Recently, as the end of winter break was creeping up on her, a friend of mine, posted on Facebook about how much she had left to do before school started again. She is a teacher, a mother of two girls and a wife. She wondered if she could have done more if she had not enjoyed as much time with her family. Of course, her friends commented and reassured her.
Why? Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves? We cannot be perfect. We cannot take care of everyone and try to be everything to each person in our lives. And then, when…when do we think to take care of us?
We don’t…and that is the big problem.
We, as women, are designed to take care of others.
It is in our DNA. Actually, I am guessing on that, but I am figuring it might be in there along with all of our other “womanly traits.”
Mom Guilt…Wife Guilt…Daughter Guilt…most of us are guilty of it. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.
- Are our kids alright? Are they eating enough? Eating too much? Sleeping enough? Sleeping too much? Too much screen time? Too little technology? Will they fit in? Will they find their way as they grow up? Will they remember every single thing we have told them as they were growing up? (By the way, just threw that in to see if you are paying attention—of course not for that one!)
- Is our partner happy? Are we together enough? Are we together too much? Do I nag too much? Is our union as exciting as it once was? Are they bored? Will they look for someone else? Someone younger? Someone prettier? Someone more exciting who likes to do things and not complain?
- Are our parents okay? What will happen if they cannot take care of themselves? Should I spend more time with my parents? Are they eating enough? Eating too much? Are they getting out enough? When they couldn’t remember the name of the neighbor from thirty years ago, was it nothing, or a sign of things to come?
I could go on and write about job guilt, as well, but I won’t since I am sure that you all could fill in the blanks yourself. And with all this worrying about all these topics, we get lost and forgotten.
When is the last time, you, as a woman, did something you wanted to do? Read a book, listen to a song and sing, go for a walk, learn an instrument, or binge watch a show of your choosing. I guess some people probably do get excited to scrub the toilet, bathtub and wash the never-ending supply of dirty dishes, but I think most of us do it for the cleanliness of it, not the excitement of the soap scum being gone.
Personally, I have a lot of clutter. It is a small house and lots of things in it. The papers pile up and then go I through the pile to see what I can get rid of, but there are some things I need around which make it look messy. Plus, with a child who has many toys, dolls, stuffed animals, etc. things tend to pile up. All the main parts are clean, of course, the bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen, and clothes but there are lots of things that are out on counters and tables.
I think that if I had lots of money and a bigger house, I would have places for everything. Maybe. If this writing takes off and I find myself in that position, I will let you know. But for now, if you come to my house for a visit, I will move my stacks around, or hide my pile of papers in the cabinet. They will still be there after you leave. I would rather spend my time visiting and sharing friendship, then worrying about if there is a speck of dust on the shelves. By the way, there is!
So, can we, as women, think of ourselves? I know it sounds selfish. Can we pursue our hobbies, our passions, in between shuttling our kids to activities, making dinner, doing laundry, and taking care of our spouses and parents? I, for one, am going to try. That is a part of contributing to this blog. I love to write but there is not often time to sit and just let those thoughts come to mind.
And for my friend, spending the time with the family, trumps cleaning, organizing and anything else that you are behind on. In the grand scheme of things, who cares about the other things, unless it is a bill that needs to be paid, because you do not want to mess that up, especially the mortgage!
As the years go by…and they seem to be flying by…those kids will grow up, and start their own adult lives, our parents will grow older, and it will not matter about cleaning out the garage or organizing the Christmas decorations, but that extra snuggle time, or sitting on the couch watching a holiday movie, or just sitting and visiting with your parents? That is what you need to grab a hold of, those precious moments and organize them in your memories. Those “ordinary” moments are not so ordinary after all.
So, what about you? Do you fit your own hobbies and passions into your busy life? If you haven’t in the past, will you think about it now? Even carving out 5-10 minutes for yourself can make a difference. And no, scrolling through Facebook is not the same thing.
Comment below and tell us how you have managed to do it or maybe that you are going to start to try.