I do that all on my own. He encourages me to be easier on myself and let go of the little things. Live my life. But I have never been good at letting things go.

For tonight I am going to let go of the guilt that goes along with not going to the parent meeting. I don't really want to go. I speak to the teachers all the time anyway. Am I less of a parent for not going? I hope not!

7 comments:

Rach said...

I totally agree with you. I think it's about tryint to live life in the moment. Trying to be truly present in whatever you are doing. It's a real challenge, especially because we as working mothers and wives and pulled in so many different directions.
Excellent post!

chaviva said...

Hi Elisha - Thanx for starting a blog. I now have more nursing entertainment. Okay, I have two thoughts. One, regarding guilt, I think that is part of being a mother, especially a working mother. We are always divided, so much to do, too little time. It's all about the choices we make and learning to live and be comfortable with the choices that we make on a constant basis. Second, regarding the class meeting, it was very stupid. My dtr's class met at 7, a very lovely time for a meeting. I rushed to get out, and the meeting was uneventful. Six parents showed up. I totally messed up my baby's schedule for the night by going. I think I made the wrong choice and you made the right choice. I guess you win some you lose some.

Leah said...

Elisha - it's so nice to know the real things you are thinking about - when we are on the phone, we so often about speak about practical things, besides having the kids yelling and dinner cooking, etc. etc. - or that feeling of guilt when your kids are vying for attention while we're on the phone..I think you blogging is great!! I hear what your are saying about the guily feelings, I have them too, especially in re. to working and being a mom..but I agree with Rachel..live in the moment. I try to remember that I am doing the best I can, and have faith that that will be potrayed to my kids..

savorit said...

I agree with all the other ladies, that guilt runs eternal when you are a mom, but it requires a lot of energy!! So do your best to make a decision, be present and accepting of that decision and then move past the guilt. Funny you should bring this up today, because I'm reading The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt (I think I once saw it on your bookshelf). If you haven't read it, you should, because it is hilarious and totally relatable. Also, perfectly short essays so you can read less and spend more time with your kids. Hahaha..

Love you,
M

elisha said...

Wow-I love you guys!! Chaviva, thanks for letting me feel better about the meeting. I think I often feel bad because I don't want to be judged badly. I need to care less about what others think! Leah-we do need to spend more time talking about stuff like this-that's what great sister-in-laws are for! Thanks for all the great thoughts.

Orah said...

I don't even think you have to be a MOTHER to feel guilty, just a WOMAN!!! It's a life requirement.

Emily said...

Oh Elisha...guilt is such a familiar feeling that when I don't feel guilty I think that something is wrong..or missing. I am so proud of you for starting your blog btw. you are the first blog I have ever read. when will you start a book list link? i heart you a lot.