The guilt thing

Guilt is for suckers.

Did you know that?

It’s something new I learnt over the weekend from my mate Carolyn. Carolyn is one half of an online magazine for women, Champagne Cartel. She’s honest, straight up and tells you how it is. I think she’s all kinds of awesome.

It was at the Style + Champagne event she co-hosted over the weekend that she enlightened us all with that pearler. Guilt is for suckers.

It felt like a light bulb moment for me, but after thinking it over for the rest of the weekend, I realised it wasn’t something new I’d learnt. I’ve known for a long time that holding onto feelings of guilt for absolutely no reason is bad for me. How can it be good?

I just can’t for the life of me stop feeling guilty about … everything. My friend suggests we blame our Catholic upbringings 🙂

At the event, Carolyn shared with us that 96% of women feel guilty about something every single day.

There’s no doubt I’m in this percentage, however it’s more than once a day that I feel guilty. Some days I can find myself tangled in a web of guilt. When I allow myself to spiral into that negative, anxiety-ridden, angsty place in my mind, I find it hard to claw my way out, to shake the guilt, and move on.

In any given day, I will feel guilty and worry – those two go hand in hand for me like hot chips and vinegar – countless times.

I will feel guilty about not spending enough time with the kids, not doing enough educational work with them, spending more time with Miss Five than Miss Three, not seeing friends, or not cooking a gourmet dinner every night.

We had Dave’s brother visit from New Zealand over the weekend and I was wracked with guilt for not cooking him dinner on the night he arrived. I’d had a jam-packed day. I was out from 7.45am until 5pm, not to mention I’d risen at 3.30am that day to do some writing. I was buggered and just didn’t feel like cooking. I had made the decision that I wasn’t going to cook dinner and that we’d get takeaway instead.

I should have felt confident in my decision. I’m not superwoman. I can’t do it all. Instead, I worried about it all day. I was riddled with guilt. He’d travelled to see us and I couldn’t even give him a home cooked meal. What a terrible host.

He didn’t care and I shouldn’t have either. I’d made the decision. I should have felt confident with it and not let myself feel guilty all day long.

Carolyn admitted she feels guilt occasionally and when she does it’s more like a niggling feeling of a pebble in her shoe. She said feeling guilty gives us a chance to revisit a decision we’ve made. If we’re comfortable with that decision then there is no room for guilt. You need to kick that A-hole guilt to the curb.

I was in awe. Who is this woman and how did she get to that stage in her life where she doesn’t feel guilt?

I spend my life saying sorry and you know what? It has got to stop. I need to cut that shit out. It’s exhausting and it’s not helping anyone.

Feeling guilty does absolutely nothing for me other than turn me into an unhappy stress bucket. I need to end this daily dance I do trying to find the balance between making myself and others happy.

So, I’m going to try Carolyn’s tactic. If I feel guilty during the day, instead of letting it consume me, I’m going to look at the issue worrying me. If I’m happy with the decision I’ve made then guilt can be told where to go. If I’m not happy about the decision I’ve made then I will revisit it and make it work to relieve me of any guilt hanging over my head.

Sound like a plan?

What’s your relationship with guilt like?

Linking up today with EssentiallyJess for IBOT.

57 comments on The guilt thing

  1. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    May 3, 2016 at 10:06 am (1 year ago)

    I had to kick it to the curb years ago, it was either that or lose my mind with 3 kids under 3.5! So glad you’re going to be kinder to you x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 3, 2016 at 9:41 pm (1 year ago)

      Good on you, Em. Here’s hoping I’ll be as successful at it as you!

      Reply
  2. Kathy
    May 3, 2016 at 10:11 am (1 year ago)

    I’m so with you Renee – I’ve written before about feeling guilty for feeling guilty! However I am a recovering guiltaholic and it is probably yoga that has helped – I have prioritised it, and now the teaching and instead of feeling guilty about it I know that I need it. I still feel guilty about other things slipping, but I try to put them into the big picture and look at things with soft eyes. That’s the secret I reckon. If you look at yourself with soft eyes then you will really only feel guilty on the rare occasions when you do need to take a second look at yourself. X

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 3, 2016 at 9:42 pm (1 year ago)

      Ooh I like the idea with soft eyes. I’ll keep that front of mind. Thank you x

      Reply
  3. Haidee@Maybe Baby Brothers
    May 3, 2016 at 11:34 am (1 year ago)

    I feel most guilty about my food choices and how they affect my weight. I’m worrying about weight and yet I still eat food that I know isn’t good for me and then I feel guilty about it! It’s so dumb. And I feel guilt if I don’t have a chance to read the kids stories, if I’m in a hurry to get them to bed cos I’m exhausted … yeah, I feel ya! LOL. #TeamIBOT

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 3, 2016 at 9:43 pm (1 year ago)

      Food guilt is a big one for me too. You know you shouldn’t have another choccie bikkie, but you just can’t help yourself and then you end up feeling guilty. Sigh.

      Reply
  4. Sarah @sarahdipity
    May 3, 2016 at 12:56 pm (1 year ago)

    Oh gosh I can so relate! I’m trying to let go of feeling so much guilt about things which, at the end of the day, don’t really matter that much.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 3, 2016 at 9:44 pm (1 year ago)

      True. We have to put it all into perspective.

      Reply
  5. Lauren @ Create Bake Make
    May 3, 2016 at 2:05 pm (1 year ago)

    Unfortunately guilt and I have a very strong relationship, it’s something I’m working on but I think it’s going to take a long time before we can break up completely x

    Reply
  6. Vanessa
    May 3, 2016 at 2:24 pm (1 year ago)

    I don’t do guilt (99% of the time). I don’t have the time or energy for it.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 3, 2016 at 9:44 pm (1 year ago)

      Good on you! I don’t know how you do it.

      Reply
  7. Josefa
    May 3, 2016 at 2:38 pm (1 year ago)

    Go you! I have been working very hard on my guilt, I cam to a similar realization some time ago and since then I have been giving guilt the flick. Look there are times in life when is guilt is good, necessary even. But the daily hammering we often subject ourselves to is not necessary and can be replaced with feeling quite the opposite of guilty. But i work at it, because the default is guilt – so until that changes I will keep working at it xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 3, 2016 at 9:45 pm (1 year ago)

      Sounds like you’ve already made great progress, Josefa. I hope I can too x

      Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 3, 2016 at 9:45 pm (1 year ago)

      Sounds like you’ve already made great progress, Josefa. I hope I can too x

      Reply
  8. KezUnprepared
    May 3, 2016 at 3:23 pm (1 year ago)

    Perfect way of looking at it. I’ve been making headway with the guilt thing in the past couple of years. I think a lot of mums feel absolutely horrendous guilt about taking care of themselves (i.e. needing time out from the kids or spending a little cash on themselves and not just the kids or hubby etc) and if I could tell other mums anything it would be that this kind of guilt is definitely not worth beating themselves up about. I have reached a place where I unapologetically do what I need to do in order to be a sane person who can make my kid feel loved and secure that when I leave, I’m coming back even better. I’ve managed to fine-tune the guilt thing so that if/when I do feel some guilt I know it’s for a reason and just a reminder to restore some balance. Reminding myself that every moment moving forward is mine to make any changes helps a lot. It’s never too late to try again. Oh, and kick the judgey people who think you should feel guilty to the kerb too! x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 3, 2016 at 9:46 pm (1 year ago)

      Great advice, Kez. I love the way you think. Having some time out for me definitely makes me a better mum.

      Reply
  9. Lauren - Gold Coast Mum
    May 3, 2016 at 3:52 pm (1 year ago)

    I hear you! I frequently have the guilts – am I spending enough one-on-one time with each of my 4 little ones, am I spreading myself too thin when it comes to work and relationships. All a juggle.
    Some times a couple of vinos and a spot of karaoke can do wonders. 😉 xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 3, 2016 at 9:46 pm (1 year ago)

      Ha! Yes, I bet it can 🙂 xx

      Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 3, 2016 at 9:46 pm (1 year ago)

      Ha! Yes, I bet it can 🙂 xx

      Reply
  10. Hugzilla
    May 3, 2016 at 4:43 pm (1 year ago)

    OK, in all honesty – and I’m not saying this to be smug, or to be a jerk – I honestly don’t feel this guilt. At all. It actually mystifies me, because sometimes I feel like the only one, and that there must be something wrong with me. I figure that I am doing the best I can with the energy and resources and knowledge I have at the time, so why feel guilty? I kind of feel like my kids have hit the jackpot with getting me as a parent. I love them, care for them, have the resources to house them, clothe them and provide nice things for them. I put their wellbeing above all else. Lots of kids in the world don’t have that. Lots of kids don’t have caring parents, or a safe and nurturing upbringing. My kids are so lucky that they do. Sure, I’m not perfect, but perfect is overrated. I am good enough. And that’s enough.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 3, 2016 at 9:47 pm (1 year ago)

      Ahh. You’re my hero. It makes perfect sense when you explain it like that. It’s hard to change a lifetime habit, but I’ll work on it.

      Reply
  11. Annette
    May 3, 2016 at 4:50 pm (1 year ago)

    I don’t feel guilty. Not even for saying that.
    Guilt is wasted emotion in 99% of cases.
    Throw that burden OFF your shoulders ladies.
    It isn’t serving you, or anyone else.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 3, 2016 at 9:48 pm (1 year ago)

      Wow, Annette. You mean business. Have you always had this relationship with guilt or was it a realisation you had at a certain point in your life?

      Reply
  12. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    May 3, 2016 at 9:38 pm (1 year ago)

    That sounds like a plan and a good one at that. I work on the premise that if I’m doing the best I can I have nothing to feel guilty about. It’s always good to remind yourself that you can do anything, but you can’t do everything xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      May 13, 2016 at 6:14 am (1 year ago)

      That’s great advice, Sammie x

      Reply
  13. Cam @ Gen-Y Mum
    May 3, 2016 at 9:39 pm (1 year ago)

    It’s a hard habit to kick. Especially being a mother. Do keep us posted with your experience, the good and bad!

    Reply
  14. Vicki @ Knocked Up & Abroad
    May 3, 2016 at 10:22 pm (1 year ago)

    Although we haven’t met, that Carolyn sounds like an awesome kinda chick. I do get the guilts. Not about everything. I can filter it sometimes but there are some things that eat away at me and it’s no fun. Your plan sounds like a good one.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 6, 2016 at 1:53 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Vicki. Here’s hoping 🙂

      Reply
  15. Bron from Flat Bum Mum
    May 3, 2016 at 10:36 pm (1 year ago)

    Yes!! I have stopped saying sorry recently and I am loving the freedom of not apologising for stuff. I have noticed how much other people do it though. Guilt is so embedded in us females that it takes real effort to break it.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 6, 2016 at 1:53 pm (1 year ago)

      You’re exactly right. It’s hard to change what’s ingrained in you.

      Reply
  16. JodiGibson (@JFGibsonWriter)
    May 3, 2016 at 11:01 pm (1 year ago)

    I’m like a work in progress with my guilt. I used to be wracked with guilt – especially when it came to parenting. Now though, I’m learning to acknowledge that I’m doing the best I can at the time. And in that moment, that has to be good enough.
    I’m going to take on Carolyn’s advice too. Sounds like a plan to me!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 6, 2016 at 1:54 pm (1 year ago)

      I like your way of thinking too, Jodi. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves we all have our limits and are doing the best we can x

      Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 6, 2016 at 1:54 pm (1 year ago)

      I like your way of thinking too, Jodi. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves we all have our limits and are doing the best we can x

      Reply
  17. Bec Senyard
    May 3, 2016 at 11:11 pm (1 year ago)

    I don’t usually feel guilty.. I just sometimes think I can do better… so maybe I do suffer from guilt of not achieving to my own standards? I’m glad you had a great time on Saturday. You looked absolutely stunning. Glad you got a lot out of the event. x

    Reply
  18. Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection
    May 3, 2016 at 11:12 pm (1 year ago)

    I’m a lot better at the guilt thing but it still chases me down. I find if I go away or have a night out, I cook the next day out of guilt (I hate cooking) whats that about?

    Reply
  19. Adam Edwardson
    May 4, 2016 at 12:26 am (1 year ago)

    Try to spin it on it’s head Ren. Would Dave’s brother feel guilty for not cooking for you under similar circumstances….. Probably not, so neither should you. Do the kids resent you for not spending more time with them……. of course not, so dont guilt yourself. You haven’t gone out of your way to be helpful/friendly/useful to someone….. would they feel guilty if they hadn’t gone out of their way for you…..nope. You can be ‘selfish’ and still be an amazing, friend, mum, worker, wife, sister in law etc…

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 6, 2016 at 1:57 pm (1 year ago)

      That’s a great way of looking at it, Adam. I think it’s definitely more a female thing than a male thing. Dave’s bro wouldn’t feel guilty, but perhaps his wife might?? I like your thoughts about being ‘selfish’ and still being the best I can as mum, wife, etc. Thanks x

      Reply
  20. Nicole@ The Builders Wife
    May 4, 2016 at 9:47 am (1 year ago)

    Since my 30’s I have always tried to use guilt as a positive emotion. While I am not always great at doing so, most of the time I use a thought process very similar to Carolyn. I hope you can move forward in doing so as well. xxx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 6, 2016 at 1:57 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Nicole. I hope I can too x

      Reply
  21. Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    May 6, 2016 at 6:06 am (1 year ago)

    I think the more I age, the less guilty I feel. I mean, I can even get on a plane with my husband now and not feel guilty about leaving the kids at home with their grandparents. That used to be all consuming and I couldn’t enjoy myself … but as I age (and as they get older) the guilt is dissipating. Yay!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 6, 2016 at 1:58 pm (1 year ago)

      Yay indeed!!! I think it’s hard not to feel guilty when the kids are young and you want to go out and do stuff. It’s hard for me anyway. Glad to hear it gets easier 🙂

      Reply
  22. Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
    May 7, 2016 at 6:55 pm (1 year ago)

    Guilt and I are best friends. I blame my Indian upbringing…Indian families are very good at laying the guilt on thick! I hate it. I can’t even eat a chocolate without guilt eating away at me. I’ve got to take that advice and put an end to this. As you said, it does nothing but cause stress!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 12, 2016 at 1:13 pm (1 year ago)

      Oh Gosh! I hear you. I blame my upbringing too. It’s hard to break old habits x

      Reply
  23. Jo @ You had us at hello
    May 8, 2016 at 1:39 am (1 year ago)

    I feel guilty I’m a stay at home mum sometimes. Even though that’s what I saved for years ago and husband and I planned for. In a small town and you’re not working people start wondering “what does she do all day?”When really it’s no ones business whether I work or not. It took me a long time to be comfortable with no longer contributing financially once the kids arrived. After being an independant woman and then to be dependant on husband was a real learning curve. Carolyn so knows where it’s at 🙂

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 12, 2016 at 1:17 pm (1 year ago)

      I totally get that, Jo. I think I would feel exactly the same. It’s tiring worrying about what other people think of you all the time. I wish I could be more like my husband and brush it off x

      Reply
  24. Anne
    May 9, 2016 at 1:40 pm (1 year ago)

    Sounds like a great plan, something I also need to do!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 12, 2016 at 1:18 pm (1 year ago)

      I have a feeling many of us do 🙂

      Reply
  25. EssentiallyJess
    May 9, 2016 at 10:27 pm (1 year ago)

    I’m so exhausted, but I haven’t finished last week’s IBOTs and I feel guilty.
    I often feel guilty, and that’s probably half the reason I’m exhausted. You’re right, it has to stop.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      May 12, 2016 at 1:20 pm (1 year ago)

      It is tiring work, that’s for sure! The guilt, that is.

      Reply
  26. Sam Stone
    May 15, 2016 at 6:44 pm (1 year ago)

    I constantly feel guilty. But am always trying to lessen it.

    Reply

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