Is it a woman thing? Or just a me thing? Does everyone else feel it? This constant sense of guilt? A low level humming that resonates through every aspect of life.
Let me illustrate with a typical day.
6am wake up. Spend 15 minutes getting ready. Mild guilt that I am not making the effort to do Eve Loms daily beauty routine of facial exercises and therefore inexorable march of time is causing key bits of my face to sag towards my feet.
6.45am. Wake children up. Give them breakfast. Slightly stronger sense of guilt that they will not touch muesli or other healthy breakfast cereal but fuel up on coco pops and Cheerios. Major guilt that they are watching CBBC and not doing mind developing, intellectual activities such as reading the newspaper.
7.00am. Set off for work. Nagging guilt that I am travelling in car by myself and thus practically singlehandedly poisoning the planet. Listen to radio on way in and feel guilt that a) I became a librarian and am therefore not in a position to do anything of much use to help in dreadful world affairs that are being reported on the news and b) am failing as a mother as child obesity is on the rise and oldest child only does football out of school once a week, youngest only does swimming out of school once a week. Try to think of a time when can fit more activity into schedule and feel great wave of weariness at thought washing over me.
7.30am. Arrive at work and spend a few minutes surfing web to find worksheets to help children improve maths/English/whatever. Then feel guilt as latest book on simple parenting says kids need more downtime and less structured learning. Un schooling is the way to go.
10.30am, email from friend to say her child is on the Talented and Gifted list at school. Guilt that I should be doing more extra curricular tutoring in key areas.
11am. Guilt that I am at work and not homeschooling the children
11.01 Guilt that I am not devoting 100%of my attention to work
13.30. Leave work and drive to mums care home. Guilt because I really want to keep driving until I end up in Costa Coffee and sit there reading a newspaper. Don’t keep driving but pull into care home. Guilt that I am not more actively involved in fundraising activities for the Home
13.45. Guilt that I am unable to make Mum better. Guilt that I was unable to care for her myself.
15.20 pick youngest up from school. Guilt that I am not better at networking and getting to know teachers. And in fact scuttle away in a frankly guilty manner if a teacher so much as looks at me.
16.00. Take youngest swimming. Guilt that oldest is left at home to “do his homework” when he and I both know he will spend 10 minutes doing homework and the rest of the time doing Minecraft.
16.30. Spend swimming lesson time marking youngest’s Kumon. Guilt that I am not watching her Stirling efforts at not drowning.
17.30. Shout at oldest for not putting more effort into homework. Guilt that am not modelling proper anger control mechanisms and not spending quality mentoring time with him.
17.35 start preparing dinner. Guilt that should be spending the time home tutoring the kids.
20.00 youngest in bed – guilt that this is far too late
20.30. Quick look at SouleMama. Guilt that am not a farm owning, knitting, sewing, crafting, homeschooling guru.
21.00 oldest in bed. Guilt that I am too tired to read to him as “older children greatly benefit from still being read to”.
21.30. Fall asleep on sofa.
22.30 wake up with severe crick in neck and stagger up to bed. Guilt that am not spending quality time with husband.
2.30. Wake up with strange, unexplained feelings of anxiety. Cannot explain why this would be so.
Is it just me? 🙂