Monday, 9 January 2012

Mummy quilt

Is guilt always a negative emotion? In an effort not to waste time thinking (and therefore feeling) negatively I’ve decided not to think too much about the thoughts such feelings generate. But can guilt actually be a force for good? Say I was feeling guilty about not spending enough time with my beautiful 11 month old daughter…. Maybe I’d been shopping too much, indulging in online browsing or generally just a little too much ‘me’ time (rare come to think of it…but anyway). Yes, say I was feeling guilty about this…

It may make me change my behaviour. Maybe I would turn the computer off every time she was in the room. Or limit shopping to twice a week (unrealistic in the week before Christmas, but maybe as a new year’s resolution*). Then I may get to see more gummy smiles, learn more about her & generally have a better relationship with my baby girl. She’s only 11 months but I do think we have a very strong (yet evolving) relationship. Then guilt would be a good thing, no? Yes, I think it would.

But…..guilt can be dangerous. It can be just as sapping as say jealousy, anger and sadness. All these things in the right context can be conversely positive. But take them out of context, let them ruminate in your mind for that little bit too long….Danger, danger. I don’t want to be a ‘guilty mum’. Everyone says it’s what one always feels as a mummy. Well I refuse to feel it. That may be a little ambitious…. I would really like guilt not to dominate my emotions in the coming years of my mummy life.

How to control it then? Recognise it. See it as it creeps over to you & says hello after you’ve spent £100 on a haircut. Yes I did that yesterday. I haven’t received my first pay check post maternity leave, I’ve been back to work a fortnight, and I’m blowing three figures on a haircut. Ah well I deserve it. I want to look good for Christmas. Not just for Christmas….for life! A hair cut is not just for Christmas…haha. Yes, well, there we go guilt threatened to come over and sit on my shoulder yesterday as I handed over the debit card for a hundred smackers. The receptionist even revealed the lengths some of their clients go to at this interaction in their hair cut experience. One woman writes ‘Tesco’ on her cheque stub (do people still use cheques?). One woman pays £50 in cash and £50 on her card so her husband won’t see a hundred smackers on their bank statements winging their way to ‘flipping expensive hair company’! Well sod it. I know a hundred is a ludicrous amount to spend on a haircut & colour. I’m well aware of the recession & poverty and the horrible lives some people live due to a lack of cash. But I will not feel guilty……

Oh dear I do. Ah well… at least I have good hair.