Feeling guilty…

Pulled in every direction, by everyone and always finding something on the “to do list” that didn’t get done…

Just thinking about us, women, especially mothers.  And if you are a mother who is also a wife, I doff my hat to you.  I know that you don’t receive any monetary compensation for the work that you do in your home, and I’ll go out on a limb and say I bet you don’t get much “praise” either, but we don’t do what we do for the praise…right?  We’re supposed to love working for everyone all of the time, right?  Hmm…

Logging on to Twitter this morning, one of the first tweets to greet me in my timeline was a blog post by a mother who had recently returned to work…OUTSIDE of the home!  She was actually apologizing to her blog’s followers for her recent absence as she learned to balance work and home again after having been out of “paid” work for over a year!  I can only imagine how many times she will feel compelled to apologize to her children for having to bring them to school on days when they’re not feeling 100% because she can’t take a day off from work to stay home with them.

My mom used to always tell me when I was a little girl, “a man works from sun up to sun down, but a woman’s work is never done”. Being a little girl, I didn’t know what she was talking about and honestly, I didn’t care.  I mean, why should I?  I was a little girl, and I wasn’t concerned about the work that women had to do…or men for that matter.  Boy, I should have been taking notes!

Fast forward to now and I find myself repeating those same words.  Whether I am preparing something for a client (who is paying me in dollars and cents) or taking care of household chores and running errands for my family and friends (those who are NOT paying me in dollars OR cents), I find myself working…almost constantly.  Sometimes I have enough nerve to say “no”, but then I want to go back and apologize to accommodate them, and neglect my rest and sanity.  But why?  I mean is what they’re asking for really THAT important?  Can’t it wait until I get in my “me time”?  Probably so, but like I said earlier, if I’m only going to put it off, then, things will pile up on me, or them, which translates back to me…huh?  Can’t I just say “no”, and mean “no” and forget about feeling guilty because I said “no”?  Shouldn’t I take the sign down that says “at your service” or “sure, how may I help YOU”?

Actually, I’m not venting or upset at all…I’m just thinking aloud.  I’ve often heard it from other women that they feel guilty, especially if they’re fortunate enough to “work from home”, but it just doesn’t seem to make sense or to be balanced; what is the guilt for?  Is it because women are so much more efficient than men, (or so we think) that we feel as though we’re doing a disservice to mankind by not taking charge of almost every situation?  Are we secretly fulfilling our own need to feel needed?  Or are we just “push overs”, you know “nice guys”?  Maybe it’s just simply that we are just used to playing the role of doing all things for everyone, and getting little or nothing in return.  I’m just curious, who started this trend?  

Well, that’s it for now…I have to stop writing;  I really do have work to do!

-Toni L. Rousell, Publicist & PR Professional

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