Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Guilty as Hell

In the last few years (and certainly since I became a mother) guilt has been a major roadblock on my path to happiness. I frequently get consumed by it, even to the point where I have concluded that my family and friends would be much better off if I was not around.

A few months ago I decided to take a vacation from my problems (thank you "What About Bob?"). I decided I could go one month without feeling guilty for all the things that usually fill up my brain. I had a lot of doubts. What if I completely let loose without all the guilt to weigh me down? What if I go on some sort of crazy spending spree because I don't feel guilty about maxing out my credit card? What if I just sit around and eat bon bons all day (remember when that used to be the stereotypical stay-at-home-mom thing to do?) because I don't feel guilty about the calories? What if...?

Trust in oneself is incredibly underrated. Seriously, what was I going to do without guilt? Go on a murdering rampage? Of course not. Buy a hot tub, plasma TV, and a case of caviar? No. Let my kid watch too much TV? Probably.

I let go of the guilt and I trusted myself to not make bad decisions in the meantime. And you know what? I didn't (not any life-altering ones anyway). I found out that I am inherently a responsible person. I didn't need the guilt to keep myself on the straight and narrow.

Sometimes on this blog, I want to end a post by asking what my readers think or how what I write relates to their lives. I feel like this sounds like I think of myself as a guru or something, which I don't really know if I can pull off. But I would love to hear how you overcome guilt, or about things that you have taken a "vacation" from and how that worked out for you. And I encourage you to face down your worst fears about yourself. You never know what you'll find out!


  1. I constantly have a feeling of guilt. It is horrible. I am not sure why I always feel guilty and I have asked myself this question too. I feel guilty that my husband works so hard while I have the luxury to stay at home with Noah and go and have lunch with friends anytime I want. I feel guilty that i dont 100% of the time focus on Noah but would rather have him watch TV than have him sit next to me making up his very creative, long winded stories that sometimes seem to drain me. I have come to the realization that constantly feeling guilty is my personality and is who I am. I am OWNING IT!! It is who I am.....sure, I would love to change it but I also think it motivates me to try and be the best. If you come up with something that takes guilty feelings share! I guess i just dont have the will power to do it myself!

  2. Leah--acceptance is a great attitude! I find myself always feeling guilty because I don't do something, and I know that I CAN do it. The other day I just accepted that I am just lazy sometimes and that's the way it is.
    Also, I didn't mention it in the post, but I also had major guilt about staying home while Scott works. I figure that's just the way it is and the best way to make his day better is be happy myself. Now I try to enjoy my time at home more. Besides, I know I'll be back at work eventually. Maybe I'll be supporting Scott someday!

  3. I used to feel guilty about getting to stay at home, but I came to the realization that feeling lucky is not the same as feeling guilty. I work my booty off. Me and Mike's roles look very different right now. Both are equally important to our family, just very very different.
    PS I added this blog to my blog list.
    PPS I think you should have done something a little crazy during your week long guilt hiatus!