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Following on from my post about sleep patterns, I feel under enormous pressure a lot of the time, and pressure about different things that I can’t possibly achieve. Not living up to these then contributes to my feeling inadequate. I started listing them out and wish to return and fill up that list, to show how ridiculous it is.

  • I want to go out more in the evening for work, for community groups and for pure social events.
  • I want to have early nights so I feel more awake in the morning and so that I can make sure my children go to bed at a reasonable time, as well as spend time with them.
  • I’d like to spend more time writing these posts in the evening.
  • I’d like to be able to take the time to watch a film in the evening without feeling I should be doing something else.
  • I’d like to feel there is time for the evening to relax in.
  • I need to work harder in the daytime, in school hours;
  • I need to spend time on myself during school: exercising, relaxing and indulging peacefully.
  • I should spend more time with my children, playing and talking.
  • I need to spend more time thinking about and preparing food for all of us.
  • I need to be a positive role model, in setting moral and ethical standards, instilling a work ethic and household ethic, to show my children what being a ‘good’ person and a model citizen is.
  • I need to take them out more on days off, for trips and museums.
  • I hear my father’s criticism that I don’t get up at the weekends, that we don’t go out for lovely long walks and enjoy the fresh air; that we like going out and having fun without any great educational benefit; that being spontaneous can be fun.
  • I hear my father’s criticism that I’m not making every moment productive; that I’m not doing everything I possibly could; that I don’t have a plan.
  • I hear my mother’s criticism that I’m not suffering enough.
  • I need to relax at home and do little; so do they sometimes.
  • I feel pressure from news media and the government to have to produce children better than everyone else’s to counteract the fact that they’re the product of single parent family; to prove that doesn’t mean a disaster.
  • I feel pressure to exercise more, to lost weight and become thin,  I feel bombarded by messages about healthy eating that don’t actually help.
  • I want to remind people that no-one chooses to be a single parent (or if they do, then the alternative is far worse)
  • I feel guilty for not working a full 35-40 hour week, for not earning my fair share and getting completely off benefits;
  • I feel guilty for not having or wanting a career, for wanting to spend time at home looking after my children and seeing that as more important than getting ahead.
  • I feel guilty that I don’t participate more in marches, in write-in campaigns, that I do not contribute more of my thoughts and time.
  • I feel guilty and embarrassed to admit that my eldest isn’t in any type of education and is in fact dossing. When I add to that 2son not going to school, I feel a total failure and wonder what’s going to go wrong with the next two.
  • I feel the need to progress more rapidly at counselling.
  • I feel that time has passed by, that my life is half over and I haven’t started to live yet.
  • I also feel time pressing as I slowly but surely put more weight on and am starting to have physical difficulties due to the weight.

In short, I need to be all things to everyone, including society at large and I feel guilty for not achieving those high standards. There are only 24 hours in the day and whilst I know, in my head, that I can’t do it all, I still feel guilt, criticism and inadequacy, for not trying harder.