I love what you've written here Carol. It is so true for so many of us. I really relate to this "Trying to combine the two means living with the nagging thought that I'm not giving 100% to either of them. Or the housework. Or my husband. Or my siblings, my father, my friends, my garden, our dogs, the goldfish ... or my job or my kids or myself ... you get the drift."
Every now and then, more often as my 2 boys get older, I'll have a minor breakdown moment where I feel I'm not doing any good at anything! Mum, wife, friend.... Sometimes we just need a little reassurance that we are doing a great job despite the hiccups along the way. Don't they say a happy mum makes a much happier family? If you need to do some things outside the nest, then go for it I say!