“Guilt is not our friend,” Pat Mitchel said last week.* Indeed it isn’t. In fact, guilt is one of the most destructive and debilitating emotions one can experience. So why it is such a common theme in mothers’ lives?
Working mothers feel guilty for not having the flexibility to spend enough time with their children, or for compromising the quality of their work in order to do so. Stay-at-home mothers on the other hand, feel guilty for not living up to their full career potential, not contributing to the family income, or not being examples of women who ‘can have it all’ for their children. In both circumstances, life choices are constantly being questioned and women suffer.
The feelings of guilt cloud judgment, diminish quality of life and shatter women’s self-esteem. Whatever their exact source for you, try to find an antidote. Identify an activity that provides a feeling of accomplishment and increases your perceived self-worth. It can be anything from a small action to a big project or new habit. You don’t have to change your whole life at once; start by finding your guilt antidote and make the intentional choice to keep nurturing it.
* Pat Mitchel, media guru and activist, in a conversation with Atalanti Moquette on International Women’s Day 2019. The event was hosted by Giving Women, in collaboration with Festival du film et forum international sur les droits humains, FIFDH, in Geneva, Switzerland.
Listen to the entire talk on