Western Guilt and the Misery of a Million Mothers

I watch the news and often have to turn over… I listen to the radio and often talk over it to my children until another report begins… I turn adverts over and avoid reading charity letters that come in the post… Why? Because I feel the sadness of a million mothers and hold the guilt of the western world on my shoulders!

At least some days that’s how I feel!

When I cuddle my children I want to squeeze them so tightly and never let them go. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with love especially when their tiny hands hold mine or stroke my face or clasp around my neck. Yet, this love is often tinged with guilt! Guilt that I can’t love all the children in the world. I feel a deep sadness that some children have nothing, no love, no support.

I look around at my children’s toys and feel guilty that they have so many things when some children really do have nothing. Nothing.

Why do I feel this sadness? What is it that has turned me into this woman? Yes I used to get upset and hated the horrible things that happen to children in the world; but recently those feelings have manifested themselves, in me, as a deep sadness combined with guilt!

What can I do to help the world and in doing so ease these feelings? I already donate to charity and sponsor a child over seas… Would moving abroad to build a school help? Should I adopt a baby from Africa? Would I be ‘making a difference’?

However, all these thoughts actually feel a bit self indulgent! It’s all to make ME feel better; and perhaps simultaneously help ‘save the world’. Surely, it would be selfish of me to uproot my family to another country just to satisfy what could be termed as my ‘middle class guilt’. It’s my problem right? And how can anyone really know they’re making a difference? Can one, ordinary person, ever cure poverty?

It’s horrible, heartbreaking to know that some mother somewhere in the world is watching her child die. She is helpless and so am I.

So I leave you with these questions as I still don’t have the answers… How do you get over western guilt and the sadness of a million mothers? Can anyone ever ‘make a difference’? Ultimately, does it all come down to fixing things so that we don’t feel so bad about our own materialistic, self indulgent lives?

One thought on “Western Guilt and the Misery of a Million Mothers

  1. Hey chick

    This resonates with me! I feel this all the time. Part of being a mummy I suppose. I can’t watch Children In Need anymore. It cripples me and I end up donating more money than I have.

    I’ll tell you one thing that I have promised to myself and the universe. That I will try my hardest to educate my children on how to make the world a better place. They may not make a difference but I know that if they try, it won’t go unnoticed. Be it giving blood, picking up litter in the beautiful woodlands that people seem to desecrate or donating their books to orphanages. From an age of understanding (now for the two big ones) I vow to help them give back.

    Lots of love xxx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s