The Shadow of Guilt
We all face it- that dark cloud of guilt that shadows our daily lives. A nanny feels guilt that she spends more time with her charges than with her own family and children. Mom feels guilt that someone else is raising her child. Dad feels guilt that he has to spend time away from his family. The single parent feels guilt; the married parent feels guilt. At the heart of all of it is the fear that we are somehow failing our children. We all started the parenting journey with the expectations and ideals of what kinds of parents we would be and the life we would create for our children. And then reality happens. The wonderful parts of reality, the great memories we make, the vacations, the holidays, the summer lazy days and the fall festivals. Then there are the curve balls reality throws. So how do we shed the guilt?
To state the obvious – if you did not care, you would not feel guilty. Guilt typically comes from the belief that we have done harm to someone else and we feel bad about it.
Your children and your family matter to you. You do not want to fail them. You do not want to fail yourself.
For the nanny struggling to balance time away from your own children – YOU ARE PROVIDING. You are providing for your family. You are investing in the lives of multiple children. You are investing in making other families successful. This is an amazing opportunity to impact others in such a powerful way. Celebrate what you are doing well.
For the mom and dad feeling guilty because someone else spending more time with your children than perhaps you are able to – YOU ARE PROVIDING. You are providing the very best
for your children in terms of care. Your nanny is an extension of your love and care for your children. She is an advocate for your family. Celebrate what you are doing well.
For the single parent that feels guilty. YOU ARE PROVIDING. Maybe this is not what you would have chosen under other circumstances, but here you are. You are taking care of business and stepping up to take care of your family. You have an incredible opportunity to impact your children with your commitment, your stability and your personal strength. Celebrate what you are doing well.
When we start to struggle with feelings of guilt and it starts to affect the way we think and act towards those we love, we need to stop, take control and handle it. If there is something that needs to be changed, then change it. But, if you are just experiencing the nagging sense of having not done enough – please STOP RIGHT NOW. Shed light on that shadow! You are doing the best you can with what you have. Instead of allowing guilt to affect the time you do have with the ones you love, make sure that you are fully present and investing in them when you have the time. I promise, it will all work out in the end – as long as we don’t give up. So celebrate your loved ones, celebrate what you are doing right. And be proud of yourself.