I've been spinning around this idea for years. I almost called this blog mom guilt but realized it goes so much deeper than that. We as women are typically raised by amazing women, who we see when we are growing up, doing it all without complaint. They work, they cook, they clean. We all know the list is truly much larger, but we see them doing it all and somewhere deep inside us we start to realize that we must do the same. We must do it all and never complain, we must never drop the ball. Unfortunately society takes that guilt even further. At a young age we are taught to be ashamed of our bodies. Don't be over weight or too skinny. Suck in your stomach, stand up straight. Shave your body hair, dress a certain way. We as woman are taught at a young age that we must be it all, look our best, and never be seen slipping or dropping the ball. The stress of it is literally too much to bare sometimes and I know I'm not the only woman that feels that way.
I see it all the time with my friends, and I'm guilty of it to, of patting myself on the back for checking off all the things on my imaginary checklist for the day. I want everyone to know what I accomplished that day, I want to show off. Problem is that's not a realistic momentum I can keep up with, I can't do all the things, all the time, everyday. The list is never ending. We live in a broken society where women are fighting for equal pay but still feel the pressures of not letting anything else fall through the cracks. Pick the kids up, do the grocery shopping, get homework done, make dinner, do the laundry, clean the house, and wake up all to do it again the next day. I'm not saying that in marriage partners can't take off some of that pressure but it doesn't ever change a woman's mind set of feeling like we still must do it all.
When I became a new mom I once had a woman I know tell me that I need to basically suck it up. That being a good stay at home mom and wife was easy. She told me I needed to put myself on a schedule to make sure everything gets done because your husband should never come home to a messy house. After getting up in the morning make all the beds, after using the bathroom clean the toilet and wipe down the counter and clean the shower, clean up the dishes right after every meal, every night straighten up the common living areas and vacuum, etc. Her list went on and on as she told me how easy it was and how it was my duty because I get to stay home with my kids, and I owe it to my husband. At the time I was slightly offended and also upset because it just made me feel more guilty. I wondered why I found it so hard if other women do it so easily. It just made me feel more inadequate and just reinforce that we as woman can't drop the ball, that it was my duty to have it all together all the time. I realize now when I brag about my accomplishments I'm doing this exact thing to another women. I'm making her feel inadequate for not having it all together. No one ever talks about the off days, the real days. The days where we struggle, feel guilty and like we want to throw in the towel. We never want other women to see that we aren't perfect.
We also let society make us feel guilty about how we look. We allow society to choose what's acceptable. When we don't reach a specific level of what's considered beautiful we feel guilty. We believe society when they say that bigger girls can't possibly be beautiful or that the colour of your skin isn't beautiful. That the traits of your ethnic background aren't beautiful in western society. It's literally thrown in our faces at every direction that we should just feel guilty for not fulfilling someone else's expectation of what the perfect woman is.
As time has gone on I realized that wasn't how I wanted to live anymore. I learned my identity isn't in how much I can do in one day. My identity isn't in how I look. My identity isn't in what size clothes I wear or even in societies twisted view of a woman's beauty. God didn't create me to have a heart full of guilt, and He didn't create you too either. God created each one of us completely different. God created us to do what we can. We were each created with a different identity and a different skill set. He created us be joyful in all things and to be aware of our blessings. He created us to lean on Him for the things that are out of our control. Stop comparing yourself to other women, and stop picking apart other women. Don't let society put you in a box, and stop believing that you should feel guilty. God doesn't even expect me to be perfect because He knows I can't be. All I can do is what I'm capable of. My number one priority is being true to who and what I was created for. I need to lean into my unique qualities and be proud of them, and so do you. We need to stop reiterating what society says about women. We need to be ok with failing sometimes, and we need to shatter the idea of perfection. For me being a mother and a wife come first. My beauty comes from fow I see myself, not from someone else's expectation. I am beautiful and so are you just the way your are. I'm not going to feel guilty for dropping the ball or struggling. I'm not perfect, I'm perfectly broken and that's perfectly ok. My priority is my family because that's my mission field right now. If my husband wants me to sit with him after dinner and watch a show, I will. The dishes can wait until later. If my boys want me to read a story or play a game, I will. The vacuuming and toilet cleaning can wait. I don't owe it to anyone to try and be perfect, I don't owe it to my husband, my children, or society. My husband and children aren't going to remember how great a housekeeper I was or that I was superwoman. They aren't even going to remember if I failed sometimes or that I dropped the ball every once in a while.They are going to remember the love and the experiences we shared.
If your a woman please stop feeling guilty for just being who you are. Love it, love yourself and love other woman. It's rough out there. We pick each other apart and create more of a problem instead of building each other up. We keep up this vicious cycle of perfection and it's tearing us down. You need to know it's ok to drop the ball sometimes. Its ok to struggle sometimes. You don't need to be perfect according to someone else's broken standard. You are beautiful just the way you are. Don't change yourself for someone else. Don't compare yourself to other woman. You were created completely unique to do the things only you can do. Don't push yourself to much. Be truthful to other women about your struggles, chances are they are struggling too. Lean on each other, love each other. Just please stop feeling guilty for just being you!