7 Apr
Posted in: parenting
By    Comments Off on Battling Mama Guilt with Doing Nothing

Battling Mama Guilt with Doing Nothing

Scenic View from Wyoming Ranch Weekend

Guilt consumes me when dealing with a packed schedule and a never-ending to-do list. I feel like no one is getting my best and nothing is actually being completed with any degree of satisfaction. I would love to crawl under the covers and not come out on most days. It turns out the best way to combat those feels is to do nothing.

Each spring one of my book clubs schedules a weekend away from home, spouses, work and children. It’s impossible to find a weekend that fits with everyone’s schedule. There are 29 kids, ranging in age from under-2 to 19 between the 10 women in the club. That’s a lot of lives to schedule around. This weekend five of us retreated to a ranch house in the country.

The days leading up to my weekend away are filled with guilt piled with more guilt. Every year I leave my husband with four kids and activities to attend. It’s nothing he can’t handle, but I hate missing things at home. I struggle with feeling ridiculously selfish by leaving my family yet not wanting to miss out on time with my girlfriends.

Hours before we leave each year, I’ve almost cancelled. My mothering guilt almost wins each time. Fighting against self-imposed guilt is exhausting for me and just silly. My family doesn’t implode just because I’m not there to witness something my children do. I’m not less of a mother because I haven’t been there for every, single thing that’s occurred in my children’s’ lives. Guilt is a powerful emotion. It’s unnecessary for me to be angry with myself for things I have or have not done. It annoys me that I spend time feeling guilty and then waste time feeling annoyed. The guilt cycle has to end.

I was feeling smothered by the demands placed on me. My solution: leave town and do nothing. It seems counter-intuitive I would come back to the same life demands and not feel just as smothered. I don’t though. Spending two days sitting in a blissfully quiet house talking about every conceivable topic without once thinking I had to do this or that, revived my mama soul. This morning was the first in quite a few weeks I didn’t feel anxious looking at the calendar or fret about how things would get done.

Scenic View of the Ranch Used for Our Getaway

Sitting with my friends hearing them share the same doubts, worries, loves and fears reminded me I’m not alone. There’s power in knowing I’m part of a village, a metropolis, of women who seek each day to do the best they can with what they’ve been given. I’m continually impressed and inspired by people’s stories.  Sharing my story, listening to others and fitting them together feeds my soul. Taking a step out of my daily life has me ready to jump back in. Of course, I may feel ready to jump back out by Friday.

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