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.

The guilt?

Still there.

14 thoughts on “Human

  1. That’s a great post. Guilt and female go hand-in-hand. Just because you have something that someone else wants and that something drives you crazy and makes you tired does not mean you’re ungrateful. I remind myself of this all the time, too. But that truth is what helps us be grateful and find the energy and patience. It’s a good thing. I like to acknowledge that life with young kids is kicking my ass in a way that I never imagined it would. It’s freeing to just say “this is hard and I’m struggling” instead of pretending everything is okay.

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  2. Working from home is horrible in my opinion. I started full-time working from home a year ago and no matter how hard you are actually working – at the end of the day you still feel ‘guilty’ for it. I don’t know why. I’m so glad that I got a promotion and now can go into work at least two days per week.

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    • I can understand that. I actually love it, and feel much more productive with my work than I did while in the office. What I don’t love is the insinuation I receive from people sometimes, even friends, that because my office is at home that I must have all this time on my hands to cook, clean, shop, and run a smoother household.

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  3. Great post Christina. Very relatable. Some of us are just wired up (or were taught) to feel guilty and not-perfect-enough. The trait merely looks for something to attach itself to.

    There’s still stigmas and envy even, when anyone does something “out of the norm” like work at home or work part-time or work for themselves. Like they’re not allowed to have normal-people problems (because they’re so “lucky”).

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    • Your comment just made me realize how I’m guilty (there’s that word again) of doing this myself! Like when I scoff at celebrities who claim they’re just normal people with the same problems as anyone else. Perhaps now I should learn to be more empathetic (although their money is still a “problem” I’d like to have, lol.)

      I know my guilt is self-imposed, as I can’t claim anyone has ever attempted to make me feel this way. Not anyone close to me anyway. But somewhere along the way I’ve picked up these “SuperWoman” messages from society-at-large and admittedly have felt disappointment in myself for continuing to “fall short” even though I know full well these ideals and standards are impossible and unrealistic. This dichotomy is just something I’m continuing to struggle with every day.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Colette, thank you so much for that, you don’t know how much that means to hear that. And your post isn’t “indirect”, its actually nail on the head and is making me think of yet something else to share. This might be something I’m able to expound on in a further post within the next day or two and I would love to link back to you when I do so. Thanks for making me think today 🙂

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  5. Pingback: Epiphany |

  6. First of all, depression is an illness — a medically defined one. So, if you are depressed, stop telling yourself that you’re not truly sick. Get help if you need it. Seriously.

    That said, we all have bad parenting days. Hell, I can think of bad parenting YEARS, LOL! We love our children, we keep them safe. Sometimes we have to forgive ourselves our foibles if we do those things!

    Working from home IS working. I did it when my daughter was young. It’s tough. Still, it’s tougher to work outside of your home.

    Feeling guilty is, sadly, part and parcel of being a married human who is a parent. I’m sure you’ll be just fine. Just breathe. Seriously. Just breathe!


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