Wednesday, Jul 2 2008
View LYNNABEL's food & exercise for this day
Ive 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 Ellens lack of sleeping through the night and how it impacts Steve. Steve doesnt 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 arent the ones suffering? I do.
I think I feel especially guilty because when I was working at Novartis, I couldnt have been a top performer there without adequate sleep, so it felt like I deserved a good nights 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 dont deserve a good nights 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 dont 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 dont 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.
Im so much less focused on my career in my current position. Its both a relief and a worry to me. Im 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 wouldnt 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 Im getting anxious to move to the next stage in our lives. I probably need to remind myself that were 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.