I feel guilty that I don’t always (ever?)have dinner waiting or the house spotless when my husband comes home from work.
I remind myself that working from home does not truly grant me the assumed”free-time” that others believe that I have. In my work, I am firmly rooted to my home office desk for a full 8 hours a day, phone and computer in hand. And as soon as I’m off, I leave to pick up the kids. I’m not “home” at any length of time to do these things anymore than he is. When he gets home, he more often than not (all the time?) is the one who prepares dinner. During this time I try my best to straighten and clean. But in this, there is a finite aspect to his meal prep. Bellies full, we instantly reap the obvious benefit of his efforts. But the cleaning of the house? An exercise in futility at it’s best. The deluge of clutter remaining makes it difficult to distinguish what it is, if anything, that I even just accomplished here. Overwhelmed, I surrender in defeat to a sleep pocked in guilt-riddled dreams.
I feel guilty that I haven’t yet gone back to school and also that I have gone to school with massive loans to repay, all to end up in a career that doesn’t use a single bit of the degree in which I majored! I remind myself that it’s a job that grants me the flexibility that I need while my kids are young and that allows us all to travel, one of my top pleasures in life, on a world-wide scale that we could never attain if I worked anywhere else. But even though the pay and benefits are great, and even though I know college itself wasn’t a waste, I still can’t help but regretfully feel that so much time and money was squandered away, if in the end the degree will never truly be required in my line of work.
I feel guilty that I snapped at my kids yesterday and that honestly, on some days they have gotten on the last nerve that I had left. Then I think of all the many people in the world who would love to have children but don’t/can’t/no longer have. Of course then I feel like the World’s Worst Mother. Ever. And so sometimes a moment is needed in which I have to remind myself that if those people were parents, there would probably be times when they, too, just might lose their shit. Kids have a way of doing that to you sometimes. And I still have my bad days. Along with my many faults. Motherhood didn’t change that. But it did bless me with beautiful souls who, in spite of it all, never fail to forgive me and always love me anyway.
I feel guilty that sometimes, seemingly out of nowhere, my depression and fatigue become so crippling that a supreme struggle develops every day to even will myself out of bed. And then I get angry with myself. And embarrassed. Ashamed. Because I know there are people out there who are really sick. Terminal even. And if they can still face the day with a smile then I should really have no right to feel this way. And here is where I have to remind myself– of everything that I’ve struggled with since high school– all of my episodes, all of the relapses. The fear. The isolation. The darkness. Yes, I remind myself, if ever there was a case that proved just how debilitating this illness can be, it would be yours.
I remind myself, I remind myself, I remind myself.
All. the. time.