I’ve been thinking a lot about guilt because I experienced so much of it.
I experience guilt as a mom, as a daughter, as a friend, and at work… Guilt can come anytime and anywhere. And the guilt usually has to do with me feeling like I should be doing something else.
I was sick the other day. I had to call in sick and I was watching TV on the couch, which is what you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to lie down, relax and hydrate when you’re sick.
So I’m lying down on the couch and I hear my husband come down the steps and I nearly jump to look for my laptop to open it up so I can appear busy.
Why did I want to appear busy? Because I felt bad for lying on the couch?
And I thought, “Wow, that’s crazy, Whitnee. What you need to do is lie down. What you need to do is take care of yourself so that you can show up to work tomorrow, ready to go. So you can show up and take care of your kids. You can’t mom real hard when you’re sick, so take the time to take care of yourself, Whitnee.”
But no, my husband came down and this guilt overwhelmed me and I opened up my laptop. While nursing an illness, I still felt like I should be busy.
Be brave. Be courageous.
While nursing an illness, I felt like I should be busy. As a person who enjoys their career, who enjoys the work, who knows that their team is going through a lot, I felt like I should be doing work.
As a mom who has a child that has extra needs I felt like I should be using my downtime to find more ways to support him.
I was also about to travel out of town and there are things I thought I should be doing as a woman who is about to leave her family for a few days. I need to make sure that my house is set up for me to leave and that we’ve got all the right supplies in place.
These are all these things I thought I should be doing at the time.
Fill your glass so you can pour it into others’ pictures and do not should on yourself.
But there’s only one thing I needed to do – REST.
I had to remind myself, and this is the message that I want to share with you, “Don’t ‘should’ on yourself.”
“Should-ing” on yourself is doing what you THINK others need you to do. It is not about what you truly need to do. You need to be brave and courageous. You need to focus on what you need.
If you’re feeling guilty, that guilt is coming from a place filled with the expectations of others. Don’t should on yourself, mama. Look inside and understand what you need for yourself and take action on that.
Don’t do something just because everybody else around you is telling you that this is what’s important.
Remember: If you do something because of what someone else wants for you and not because of what you want for yourself, that’s when you nurture mom guilt.
Do things so you can be your best self, to be the best mom, the best worker, the best wife, the best woman. Do what’s best for YOU.
P.S. I have more resources to guide you to thrive as a working mom, my Clarity and Confidence bundle can reconnect you with what brings you joy!