Friday, May 05, 2006

Enough with the Guilt Already!

Okay, I'm the queen of organization with my time. I have my daily page goals mapped out for the next six months. I know what I need to get done by when to make my deadlines and still have time to get run over by a bus (always got to factor in the bus scenario). I am always in control.

But then, eleven weeks ago, my life changed forever with the appearance of a darling little baby girl... and suddenly I became Stephanie the Guilty.

If I'm writing, I feel guilty I'm not being a mom.
If I'm with my daughter, I feel guilty that I'm not writing...and my 7/1 deadline isn't going away on its own.
If I'm writing or doing the mom thing, I feel guilty that I'm not exercising.
If I'm exercising, I feel guilty about not writing or doing the mom thing or anything else.
I constantly feel guilty that the house is a mess (because I'm *never* working on that).

I have become Guilt Woman. No matter what I do, it's not enough. It's awful! I am SO grateful to be able to work from home and to be there for my daughter all the time, but with work omnipresent and my daughter omnipresent, suddenly I'm feeling so overwhelmed!

I've been working so hard on giving myself the freedom to be human. To not write as many hours as I used to. To not feel bad writing while my dh is bonding with the baby in the other room. To force myself to take time to exercise or go to lunch with my friends (bringing along my daughter of course!). To relish the time I get to spend with my daughter, even if the cursor is blinking at me on the screen, calling for me.

I've talked to other working moms, and they all tell me the guilt never goes away. Ugh! I want it to go away! I want to feel great no matter what I'm doing, knowing I'm doing the best I can!

So that's my resolution. To admit I'm human. to embrace whatever I'm doing at the moment, and to not feel bad! And, of course, I vow never to clean my house again. Some things simply can't make it on the priority list!

So as of now, I hereby declare that I am Good Enough.

So there.

Stephanie Rowe
DATE ME BABY, ONE MORE TIME (Available now!), read an excerpt!
MUST LOVE DRAGONS, 11/06 (new cover has just been posted!)


Diane Perkins said...

All we each can do is the best we can at any given moment. Your darling daughter will still thrive under your love, even if you are not perfect. Your editors will survive a missed deadline or two. Feeling overwhelmed will eventually feel like one's normal life state.
So do embrace the moment, Stephanie! Life is so good to you right now. And you are always Good Enough

Michelle said...

You are Good Enough, Steph!

And your third title just made me snort Crystal Light out of my nose.

Elizabeth Hoyt said...

*snicker* Michelle has Crystal Light nose!

Y'know, I think the guilt thing is a problem for all mothers--not just working moms. I think the guilt means you're trying to do your very best and because you're such a good mom nothing you do is good enough for your sweet baby. Or child. Because, bad news here, Stephanie, the guilt doesn't leave just because the baby grows out of babyhood. I'm beginning to wonder if it will leave when the child becomes an adult.

MaryF said...


But I could have written this post ;) And my baby is almost 15.

Diana Holquist said...

Stephanie, you've already learned rule #1 of working motherhood: dirt is good! Really--there's scientific proof. You are definitely going to be just fine.

One thing about just having a baby that no one bothers to tell new mothers is that 2 mos. after birth, your hormones are still bouncing around like crazy. This is NOT a normal time. It's true that there's always guilt...but guilt + hormones is something else altogether.

Hang in there! Life does get more stable.

Colleen Gleason said...

Hang in there, Steph! Motherhood is wonderful, and each day there is something new to experience with your daughter.

However, you're not just a mother. You're a woman, too, and you still need to take care of yourself and enjoy things that you have always enjoyed. If you don't, you'll be less of the fab person that you are, and less of the mother and role-model for your daughter!

Hugs to's a tough, special, stressful, wonderful time. Take it easy on yourself and do your best to balance.

And by the way--I read Date Me Baby over the weekend and I loved it! Can't wait for Dragons!