I can assure you, that each time I write a post, I get a knot of guilt in my stomach. I question if am I exposing too much, or if I am doing a disservice to my family. I even wonder if Butterball will look back at my blog with embarassment when he is older. It is so obvious that I contain a lot of fear which then leads to classic self-sabotage. Ready to give up any venture in order to protect myself from failure, especially with creativity. In all honesty, I judge myself harshly and I think it’s time to stop. But how do you stop feeling guilty?
Since becoming a mum, guilt is trying so hard to be my companion. Baby crying? Oh that’s because you’re not good enough at knowing what he needs. Baby hungry? That’s because you’re not producing enough milk. Baby on formula? Well mama, maybe because you or your body are not trying hard enough. Baby not sleeping? That’s because you are not diligent enough with routine. Seriously, I have gotten rid of toxic people from my life, therefore I don’t need guilt to mosey on up, grab me by the hand and reitterate my fears of not being enough.
So, probably a month or so after Butterball was born, I began gaining confidence and decided to reassure myself that I was enough. My baby is loved. My baby is fed. My baby is warm. My baby is clean. Oh good lord- I am doing enough! I am enough as a mother. It is liberating to reach this place.
I also found that when I was doing a good enough job as a mum, I was able to look in the mirror. Bushy eyebrows, grey hairs, even a fuzzy mo! Are you for real? “Yes, my friend”, whispered guilt. I had not taken care of myself. And then my thoughts went on the guilt tangent. You’re no longer pretty enough. You’re not making enough effort to stay attractive. Unless you lose weight, you are not enough. And here we go again – on that damn guilty merry-go-round. Guilt and I hung out until I made an effort to get that grooming up and running again. FYI, I was high maintenance before pregnancy, so it took me a few trips to the hairdresser, waxer, laser therapist to feel enough for myself again. Finally I am edging closer to feeling enough, from a vanity perspective.
Meltdown guilt is a GREAT experience too. That is when you SNAP at your closest family members because they’re able to niggle at that, “I’m not enough” nerve, clearly without even knowing it. Next minute, an outburst of tears – and that’s not even from the baby. The person you sniped at is confused because they’re just doing their best to be enough. And guess who’s back? Back again? Guilt is back. Tell a friend. Actually no, don’t.
Guilt is poison and the only way to combat its venom is to keep assuring yourself that you are enough. Sure, you’re going to make mistakes, but keep that guilt away. Look forward, move ahead and keep doing a kick arse job of being enough no matter what life phase you’re in.