Superhuman Guilt

“How can you give your family the attention they need while working full time and writing so much?”

When posed this question by another author at National Conference, I was halted in my tracks. Guilt is a problem for me. With 1 rude question, this author unknowingly hit me right in the gut. Though I’d love to be Wonder Woman (and hubby would totally dig that outfit!), I know I’m no super hero(ine). I do worry about short-changing my children or my writing, but I can’t give up either. I’ve worked too hard for both.

balance, family, writing, romance author, choices

I can’t quit my day job, as much as I’d like to, because my family needs me to work for a steady income. At least for the time being. That’s simply life at this moment. And as much as I’d like to complain about it, I won’t. My hubby has gone above and beyond to take care of the kids and family responsibilities so I have more time to write. I won’t fuss about the demands on my time when he has just as many on his.

So this is a dilemma I have struggled with since I went back to work full-time, particularly when I’m on a deadline or have to say “no” when my kids want something because there aren’t enough minutes in the day.

So when I heard Kristan Higgins speak at RWA Nationals, it truly struck a chord. Both lunch speeches were awesome (other was Cathy Maxwell), but 1 particular statement by Kristen pierced my heart. It wasn’t the focus of the speech in actuality, probably something she ad-libbed. But it was something I desperately needed at this stage of my career and life.

She talked about a time when her husband worked long hours. She was helping him study for firefighters testing and they had a small baby. In order to help their family out, she strapped the baby to her chest while she cleaned a few houses. “Women do what they need to,” she said. “If you are doing what your family needs, be proud of that.”

What? I’m a mom. I’m not proud…I’m guilty of not being Super Woman!

But she’s right. I should be proud

-of finding a fulltime job that pays decent without having recent experience.

-of working every day and still chasing my dreams.

-for teaching my children that dreams are worth sacrifice and hard work.

-for focusing on my children in the time I have with them.

-Making an effort to include fun activities or things they want to do when I can.

-expressing my gratitude for and to those who help me, including my husband, kids, mother, mother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, and many others.

That, I think, is something to be proud of! All of you hardworking moms and dads out there, what are you proud of today? Give yourself a shout out! You deserve it!!!!

Dani

 

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4 thoughts on “Superhuman Guilt

  1. Fabulous post, Dani! Just what I needed to read so I can be proud of doing what I do despite the time it takes me away from my loved ones.

  2. I struggle with this every day. Why do people try to make women feel even more guilty than they already do? You’d think women would know better, but maybe it makes them feel better (i. e. superior) about their own choices. Ridiculous. We all work hard, and we do our best. That’s all that matters.

  3. That is all that matters. I don’.t give my all to my family, but then neither do most stay-at-home moms either. I may have volunteered more at school than I do now, or cooked more dinners maybe… but I’ve had more than 1 woman condemn my choices. I try to shrug it off, but its hard, as I’m sure you all know. I’m trying to hold tight to Kristan’s message! I’m finally bringing money into our household with my writing. On top of everything else I contribute. That’s something to be very proud of!!!

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