I think guilt is a prerequisite of womanhood that is amplified once we become mothers. MOST (not all) women are nurturers by nature. We want to fix problems, kiss boo boos, heal heartaches, wipe away tears, hug away feelings of lack of self-worth. We want to pour into others when our glasses aren’t even half-filled. When it’s time to do for ourselves, we question it. We feel guilty for spending that extra $50 we saved in the budget (earlier that month) for something for yourself! We want to give and do for others until there isn’t a drop to even maintain our own sanity. Why is that?
Someone once said to, Mother Theresa was selfish. Puzzled? Yea, so was I. When you demonstrate a selfless concern for the well-being of others; you’re altruistic. You might be that woman that grew up in isolation or dealt with the severest of circumstances your entire life so like the Ford slogan, you’re “built tough”. Because in a way, being there for those you love and care about;, fuels you. It gives you a sense of purpose. Ain’t that the most backwards a*s shit you’ve ever heard?!
The sad part is, people expect you to always be tough. No one rarely asks, “are you okay?” “Do you need to talk?” “Can I help with something?” Do you know why? You’re probably thinking, “maybe, she’s too proud.” No, she isn’t; she’s the humblest person you’ll ever know. Her problem is that no one ever provided solace so she quietly deals with her pains, depressions and frustrations of life’s downs. People assume she’s got it all figured out.
Some of you might read this and think, no one is that giving—there isn’t a being in the world that’s remotely like this. These are facts! We all have that one friend that is always there—no matter what’s going on or what time of day but you depend on that person! Can’t think of that person? Well, that’s because you’re the ungrateful jerk that always feed off of them, sucking away at what little ounces of positive energy they have, taking without considering their downfalls, filling your cup when you don’t give two shits about the daily turmoil they face. Word of advice, be a friend enough to give a fk.Word of advice, be a friend enough to give a fk. #ImpulsiveExpressions Click To Tweet
However, to woman that’s reading this like, “yea, Nai’lah that’s me”; I want to share a story with you. There’s a single mom that battles with depression daily—some days getting out the bed seems like such an arduous task. She deals with negativity in every direction she turns: the love of her life scarred her past reparation; she doesn’t know how to pick up the pieces and move on. Every day she feels like giving up but her art is her refuge. When she thinks of quitting, she considers the losses (not the wins). She keeps a tally on everything that isn’t right and all the things she needs to fix. There is, however, two things that keep her grounded, her two children. She asks herself, “Who would guide them? Who could love and nurture them?” Her answer is always, no one. So she pushes past the negativity, grinds because her life and the life of her children depend on it. She doesn’t expect anyone to empathize with her struggle because it’s about the legacy she’s building and nothing more.
Her problem, herein, is that she grinds non-stop as if time was running out, almost counting down life’s clock. She lives thinking, “if I die today, I want my children to know that I gave this life my all” in hopes that they would follow suit. She teaches by example. She takes the highroad because she knows they’re watching. Stones are thrown at her glass house and she mends the broken pieces…hoping that fifteen or twenty years from now when they’re adults, they’ll understand.
This woman works so hard; she doesn’t know how to take some time for herself. When she has free time, she comfortably secludes herself as if the world were against her—modern day hermit. If she decides to do something for herself (which is rare), she might consider buying a pair of shoes, an outfit or something for the house; but this never comes to fruition because feeling good feels, bad.She might do something for herself: buy a pair of shoes or panties, but this never happens because feeling good feels too bad. #FeelingGuilty #ImpulsiveExpressions Click To Tweet
If she takes a day off her schedule, she worries about the novel, blog or script she could’ve been working on or another business venture that could potentially bring in another source of income. Some of you might argue that she’s just a workaholic but understand that she has no cushion. If she falls, so does her children.
She is me and I understand the importance of balance. I have to consciously remind myself (throughout the day) that it is okay to make sure I’m okay!! It is okay to relax, it is okay to have an unproductive day, it’s okay that I don’t have it all figured out. It’s okay to feel lost, confused, overwhelmed. It is okay!
Despite the constant reminders of the urgency of life as the life of single motherhood rears its ugly head, in the forms of juggling bills and avoiding late notices; be kind enough to yourself.
When you find yourself focusing on the negatives, take an inventory on your life. You may not be where you want to be but remember where you were and remind yourself of the journey it took to get where you are now!
I am here to tell you that I am the first to preach about balance and at the same time; I’m so hard on myself. I try to maintain this façade that I’m strong. I don’t want to show emotions because it makes me look weak. I don’t want to share that sometimes I look at my life and where I am and feel defeated. I don’t want to look at the divorce I’m going through as another reminder of something I’ve failed at in my life.
Ladies, your emotions are signs of strength. Feel them. Because running away from those feelings doesn’t ease the pain. Failure to acknowledge and express your hurt is more severe but trust me when I say, if you don’t it will find its way out.
Invest in your fk*n happiness because no one else will.Invest in your fk*n happiness because no one else will. #ImpulsiveExpressions #FeelingGuiltyForFeelingGood Click To Tweet