The Feeling In A Woman’s everyday Life
I am a working professional. Hold a mid-level management post. Married and have two kids. Today is one of those days I need to stretch my shift and work overtime to complete the task. It’s a hard day. I called up home; my children were screaming in the background. I informed my family that I would be late.
I hang up the call and resume work, grab a coffee to keep me awake so I can finish up, and head home.
I finish late at night, reach home, have dinner set for me, and get to bed.
My family is proud of me and supports me since I am the breadwinner.
I am a working professional. Hold a mid-level management post. Married and have two children. Today is one of those days I need to stretch my shift and work overtime to complete the task. It’s a hard day. I called up home and informed my family that I would be late. My children are crying in the background. I can barely listen to or think of anything else now. I imagine they are hungry and missing their MOM. I am consumed by Guilt. Call hung-up. I told my boss I would resume work reaching home.
I reach home, prepare dinner, feed the children, attend to their needs, and tuck them into bed. Check things around the house for what is ‘on fire,’ attend to what I can… then proceed to finish my ‘work’ quietly and sleep exceptionally late.
My family is proud of me since I am the breadwinner too.
These scenes may sound like a familiar story from different families…or the same family with different individuals. And if I am guessing correctly, you assumed the person in the first scene to be a MAN while that in scene 2 to be a WOMAN!
Well, while we could debate the gender of the people in the two scenes, that is not the point here. The fact is the treatment of the situation by two different individuals. While both scenarios eventually ended on a good note, the 2nd one highlighted something else!
Scene 2 is the story of MOST WORKING WOMEN trying to balance a Career and Family. Scenario 2 highlighted excellent time management and situation management skills. But it also highlighted the extra labour the woman put in because of the Guilt she experienced when she heard her children crying and missing their mother. What this tells us is this –
While women are great at time and situation management, what they are PATHETIC at, is – GUILT MANAGEMENT!!
Guilt is not a feminine trait; to be specific, all and sundry experience it. But women take it upon themselves to be present everywhere, do everything, and perfect every task/event/activity/notion. Yet, somehow, they believe they must look after everything well.
Do Women feel more guilt than their Male counterparts?
OH YES! Most definitely.
And there are reasons for that. But, whether it is social conditioning, moral chivvying, or family-emotional blackmail, they buckle under the pressure; after a while, they become a part of the same system that pulls HER down by this guilt-tripping.
The list of guilts she subjects herself to is mind-boggling, phenomenal, and through the roof. She feels (or is made to feel) guilt for…
- not spending ‘enough’ time with her children/family
- not be around to see her children grow up each day
- not be there for them whenever they need her
- not be around for her family/friends
- not be able to give her 100% at work
- not be able to tend to her ambition
- not be able to get time for herself
- etc. etc. etc
When questioned about how she manages family and work, my friend once said, “Every day is bad for me. If I tend to work, my family suffers, and if I give into family pressures, work suffers!” Sadly enough, this is the story most women will vouch for experiencing personally. They live this 24X7, 365 Days a year.
Guilt, like any other, is an emotion. And it is subjective. It relates to a person’s judgment of right and wrong. Women have a solid inclination to ethics, moral virtues, and fairness. It, added to social and familial conditioning, makes the problem more vicious.
It goes on to mean that the more moral values you assume and conduct yourself with, the more guilt you may experience when things go wrong (or even do not go as planned.) Moreover, they learn from the conduct and behaviour of their predecessors, i.e., other women in the family/society. These archetypes get deeply ingrained, become a part of the subconscious, and become their intrinsic ‘Nature.’
Over and above this, if you have experienced any past traumas as a child or a teenager, you tend to assume more guilt in adverse situations. It is usually a result of self-sabotaging thoughts you keep revisiting, wondering if somehow there could have been a way to salvage the situation. Could you have averted it? Even when things go well with you but not with others around you, you experience guilt – sometimes referred to as ‘Survivor’s Guilt.’
More Morality = More Guilt
More Empathy = More Guilt
More Assumed Responsibility = More Guilt
More Past Trauma = More guilt
No Trauma = STILL MORE GUILT!!
So, it’s just guilt, right? So, what’s the big deal? BAD NEWS – Guilt is more damaging than you think.
GUILT – How Damaging can it get?
Guilt does not ruin your moment, minute, hour, and day; it runs deeper. However, it can ruin your entire personality. Cumulative guilt can grow so intense that you may find it challenging to get through each day. It gets heavy slowly but steadily and eventually to levels where you find it hard to connect with loved ones, family, friends, and co-workers. Your self-worth is defeated, and you rush from task to task to accomplish everything in one day to feel worthy of being alive.
Personally, you live a battle each day. Tired, exhausted, and defeated every day.
Professionally, your colleagues only see an already-tired, unpassionate, and incompetent person!
So, is there a way to stop this vicious and self-sabotaging cycle?
HOW TO STOP FEELING GUILTY?
Is it possible to stop feeling guilty? How?
YES – And the answer is SELF-LOVE!
Close your ears to the world and indulge in unconditional Self-love. Take a break when you can. Stop negative self-talk. Do not even think of yourself as second or inferior to anyone. The other person may seem to be doing better than you, be able to achieve more and pack more in the day – but remember, ‘Balancing Work and Family’ is MYTH. So let me shout this into your ears one more time – ‘Balancing Work and Family’ is MYTH, MYTH MYTH.
- No one gets it all right. Even if they tell you, they can – don’t believe ‘em!
- Get more accepting of yourself, do whatever you can best in the day, and move on.
- Understand that we may fail, and that is okay.
- Stop aiming for perfection lest you lose yourself. Not everything in the day will be ACE.
- Last and most importantly – Do not broadcast your life to people who don’t appreciate you. Know what legend says – People can’t ruin what they don’t know!!
Veena Gupta, a homemaker, doting mother, and a loving wife, who takes pride in a long-standing career in Banking and Finance. While her life took shape and as she was pursuing all this, something kept tugging her creativity. This pull lead her to decide to express her thoughts through writing. True to her name, her words flow from her pen to resonate with the reader’s mind like the soothing music that the musical instrument Veena creates! For someone who likes to experiment in life through adventure sports, trekking, and other varied interests, Veena likes to bring her experience, background and perspective to her readers through her simple yet effective writing to push the fact home!
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