Guilty! (of being a mother!)

Yukky day today -- weather wise, work wise, life wise. So I come home and promptly make my children work in their rooms. One would think that would be a bad choice at the end of a frustrating day -- but it was okay. We set the timer for 15 minutes, make a give away, throw away, and put away pile. When timer goes off, we're done and put away the put away pile! And I discovered something -- when my kids yell, "I have no __________ (undies, socks, shorts, shirts)" what they are actually saying is "The last time I put my clothes away I put my underthings heaven-knows-where and now I need you to magically produce some for me." I found no fewer than _20_ pair of undies in one child's dresser -- but only 3 in the undie drawer. The other 17 were evenly dispersed between the P.J. drawer and the t-shirt drawer. Of course they were. So, I weeded out the 7 that are 2 sizes too small and left said little person with _13_ pair of clean undies! The part that really frustrated me is realizing how that yell, "I'm out of _____________ (whatever)" automatically puts a knife to my heart that I am not doing my job as a mother. No, it's not my job to get them to the right place (you can try to convince me, but you won't). But I do believe it's my job to get them clean and in the 'put away' place (we call them 'laundry cubbies' at our house!). WHAT is this guilt that God gives to women as soon as they have a dependent to claim? And it may be different at your house -- but Troy does not suffer guilt in any form as a parent. Let their little faces crumple. Tell them we'll get a sno-cone and then say 'not tonight.' Whatever. The man at this house does not come with the guilt gene. It certainly makes for a good balance -- and he's far more apt to stick to his ruling of the consequences even when their little faces do crumple and their tears make mud on their faces. If any 'seasoned' mothers (boy, I just can't make it not sound like I'm saying OLD) could tell me when, if ever, this constant guilt leaves me, it would help.

My temporary job ends this week. I cannot tell you how glad I am. I will probably try to, though! Thursday I'm going to lunch with friends and Friday I may take the kids lunch at their school. Next week I have a hair appointment and I go to the zoo with first grade. THAT is more like it to me! I refuse to get caught in any heated discussion about stay-at-home vs. work outside the home moms. I know this for my family: a)I do not feel called at this time to any occupation that requires me to work 40+ hours a week and b)at this time our family has the luxury of me not needing to do that. I am thankful to finally be at peace that I am doing exactly what I need to be doing for this moment in time. And, just as I get a little too comfy in my spot, God has the tendency to say, "Surprise!" I'm hangin' on for the ride!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The whole mommy guilt thing. . . I've found--upon returning to work--that it also extends to the children of others. . .ie: my students. I feel guilty about reaming a kid out. Tony has absolutely NO qualms about exacting the consequence established by CFISD AND the state of Texas--to the fullest extent of said consequence.

I don't think we will ever be completely rid of the whole "guilt" thing. I think it is inbred in us as nurturers.

I also think Satan uses it as yet another tool in his arsenal to make us feel like less than daughters of The King. We don't FEEL like "perfect moms." We don't LOOK like "perfect moms." And I KNOW we don't always ACT like "perfect moms." (ex."Mommy, can I have some of your Sonic ice?" "No! It's MINE.")

Satan just piles it on top of all the other struggles and insecurities we already have--he causes us angst over the least sidestep from being that "perfect mom" the world has painted a picture of. I think an even harder portrait to live up to is the one we've painted in our own heads.

What do our kids really need? Well--it's different for every kid in every family. What I know ALL kids need is a mom who is goofy in love with them and lets them know it on a daily basis. . .lots of hugs and lots of kisses and plenty of small comforts that only mommies can afford (ie: a cushy lap, mixing their cereal, ice water at bed time). They also need to learn where to put their own shoes and where to put their own underwear and that they will be punished for certain things. . .and that their mommy is a real human being who gets tired and hungry and cranky.

Maybe if we called it by a name other than guilt that is less offensive--like "nurturing" or "responsibility" or "love" it wouldn't seem so hard.

I once read somewhere that it is a mother's job to strew rose petals on the pathway of life--I like that description. We will, inevitably, "spoil" our children--and I say, "Why not???" Especially if we have the health and means to do so. Their favorite cookie--or that Cajun Cone after church on a Wed. night.

The guilt we will, I'm afraid, have to battle until God calls us home...I just try to recognize it for what it is. . .exhaustion, insecurity, worry. Nothing profound here that you've not thought of yourself--but it was nice to discuss something else beside reading skills. :)

Love you--


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