Feeling Bad for Feeling Good

Last night I went to sleep with a warm pile of Guilt snuggled up right beside me. It smothered me and crimped my neck. It's bad breath stifled me through the night.

Have I become one of those obnoxious half-glass-full kind of people who is perpetually optimistic about life?

And at some point during the night, I realized, Yep. I have.

And I felt guilty for it.

Feeling bad for feeling good. Makes tons of sense, doesn't it?

I rolled over in bed, turning my back on the guilt, let it roll to it's own side of the bed, settle, and snore quietly through the night.

When I first started blogging, I knew how to tell a good whiny tale with my new favorite maternal outlet.

Motherhood is sooo haaard.
I don't clean my toilets.
I'm always depressed.
My kids make me crazy with messes and whining and stuff.
I hate/love/hate being a mom.

And I would get lots of comments from readers feeding my monstrous whiny-ness.

Evelyn! I love how REAL you are!
Motherhood IS hard!
You thought your day was hard? Get this...
Eat more chocolate.
It gets better.

You know what? It does get better. I'm not sure if it's because we are finishing up the baby stage and my kids are getting a little older and a little more capable. Maybe, after eight plus years, I'm finally easing into motherhood and finding I can do it with grace instead of grudge. Possible it's true that "practice makes perfect". It could even be losing 90 ish pounds has given me a new sense of confidence in myself. There could be something to getting "older and wiser". Maybe I'm actually getting some sleep at night.

Whatever it is, I feel myself changing as a mother and as a person. I no longer feel trapped and like a daily failure. I find incredible, inexpressible joy in being a stay at home mom. It's not that I love my children any more than I did before. It's that I've found huge satisfaction and peace in the work and the way of things. I've learned to let some expectations and habits go. My home is truly where my heart is and I love creating a place of nurturing for my children. My hobbies have adapted to include things like food storage, interior design, and tutoring. I am never happier than when my whole family is home, our home is comfortable (not necessarily sparkling clean, but not cluttered and chaotic), there is good food on the table, good music playing in the background, and good things happening.

This doesn't mean that I don't ever yell at my kids. Or that my home doesn't get "Hoarders"-worthy every now and then. Or that I don't burn dinner. Or that I spring out of bed with a smile every morning. Or that my children are perfectly behaved in public. Or that my husband doesn't find me slightly neurotic. Or that I don't blow the budget. Or that I don't eat chocolate behind the locked bedroom door.

I'm not sure exactly what it means. Maybe when I'm a grandma, then I'll be able to pinpoint for you why life is so good and why it seems to be so much easier to find happiness in the simplest of things these days.

But right now that guilt pokes at me and accuses me of coming across as sappy, cheesy, or fake.  When I write things whether on here or on Facebook, I am trying to be real. I want to record and share these awesome things that are happening in our life. Some days I am trying to be optimistic and see the good in things even when it doesn't feel so good.

For some stupid reason I still care what others think of me and that I possibly annoy them with my blooming satisfaction. I worry that they assume I have a perfect life or that I think I have a perfect life or that I want people to think I have a perfect life.

It bothers me that I have a few friends that only seem to comment or "like" the things I write when I'm complaining about something distressing. Honestly, it makes me wonder if they are happy to see me in my unhappy moments.

It aggravates me that I even waste the emotion on this; that I feel guilty for expressing "too much" joy and then that I feel guilty for feeling guilty. It's all a tad ridiculous, no?

"Men are that they might have joy." (2 Nephi 2:25)

We are here on this earth to be happy and to strive to be perfect like the Savior. If I am working my way towards that then I must be doing something right. And no I didn't just say I was perfect or even perfectly happy. I'm just working on getting there.

I guess what I'm trying to say in my very imperfect and meandering way is that though I'm not ready to kick Guilt out into the cold, it may just have to stay in the guest room in the basement tonight.


MiMi said...

Never feel guilty for feeling good. And never feel guilty for what you felt before.

Lisa Thomas said...

Good for you! LOVE this post! Definitely makes me think! :)

Myya said...

Mimi got all deep... :)

I like to say perfectly imperfect. That to me sounds beautiful.

I do love that you are "REAL" I love when you put wonderful joyous moments out there but I also love the tried & true mommy crazy, hectic, hard moments.

Jodi said...

I've struggled with this same issue. When I started blogging anytime I shared something negative on my blog it would eat at me and I'd end up taking it off. I also feel like I need to have a smile on my face when I'm out and about, especially at church. I've never liked "airing my dirty laundry" so to speak, in public. But, because of this I have also had lots of people tell me how perfect my life is and how great I have it. Obviously my life isn't perfect, but I do agree I have a lot of blessings and I try to enjoy them! I enjoy looking on the bright side of things, and I actually find my life is brighter because of it. I hope you'll feel great about feeling good because I believe negativity breeds negativity and optimism breeds optimism!:)

Sarah said...

I love all of your Facebook updates. I don't look at them like " wow look at how easy her life is" but more, "I love her attitude and drive to find the good."

Amy said...

Isn't it funny how guilt tries to hold you back when you are doing so many wonderful things? I love your attitude, and I think you are a truly amazing woman. SO happy to call you my friend.


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