How to Overcome Guilt and Live Intentionally

Juggle hats and guilt

Feeling torn between work, house, kids, spouse, and other hats you wear? Discover ways to reduce those guilt feelings that we bring on ourselves. You cannot be everything to all people. There must be a balance and a delicate juggle of the hats you wear.

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As an employee, you want to be engaged. You strive hard to do the best you can be and flexible if needed to work more than 40 hours.

As a parent, you want to be available whenever your kids need you, enjoy being with them, and nurture them.

As a spouse, you want to put 100% into your marriage.

As a daughter, you want to be there for your parents.

As a sibling, you want to keep up with how things are going with them and their family.

As a friend, you want to be there when they need you.

As a person of faith, you want to volunteer for things at church.

As a parent of a school aged child, you want to volunteer at their school events.

As a homemaker, you want to have supper cooked, laundry all clean (and put up), and a clean house.

As a ______, _______, _______, etc.…….

We didn’t even mention as a person, you need self-time!

The buzz word lately has been work-life balance. Work is self-explanatory, but life encompasses all the other hats listed above that are non-work.

Work-life balance

Here’s a pre-test:

True or False: Work-life balance means that every day, time spent at work and life at home should be equal.

The answer is False – it does not mean that every day the time will be 50/50%, but overall, there should be this balance between them.

Analyzing the Guilt

  • Don’t feel guilty when some days the % of time spent between the two are not the same.
    There will be some days when there is a work deadline that you may need to stay later to complete. On the flip side, there may be a school field trip you want to attend with your kids, and you should not feel guilty for attending.


  • Remember “quantity” is not the same as “quality” – there is a big difference.
    Spending 4 hours playing, reading, and spending time together with your kids is quality time and better than spending 12 hours with your family with everyone doing their own thing.


  • Focus on where you are in the moment and don’t let your mind wander to what you are not doing or where you are not.
    We often get in the trap of feeling guilty that we’re not with our kids when we’re at work and the exact opposite where we feel we should be staying longer at work to complete something when we’re trying to have family time. The problem with this, is that neither place gets our focus.

Saying Good-bye to the Guilt

It’s easy to say things like don’t feel guilty for this or that, quality time is better, and focus on where you are, but how do you refocus and turn this around?

Put simply, live with intention.

What does this mean? It is planning how you want to spend your time. Just as you plan how to spend your money with a budget, plan your time on your calendar. This calendar will help with incorporating your action steps to meet your goals with the various features of  a mind map and vision board. These are both visual planning tools to achieve what is important to you. Find a calendar that meets your needs.

Time is priceless and limited. To make the most of each minute, decide what your goals are. Then the next step is determining what needs to happen to reach those goals.

If communicating with extended family weekly is one of your goals, write down ways you can achieve this and schedule it in the calendar.

Phone calls
Social media like Facebook
Letters or cards

If spending quality time with your kids is important, write down things you can do and schedule them.

Go to the park
Bake cookies
Go bike riding
Go to the library
Play board games

Another example is if spending time with your spouse is a goal, do the same thing.

Movie night
Go to the park
Go to dinner
Go for ice cream
Play cards

If work has a lot of projects to complete, plan the steps needed to meet those deadlines. Schedule each step on the calendar and allow some extra time for those unexpected items that may pop up.

free of guilt

While we may feel guilty for not being able to be everywhere at the same time or everything to everyone, we can find peace by living intentionally. Decide what is important to you and schedule it in your calendar. If we don’t live intentionally, time will pass by and we’ll realize how much we missed.

many hats & overcome guilt

Are you feeling guilty and torn between the many hats you wear? The hat of a parent, spouse, employee, etc. can be difficult to juggle.