The title of this post is a quote by Erica Jong from Fear of Flying and it is so, so true. Women feel guilt all the time. Especially women who are mothers. This post is about mom guilt.
I recently watched the movie Bad Moms with my husband. Yes, I convinced him to watch it with me and I think it was an eye opener for him. Expecting a very silly movie – and it definitely is silly in parts – there were so many scenes I agreed with. I was constantly nodding, or saying ‘yes’ in places that made hubby look up and take notice. One of the scenes was where Kirsten Dunst’s character, a worn out mother of four, tells her new mom friends that she sometimes fantasises about crashing her car, not bad, but just enough to get admitted to the hospital for a couple of weeks with minor injuries and all she has to do is sleep and eat and read books. The other moms call her crazy, but I have to admit that I have had that fantasy as well. Not recently, but the idea of not having to arrange anything, worry about anything, take care of anyone, is so lovely. Sure, it’s a bit drastic to want to have to be in the hospital to achieve it, but that sometimes feels the only place where I could relax and do nothing guilt free.
It is not enough that society somehow expects women to be everything to everyone: perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect sister, perfect daughter, perfect employee, perfect boss. But we as woman, and especially as moms, put enormous pressure on each other. Let me share a quote by Amy Poehler:
There is an unspoken pact that women are supposed to follow. I am supposed to act like I constantly feel guilty about being away from my kids. (I don’t. I love my job.) Mothers who stay at home are supposed to pretend they are bored and wish they were doing more corporate things. (They don’t. They love their jobs.) If we all stick to the plan there will be less blood in the streets.
We are not perfect. No one is perfect. Can we stop judging other women for being different mothers than we are? Can we stop expecting women to do everything (and then take credit for everything ourselves)? Can we just agree that none of us really knows what we are doing and we will muddle through it the best we can?
As you can probably tell, this post comes from my own frustrations and guilt. I am really not that good at self care, I usually blaze ahead until I run into a wall and spend a day in bed, reading and crying. Not the best, I know. What I would love to do is gather my other mom friends, go away for a weekend of indulgence which may or may not feature sex toys and focus on my own needs and pleasure for two whole days. Alas, there are two problems with turning this fantasy into reality: 1. my friends aren’t the types to be up for a sexy weekend away, and 2. I would feel so guilty being away from my kids for a weekend when I work full time.
I have no solution, I am just frustrated.