Female guilt is real.
And it’s killing your dreams.
Writing is hard work. Writing while maintaining a full-time job is even harder. Writing while working full-time and managing a house and making sure you balance time with family is tough. There are days (and months) where I just don’t write because I’m tired or I’ve got so much going on with my family that writing seems like a waste of precious time.
That is a faulty way of thinking.
We have to treat our work as a priority if we want anyone else to take us seriously.
Women Feel Guilty A Lot
As women, I think we have a harder time with this. We tend to put other people’s needs before our own, especially when we have a family. And that can be valid. Our children or grandchildren have needs that we must attend to. I’m blessed that I get to spend so much time with my adult kids and my grandkids. I often offer to babysit. Then there’s a house to maintain, and my husband is in graduate school and working full-time. His deadlines are non-negotiable.
Whereas, my deadlines are. Or at least that’s how I frequently feel. I know I’m not alone in feeling that way either. Women, in general, tend to put their needs or wants after other people’s. From the time girls are young, society directs them toward domesticity and motherhood, into caring for others’ needs before their own. (Seriously, go search for gender-neutral colored kitchens and dolls for children. They are almost all made in pink and marketed to girls.)
If you doubt me, check out the statistics on National Women’s Business Council. In 2012, women owned 64% of all healthcare and social assistance businesses, which are the second-largest fields in which women own businesses. (The number one field was “other services.”) This is compared to the male-dominated STEM fields, which are the largest entrepreneurial fields.
I recently read an article about Letting Go Of Working Mom Guilt, and I have to say that I agree that part of the problem with working mom guilt is that societal expectations are for moms to stay at home with their children, even though that’s not what many moms want or can do. I can also say as a mother of adult children, that this guilt doesn’t end when the kids grow up. Instead, it seems to me women deal with female guilt rather than just mom guilt. As women, we tend to take on more of the housework, and we continue to take on caregiving (by the time the kids get older there’s usually an elderly family member that needs help), and we feel it’s our job as females to ensure everyone’s well-being.
Except our own of course.
Make Yourself A Priority
This female guilt seems to be rooted in insane expectations of perfection and the need to be of service to others. To be honest, I think being of service to others is inherently valuable; it’s vital for our self-worth and fulfillment to help others.
However, that doesn’t mean being of service to the point of losing ourselves or overwhelming ourselves.
We need to remember that perfection is a lie, and we can serve others through our work. We may well have family members to take care of, but it’s healthy for us to make time for things that are important to us. Things that fulfill us and make us feel alive. Things that are just ours.
Ensure that you make your work a priority. Because you realize that you are a priority.
Writing is hard work. It takes a lot of practice, and it can be time-consuming, especially when you’re first starting out. It takes a while to learn how to quickly write a first draft then edit it to a beautiful post. And that’s not taking into account any of the other million things that are involved with having your own business.
You can do it despite the numerous other things on your plate. You can read tips all day long on how to fit your writing business into the small windows of time you have. But none of those suggestions are going to do you any good until you’ve decided to treat your writing business as a priority.
You must decide that this work you do is valuable. That it fulfills you. That’s it’s important to you.
That your deadlines are non-negotiable.
Your Work Is Important
Your writing is a business, after all, not a hobby. You must act as though someone is already paying you for the work that you do. If you treat your business seriously, then others will follow your lead. They will view your work as important, and most likely, they will support you and encourage you.
I believe in you. View your work as a priority, and you will be able to find the time to hone your writing skills and to take care of all the other aspects of your business. That’s when you’ll fall in love with what you do. Because it’s something meaningful that you created and nourished.