Thu 3 Jun 2010
It started innocently enough. I tweeted about taking a day to myself last week and how I felt guilty doing so. My twitter friend @StepMoms_Rock put me in my place and told me to ban the guilt. She was so right. Why do I feel guilty taking time to take care of myself?
We both started thinking “why do we as stepmoms feel so guilty about everything?” Before we knew it, we had decided to do a #BanGuilt blitz. We are on a mission to get stepmoms to stop feeling unnecessary guilt.
Guilt is an important emotion but it is one that is used to keep us from committing moral and legal offenses.
Last time I checked, reading a book, working out, sleeping in, sending store bought cookies to school with your kids instead of baking homemade doesn’t qualify for a federal offense. Not loving your stepkids like your own kids doesn’t make you guilty of being a bad person either. Wanting time to yourself, feeling like no matter how hard you try that your husband’s ex-wife hates you, having your efforts to connect with your stepkids repeatedly rejected isn’t anything to feel guilty over and surely doesn’t make you a criminal.
Don’t allow guilt to control your life. If you feel you have truly done something wrong, make amends and be done!
Peggy Nolan, of thestepmomstoolbox, is such a wonderful proponent of self-care and a real inspiration to me. She has encouraged me to embrace the time I take to recharge. While I feel completely refreshed when I do partake in self-care activities, I still struggle with guilt. I know part of it stems from being raised on a healthy diet of guilt. Buy why do I still allow myself to feel guilty when I know better?
Is it because between my husband and I we have six kids and its quite busy at our home? Is it because I think our house will fall apart if I’m not there to keep the walls standing up? I know I’m not a control freak although I will admit I have a very clear picture in my mind of right and wrong and don’t like to veer off course.
My parents taught me to put the needs of others ahead of myself. It is noble and I am thankful for the lessons learned and the mercy that I have for others.
I need to remember that I can put others first but not at the expense of myself!
One important reason to keep guilt in check is to model for our children, and especially for our daughters, the type of life we want them to lead. I do want them to make the right choices in life but I don’t want it to be out of guilt. Taking time to take care of myself sets a great example for them as they grow into young adults.
Please join me and Laura from Step Moms Rock to #Ban Guilt.
I make this pledge: next time guilt comes a knocking, I’m gonna try my best not to answer the door.
Please share the one thing you are going to stop feeling guilty about! Thanks.