Wednesday, Jul 2 2008
View LYNNABEL's food & exercise for this day
Iíve been thinking lately about the amount and types of guilt I feel, and wondering what to do about them.
My biggest sense of guilt right now is about Ellenís lack of sleeping through the night and how it impacts Steve. Steve doesnít do or say anything to make me feel guilty about this, its entirely self-generated, but it makes me defensive and frustrated. Why is it just easier to suffer yourself through something than have someone else ďdo itĒ for you? Is this a characteristic of women? Do we feel guilty if we arenít the ones suffering? I do.
I think I feel especially guilty because when I was working at Novartis, I couldnít have been a top performer there without adequate sleep, so it felt like I ďdeservedĒ a good nightís sleep. Here in my new position, the nature of the work and the pace of company are such that I (in theory anyway) could be getting up with Ellen at night and not have my work suffer. So, apparently, I donít deserve a good nightís sleep. Or such must be my subconscious logic.
When I offer to do night duty, Steve says no. Which is his prerogative.
And I really donít need to feel guilty, objectively. I do my part on the weekends, and often even let him sleep in and have both kids on my own on the weekend mornings. I do almost all the dishes, I clean the bathrooms, I fold and put away all the laundry. I dust. I do the kids baths. I do almost all of the kidsí outings.
Who am I trying to convince? Myself? Is this in some way directed at Steve? Do I need to talk to him about it? I donít know. Steve is less apt to go over everyday minutia than I am, so I doubt he worries much about how does what and how much. I know I do more for the house and kids than many spouses of a stay at home parent, but I still feel guilty.
Iím so much less focused on my career in my current position. Its both a relief and a worry to me. Iím thinking about this because I had lunch with all my previous co-managers from Novartis on Monday and their intensity was palpable. They are frustrated and stressed, but also on an adrenaline high from the work and changes, etc. I think its best for me not be a part of that, and I know for a fact that my future opportunities there were next ot non-existent, but perhaps that very environment kept me focused on my choice to be outside the home.
Its not that I think I should be home full time. Besides the fact that that wouldnít work for my family right now, I do belong in the work place.
Maybe all of this is partly due to feeling a sense of relief when Ellen started sleeping better Ė a sense that maybe the intensity of having two young children was going to ease a bit. And when she started not sleeping well again, it felt like a mean trick. I think Iím getting anxious to move to the next stage in our lives. I probably need to remind myself that weíre in this one for another year or so, in all likelihood.
I need to unhunch my shoulders, breathe deeply, channel serenity, and take breaks when I can.