Letting Go of Guilt
I spent International Women’s Day baking up a storm in my kitchen – mostly for my kids and my husband – because I can. It was on my to-do list which reads a bit like this:
Bake cookies for after school snacks but make sure they are low in sugar;
Cook baby quiches for school lunches so my kids don’t die of boredom;
Make sauerkraut so we get all that lovely fermented goodness into our tummies;
Call the builder about the tiles for the new bathroom;
Pay the bills;
Write 2 new blogs for clients;
Grocery shopping (this is on my list every single day).
Readers of my last blog will know that I recently left my job and decided to become a domestic goddess – hence the baking. So far it’s been a fascinating experience and I’m loving it. About the time I made the decision to leave my job (if you missed why – read the last blog) – I was listening to a podcast containing the dulcet tones of the fabulous Danielle LaPorte – a Canadian kick arse woman of super powers who I highly recommend – particularly if you are a woman. Danielle told me to decide exactly how much I wanted to earn and how. To write it down and declare it to the universe. So I did. I kept it simple and I’m not greedy. You could blow me down with a feather when within 2 days I had been approached by 2 different clients to write for them on a semi-regular basis. It’s exactly what I asked for and it makes me very happy. Knowing what it is you really want seems to be the key to success.
But it’s not just my little bit of freelance work that is keeping me happy – it’s the space and time that I have to support my family and myself. I am watching my children benefit from my extra space and time right now with things like improvements in maths, extra sport, healthier food, long deep conversations and curling up to watch movies together. And I am healthier and happier – less grumpy and tired and certainly more fulfilled.
I am a raging feminist. And I am in no way afraid of that word – in fact, I’m bloody proud of it. Women fought for equality – they fought for choice – they didn’t fight to increase their workload and responsibilities by more than double the men in their lives. We didn’t fight to give up motherhood or to become nasty work obsessed automatons for some greedy corporate organisation. We fought so that we would be considered equals. We fought for the choices that work for us.
In my life I made a choice quite late in my child bearing years that I wanted a family. I had to fight my biology to have that family. In the process I lost my bankability as a corporate worker but I don’t personally regret that for one tiny second – I do regret that the world we currently live in makes that the case though. And I am absolutely DONE with guilt because I don’t earn “enough” money. I have wasted years feeling guilty because I wasn’t working full time. How stupid. I hope the time might be coming when women and men can value the work that gets done at home and in raising children. I think that women have so much more to offer our workplaces than replicating the behaviours of the male leaders who have gone before. A successful future for all of us is in embracing the feminine as well as the masculine in every area of our lives.
So let the guilt go sister and be proud of all that you do for your family whether you work or not, and for the time you spend becoming the best version of yourself.