Guilty as charged… that’s me! Maybe I’m different but I have a feeling that a great many women feel guilty at times in their lives too.
In fact, if you research it, you will find for some reason, we women feel much more guilt than men do.
Why is that?
I can only speak from my own experience and by doing so, maybe you can relate to it.
Why I Have Often Felt Guilty
I have felt guilty in a variety of situations. When I was a child, I felt guilty if I was naughty and had to be punished, especially if I had been nasty to my Mum. That never applied to Dad because I was scared to answer him back.
When I grew up and left home, the guilt came in if I didn’t visit Mum and Dad enough.
When I was first married, those pangs used to arrive when I didn’t cook good meals or I was disorganized in planning them.
Phew, this list is getting long isn’t it?
After my children were born, and I returned to work, I felt terrible leaving the kids. Like I was a bad mother.
It felt even worse when that marriage ended in divorce and I became a single parent.
I met my now husband when my children were 10 and 12 years old and I felt guilty bringing him into their life at first.
Crazy, I know but I did.
Pursuing a career in social work and going on to have a successful business career later on, I was at work more than I was at home. I wasn’t the slightest bit domesticated and often felt ashamed that I wasn’t a doting Mother at home with her kids.
I have even felt guilty about living in Portugal, away from my grown up kids, grandkids and the rest of my family.
You get the picture?
“Did Bill Gates feel guilty as he built the behemoth of Microsoft? Was Bill Clinton racked by personal failings as he advanced his political career? Maybe, but neither of them really dwells upon these topics in public. Contemporary women, by contrast (and I count myself among them), seem positively obsessed with our own trade-offs and misgivings.” – Debora Spar, the Atlantic, 2012
We are often told we can’t have it all. If we pursue our career/business, we can’t possibly be good Mothers and housekeepers as well.
It seems to be women who do more of the juggling than men but that is the way it seems to have always been.
More and more women are entering the workforce now and many more women are becoming entrepreneurs with their own business.
For many, working from home eases some guilt for leaving their children in childcare. Many women feel bad about leaving their children while they are at work. When home and feeling tired, guilt comes in when they snap at the kids or their spouse.
It seems there is a trade off – career vs. home, having children vs. not having children, domesticated vs. hating housework. The list could go on and on couldn’t it?
Living with guilt is draining and can be damaging to our esteem and ego.
“Healthy” guilt is ok, particularly if you know you should be. For instance, if you promised you would do something and you didn’t. It’s ok and natural to feel bad.
As women, we are socialized into behaving in a certain way and when we don’t fit the “stereotype” we feel guilty about it.
We are taught to be this “perfect woman” and if we’re not we feel like we failed.
There is no easy solution, there never is. We can come up with a lot ideas about how girls are brought up; how adverts need to stop portraying we are a domestic goddess, with perfect children.
The truth is those kind of changes will take time.
At the end of the day, it comes down to how we see ourselves. AND that is more than the demands of what society expects of us.
We are not perfect and never will be. If we don’t have everything, so what!
Live your life unapologetically.
Own your choices. We can’t ever have a one size fits all life for a woman.
Lets stop feeling guilty and apologizing all the time.
Do what feels right for you, your family and your life.
If you enjoyed todays post, Why do Women Feel More Guilty?, I would love to hear from you. I feel certain there are lots of women who have experienced guilt in one form or another. Or maybe its just me thats felt the guilt!
Leave me your comments below and lets hear your stories.
Helping Business Owners Climb The Ladder To Their Dreams
Email me at Lynda@lyndakennyonline.com