Guilt Guilt Guilt, oh and Guilt.
When you are pregnant everyone tells you how hard it is when you have a baby: the sleepless nights, the feeding, the nappy changing the wanting a minute to yourself to eat a biscuit, a large slice of cake or to inhale a glass of wine. Yes this is true, but I have found NOTHING to be as hard as juggling the constant streams of guilt I have recently been feeling.
Let’s take a moment here to split them into subcategories of guilt:
- Yoga teacher guilt
Loo at all of the ways I have been feeling guilty recently…yes there are really that many!
So, let’s begin with the guilt of all guilts: Mum-guilt.
I constantly find myself feeling like a substandard mother when I leave Penelope. Whether I’m going to work, going to a yoga class or trying to spend time with my friends, the guilt kicks in. I actually can’t remember the last time I spent time with my friends without Penelope because every time I have tried to, the guilt starts. WHY WHY WHY? I know that I have to work in order to earn money to keep penelope in her fantastic handmade rompers and last season’s Next clothes but also, every time I drop her off with my mum or the childminder I feel this overwhelming wave of “Well that;s me abandoning my child – off to do something I love!” I find myself wondering that if I had a job I wasn’t a fan of maybe I wouldn’t feel this guilt because I’d be having a sh*t time and morally that would be better? Who knows? All I know is that I did not address this early enough.
So now I am writing down my ramblings and trying to share my experiences of guilt so people know this is SO normal. I’m not sure it will ever disappear but I have been trying to ask myself: Does her dad feel like this? No. So why is it my responsibility to put all this on myself? Am I abandoning her? No freaking way – she is actually forming awesome relationships with people who are very important to me. They are shaping her in ways that I can’t and she is learning to be independent. So when I turn my rational mind on I can tell myself all these things, but that does not mean the irrational doesn’t come stomping in to shout my rational down, suggesting I might be a crap mum and that I will 100 % be the reason Penelope has abandonment issues. AHHH. I mean. AHHH. Right?
Some of my friends will be able to tell you that I’ve been, well…awful, to put it bluntly. Since having Penelope I have been flaky, unreliable and have pointblank refused to go most places without my daughter. I find it harder and harder to spend money on doing nice things with my friends when I could be spending that cash on Penelope, and sometimes I will read their messages and reply three and a half weeks later ignoring everything they have asked me because my brain is like one of those crispy bacon frazzles – a bit zingy but actually useless. Therefore, I have been piling on the “you are a crap friend” guilt which has been giving me anxiety because, of course, I do not want to end up friendless and lonely when Penelope has left home because I couldn’t leave her…I feel bad enough leaving her to go to work. Seriously guys, SEND SOME WINE.
This one is much shorter: I feel like I am a crap wife because I hand over the baby most evenings and then go to work. Owen and I don’t get much time together so then I feel guilty that I am letting my relationship go to rack and ruin (lol how dramatic). But on the days that I feel like this, Owen pulls me in and tells me I am the best mother to Penelope and wife I could be…and the slowly this guilt melts away.
So because of all of this other guilt, I have been neglecting myself. Surprise surprise, we are always at the bottom of our own lists. I had been forgetting to move, forgetting to get outside, forgetting to go to class. I was making myself poorly and not doing anything to change it because the overwhelming guilt from everything else meant I had barely any head-space to make myself happy. Yes, I feel guilty because I am neglecting myself because of all of the other types of guilt piling up…
Yoga teacher guilt
Am I good enough? I have been forgetting to get on my own mat so how can I share anything when I myself haven’t been self-practicing for a week? Do I know enough? Why don’t I know more? Oh my God I got my left and right mixed up and now the classe is ruined! And so on, and so forth..
So what I’m slowly but surely figuring out is that I have been drowning in guilt, but actually really, really trying to do my best. Deep down I know that I am the best mother I could be, I am a good friend still, I adore the practice of yoga and I try my best to learn new things and be knowledgeable and informed but all of that doesn’t stop me feeling this guilt. I am trying my best to locate my rational mind more frequently, but I accept that this something that so many people are going through then. I guess it’s sort of normal. It’s okay.
If you are feeling the same way, and want to chat then let me know
Love and light