LYNNABEL's CalorieKing blog

Wednesday, Jul 2 2008

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I’ve 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 Ellen’s lack of sleeping through the night and how it impacts Steve. Steve doesn’t 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 “do it” for you? Is this a characteristic of women? Do we feel guilty if we aren’t the ones suffering? I do.

I think I feel especially guilty because when I was working at Novartis, I couldn’t have been a top performer there without adequate sleep, so it felt like I “deserved” a good night’s 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 don’t deserve a good night’s 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 don’t 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 kids’ 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 don’t 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.

I’m so much less focused on my career in my current position. Its both a relief and a worry to me. I’m 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 wouldn’t 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 – 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 I’m getting anxious to move to the next stage in our lives. I probably need to remind myself that we’re 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.


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5 comments so far.


9 years ago

Thats Lana talking Lynnie. I bought the book "Shrink Yourself" to help me understand why I yo-yo regarding reaching and maintaining my goal weight however in the end, I found out guilt plays a major role in my life (wanting to be a better wife, daughter, friend and yet not always wanting the best for me, but why not?) Its a good read with quick chapter test at the end of each chapter to really make you think. You will then see Lana for who she is and love Lynnie for who she is, guilt free and with all the wonderful entitlements. Sounds weird but there is a little Lana in all of us.




9 years ago

I agree with Staci. It sounds to me like most of this stems more from your guilt over being a working mom rather than a stay at home one. Because your last position was so focused and intense, it was probably easier to deal with the need to b involved and dedicated to your career, and made the choice to work out of the house more of a given. As the tides in your career have changed, it's natural for your feelings about your role to change as well. Maybe because your job is no longer so filled with stress and charged with intensity, you feel that you're not doing as much as you were before. That might explain your need to pick up the slack. No matter what the motivation, I think that you and Steve have a pretty comfortable arrangement. I know that I always turned Eric down when he offered to get up at night, simply because I was so aware that I had the possibility of a nap during the day when he didn't. But I also learned to let him take over on Friday and Saturday nights simply because it gave him a chance to feel like he was connected to the kids that way as well. Maybe you can talk to Steve about doing nightly duty on weekends to break things up. :kiss:

by CBL



9 years ago

you have a wonderful partner in Steve and you shouldn't feel like you have to take on more than what you've both talked about as you started your family. I do think you're struggling more with the concepts of "traditional mom" versus "career woman" and if the nature of your work has changed significantly I can see how that would give you some reason to question your role. if you have more space to take on things at home I do think it's something you talk to Steve about. I also wonder how Steve is feeling, he may very well feel like you already do so much and he doesn't want to give up the parts where he feels like he's able to contribute and make your life manageable. I am probably more like Steve in that I don't tend to think about who's doing more, rather just on the things that need to get done. if Larry's working on a shelf for his computer and the cat litter hasn't been changed in a week, then it's something he'll hear about from me. :laugh5:




9 years ago

It's soooo hard when they aren't sleeping well. What if, when Ellen starts crying and you both wake up, you pat Steve's arm and say, "I got this one. You can get her next time"? That is, if you are a) awake and b) feeling like getting up. :laugh5:. That's kind of the pattern my husband and I have worked out. I don't know your husband, but if he's like mine, he probably doesn't think about getting up and how many times a night he's awakened, etc. He just stumbles blindly to her crib to see what's going on. PS: Don't be so hard on yourself!




9 years ago