Monday, August 12, 2013

Why I Am Letting Go Of "Wife Guilt"

Nowadays, modern moms and dads likely share much of their day equally when it comes to both home maintenance and parenting without relying on traditional gender roles to divvy up the ever-growing list of responsibilities. But in some households, like ours, it just works better to stick with tradition a little, but I have found there to be one caveat - what I like to call "wife guilt".

Photo by Caroline Nicole Photography

We all know about the all-too-common "mommy guilt" that plagues us when we let that DVD run for the second (or - eek! - third!) time or when we pop open some processed, store-bought baby food and leave our Beaba to collect dust. Now, I let myself fall victim to even MORE guilt when my husband walks through our door at night and I am taking advantage of these  baby-free hours of the day to get some "play time" in. Pinning, tweeting, blogging... the fun stuff. The relaxing stuff.

I can just "feel" his eyes peering into the sink full of dirty dishes with disappointment or stepping over that pile of laundry that hasn't yet made its way to the washing machine shaking his head with dismay. In reality, he understands. But that guilt is a powerful thing and it convinces me that he must care and that I have failed.

Most nights, I have just gotten off my feet maybe 30 minutes before he gets home. I try to reason with my inner self. I'm not only a mom and a wife but I'm also technically always on the clock with running our online store and helping keep our manufacturing and inventory organized at our shop - even on days that I work from home I am working on and off throughout the day. And it's busy season, self! 

This plethora of unnecessary stress is thrown onto me by my guilt-ridden conscience. Deep down, I know that my husband doesn't mind our less than perfect household. John knows I am trying my best - we both are trying our best. I need to, and maybe most of us - husbands and wives alike - need to, let go of the quest for perfection. Let go of the spotless kitchens and shining sinks. Let go of the perfectly balanced and homemade meals and children with perfectly matched clothing. I will let go of the thoughts of inadequacy that tell me that I am failing as a wife because I can't do everything on my to-do list by the end of the day, week, month, year. And that's ok. And John knows that's ok. I need to remember that it is OK.

Photo by Caroline Nicole Photography

When we made the decision to marry one another, it wasn't for our abilities to wash the most loads of laundry in one week or because one of us had the cleanest sink in town. In our marriage, as a team, we shouldn't search for each others' faults or pass judgment on one another when a fault emerges. When John comes home at the end of the day to the mess that currently is our home, he knows that I am trying my best everyday and I know that he is, too. And me, I guess I can kick that "wife guilt" to the curb.

Photo by Caroline Nicole Photography

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