You might have guessed, that my theme this week is questions! Plus, my blogs have changed a little, as I used to blog when I had resolved a problem of mine, or for someone else’s situation. Whereas now I’m blogging in the midst of a problem. I’d be interested to know what you think about the change, as the blogs develop!
My question today is ‘Howcome do I feel guilty, that I really could do with some help for the last 2 hours of the day before the kids go to bed?’.
These hours tend to consist of the baby deciding she would like to be permanently held (but not in a sling, obviously, because that would be too easy!), whilst the generally well behaved 4yr old, gets tired and cranky, thus losing all ability to think rationally. Recently, the dogs have helped out with a weeks worth of puking, and now the odd pee incident, for no apparent reason. My husband’s job suddenly changed the day after the baby was born, and he now doesn’t get home at the time he used to, which means he can’t even help with the juggling a windy screamy baby, whilst reading a story and putting a bedtime nappy on the 4yr old. So the task of cooking a quick meal, feeding the dogs, tidying the house, putting the washing away, and getting everyone ready for bed, has become a new form of very noisy torture ;o)
So howcome, do I feel guilty, when I realise that I could do with some help? I didn’t feel guilty about getting a cleaner, because I could feel I deserved one as I was working. I didn’t feel guilty about her being expensive, because otherwise I had to clean after the cleaner went, which kind of defeated the object. I didn’t feel guilty about buying myself some clothes. But for some reason, there is a tinge of guilt that suggests that I ‘should be able to cope’, especially as I’m a born coper!
One of the reasons that my stress levels are exasperated is because I don’t have a Mum to complain to daily in order to let off steam (this is my fantasy of what a Mum would be willing to put up with!), and there isn’t any family locally to help out. All the Mums nearby are of course very supportive, but also going through the same thing, or just escaped the same problem. The difference is, that I don’t have the carrot of a regular potential visit from a Mum, who would put a duvet on me and take away my responsibilities for an hour (again another TOTAL fantasy, as loads of people don’t have Mums or Mums with duvets).
Now the importance of the question, is because when you ask it, you can face it and see it’s basically daft, whereas before it was an internal niggle that wasn’t getting me anywhere. What’s the worst thing that could happen?
Well, people will find out that I’m not perfect, and that my only solution was to bring in an extra pair of hands. That’s not so bad. After all, I’m luckily not selling myself as a perfect Mum, so it shouldn’t put people off.
Potentially, people could dislike me because they don’t like to be reminded of their fallibility. This is very likely, and could affect friendships and work. However, in life, there are always going to be as many people liking you as disliking you, so it will be balanced out.
Some people will criticise me for having the money to be able to do it, and throw at me the fact that they don’t have family, or a partner, and they can manage. But in fact what I’m doing is swapping my cleaner (that I didn’t feel guilty about), for more hours with a mother’s help, so ironically it would be purely how I was spending my money that was the issue. Plus this way, I’m going to be helping out another local mother/grandmother financially, which is I think a very sensible way to spend my money. However, they would be right, because I’m not great at these last 2hrs of the day. I LOVE being a Mum, but notice that I do also work part-time because I couldn’t be a full-time mum. If I was advising me, I would remind myself that we are all great at some things, and not so great at others and that there is a reason that I work part-time.
Some people might criticise me and ask how can I help other mums with my blog and business, if the only solution I could find to this problem, was to pay for help? Which would be a valid comment too. But, it wasn’t the only solution. Actually, I’ve been tackling this issue for 9 weeks now, bit by little bit. I’ve helped the 4yr old with his insecurities, and added in a star chart, which is really helping him. I’ve taken the baby to a chiropractor to reduce the screaming in the car and enable her to sit comfortably in a bouncy chair. I’ve changed my priorities, so that there is as little as possible to do in the evening. There have been lots of little steps. In fact last night, I interviewed someone for the job, and the house seemed calm, so I wondered ‘maybe I don’t really need help?’. But just as she walked out the door I discovered the dog pee in a corner, realised I hadn’t emptied the tumble dryer, was shouted at for not playing by the 4yr old, the baby woke up and screamed, then the internet shopping arrived late, and I still had dinner to cook, a 4yr old to get to bed, and then a sick husband walked through the door!
So what I need to do is remind myself that I’m a great Mum in my own way, and my little boy would prefer I spend the money on someone to be an extra pair of hands, so that I can give myself totally to the job of being the best that I’m able to be. Meanwhile, I got an email today from a master practitioner of the methodology that trained in, asking for help with finishing a self-session. It’s made me feel great to be asked, and in no way have I judged her. In fact it made me realise, that I could then swap a session with her, and pay the mother’s help to cover me, in that way making me even more fun for my son to have around.
If you are feeling guilty today, try these questions out too, because they might make you feel better …
- What are you feeling guilty for doing/not doing?
- Why do you feel guilty for it, is there really reason to feel guilty about it when you look at it?
- What’s the worst thing that could happen: face the fear and guilt, it might not be so bad.
- How could you and your family gain or benefit from it?
- If you are judging yourself for being rubbish at something, what are you great at, and why does it suit your family that you are the way you are.
Thanks for listening, it helps to sort my squashy brain out when I write it all down! I’m also not going to feel guilty about the fact that I’m going to eat a chocolate bar now, because since I ate one yesterday my milk has been back on form ;o)