I recently mentioned that I finished Daring Greatly and didn’t necessarily feel I had much work to do related to being vulnerable or taking chances. I mean — I write this blog, don’t I? I’m pretty open with the world about my insecurities. At least I think so. There was also a lot in Daring Greatly about shame, and those parts did strike me as important, but I hadn’t really processed them fully as to how they might apply to me.
But then I listened to a recent Beyond the To Do List podcast episode with Nir Eyal, and he started talking about shame, and how we use distraction mechanisms to dull pain, especially the pain of shame, and I had a bit of a revelation.
I 100% do that.
Last night I came home from work and wanted to immediately do one of the following:
- lie around and read
- drink a beer and watch trashy TV
- color and do a face mask and eat ice cream
However, none of these options were available to me because (DUH) I have 3 beautiful healthy children who need me, and a husband who is on call (and honestly usually comes home late on Friday nights due to accumulated charts and late consults).
So obviously, I ate a reheated dinner standing up in approximately 45 seconds (as per usual, because otherwise C & G will crowd around and take the choice morsels from my plate even if they’ve just eaten), finished cleaning up, and hung out with the kids and orchestrated bedtime. Josh actually did come home for a stint in the middle there but had to go back to the hospital. And the whole time I did it, I was distracted and kept surfing instagram / checking blog comments / etc for what felt like every 30 seconds (Screen Time says I had 123 pickups during the day). I felt shame about the fact that I wasn’t living up to the ‘ideal working mom’ ideal in my mind who just cherishes the evenings with her children and makes the most out of that limited time. And then I felt shame about the distractions themselves!
(Note #1: Please don’t get me wrong; I DO cherish my actual children. But some evenings I do not cherish the experience of dealing with them.)
(Note #2: I was probably going to the apps out of boredom too, but I think there was definitely a shame component and that’s why I ended up going to bed not feeling very good about life.)
Anyway, it just made me think. Obviously this post isn’t going to help me (or anyone else) never feel shame again. But hopefully I’ll have a few second thoughts when I do have those kinds of feelings. Being a parent is hard (working or not!) and no one is perfect at it. And as Laura often likes to point out, OUR KIDS ARE REALLY REALLY LUCKY in the grand scheme of things and will probably turn out okay. And even if they don’t, it won’t be entirely anyone’s fault.
ANYWAY! It’s Saturday and I actually had a really nice 5mi run thanks to a new local babysitter. And Josh escaped the hospital to take the big kids to basketball and G went down to nap, so I have the house to myself for probably another 60 minutes. After posting this, I will probably do something really glamorous like balance our budget . . .
But first, TWO MUSIC RECS!
1- The Highwomen. A genre-crossing supergroup — leaning to country, but with Brandi Carlisle who is a little edgier/Americana. (I have liked her music for a long time and would love to see her live). They are apparently the top country album right now, so maybe everyone knows about them. But if not – check them out. The lyrics to Redesigning Women are amazing.
2- Andrew Combs. A new discovery (for me) on this week’s New Music Friday from All Songs Considered. He’s also Nashville based, so maybe I just need a little twang in all my music now. But honestly, he reminds me of a combination of: Aimee Mann, Father John Misty, and Andrew Bird. And maybe a splash of Beck. Really, can you go wrong?!
On that note, let’s just give music its very own shout-out. I love podcasts, but for the last 2 miles of my run music was definitely much appreciated. And I prefer music for short car trips or when I have kids in the car. I find my home life more fun when there is music playing (even when it’s a Disney movie soundtrack I’ve heard 383244 times — though NOT if it’s Baby Shark, please no more).