Friday, February 3, 2012

Mommy Guilt and a little light.

I've been brewing this post for a long time.  This has been on my heart.  I've written the post in my head multiple times on my way to work.  So...why haven't I posted it?  Well, I didn't have an answer. 

I could have written it to vent.  To reach out to other moms who can relate.  But honestly...this has been on my heart because I realize that it's a problem with me.  Something that I need to conquer.

I'll jump right in.

Mommy guilt.  Wife guilt.  Employee guilt.  We all have it, right?
  • I've only cooked dinner once this week.  And it was spaghetti.  Yep.  I'm mom and wife of the year!
  • I resulted to bagging all of Grayson's books up in a garbage bag and threatening to throw them away if he didn't pick them up.  I know that I'm not disciplining in love.  I'm disciplining in frustration.
  • Cereal bowls from two mornings ago were still sitting on the counter last night when I finally dumped them and put them in the sink to soak off the caked on Cocoa Krisipies.  I just haven't felt good enough to do anything.
  • My kids sometimes wake up just as I'm getting ready to walk out the door.  I give them a quick hug and pass them off to daddy with an, "I'm sorry baby.  Mommy has to go to work."
  • "You didn't play with me today." from a pouting girl who has to go to bed.  And you know what?  She's right.  I didn't.

I could seriously go on and on and on and on.  I feel guilty about each and every one of these instances.  And they are all just from this week. 

And there's work guilt too.  And friend guilt.  Family guilt.  Church guilt.

I used to feel guilty when I couldn't attend an important meeting at work because I was taking a vacation day that day.  Or feel guilty when I couldn't respond to a text or phone call or email right away from a friend or family member.  Or saying "no" to a request to help with something at church.

I've learned to let that guilt go.  Last year at a work training, we talked about our purpose and priorities in life.  And I mentally set my priorities. 

#1 - God
#2 - Matt
#3 - Layne and Gray

After that, my guilt went away for the "everything else" things.  I no longer feel guilty for leaving work early to take a sick kid to the doctor.  Because you know what?  They are more important than work.  Yes, they have always been more important than work.  But when I realized that I couldn't please everyone and say yes to everything, it's been easier to let the guilt go.

{Quick sidenote:  To me, God is my relationship with God.  Yes, I love my church and church family.  Yes, I want to help out.  But if it interferes with my relationship with God, Matt, or my kids, sometimes you have to say No.}

At that training, I also learned a great way to say No.  Before agreeing to anything, say that you have to check your schedule.  If it interferes with God, Matt, or Family, I simply say that I have a conflict.  I love this.  There's no need to make excuses or stretch the truth.  The truth is simple.  Certain things will conflict with your priorities.  And it's okay to say that.

But back to the Mommy Guilt.  And the Wife Guilt.  And the God Guilt for that matter.  I still haven't found a way to let go of this guilt.  Because these are my priorities.  And I feel guilty for not keeping them first and letting other things get in the way.  It's a balancing act.  And as much as work is in my "everything else" category, it still takes 40 hours of my time away from my family every single week.

I still don't have a solution.  I am going to try to work on making sure that my time that I spend with my kids, my husband, and my God are quality time.  Even if I don't have a huge quantity of it.  I'm also learning to pay special attention to what the Love Languages of my family are.  For Matt, I know what means to most to him.  And for my kids, it's changing all the time.  Right now, Layne wants one-on-one pretend time.  Playing dolls or house or kitchen.  And for Grayson, it's reading to him.  He could let us read to him for hours.

I also read this blog post today.  I found it on Pinterest.  And I'm so glad I did.  It doesn't call out that it addressess mommy guilt, but it spoke to me.  It is a change in mentality.  And I'm bookmarking it to go back and read often.

Please let me know that I'm not alone in this!  Do you feel mommy guilt?  How do you address it?


  1. Yes I think that there is always mommy guilt no matter what you do. It is human nature...I just do the best that I can and if my son is smiling and gives me hugs and kisses then it's all good:)

    For me it is trying to put God first when I have a nonbeliever for a hubby. He doesn't understand that at all,but he doesn't get on me for it...just doesn't understand.

    I struggle with it too all the time:( We need to pray for each other---from one Sara to another Sarah! Seriously.

  2. I get mommy guilt the most when I tuck them in as they are sound asleep. I think of all the things I could've or should've done with them during the day but didn't.
    You have the perfect plan set out though...God, Husband, Kids.
    If you honor Him first, everything else will fall into place just as it should :)
    This is one thing I have always adored(?) about you...your beautiful honesty!
    Love you!

  3. Actually, I've been planning a post sort of similar to this for awhile, but I don't have it quite right just yet. I certainly don't have all the answers, but what I've taken to doing is just going one day at a time. Each day, I'll try to make a little more of an effort, make a little more time. But if it doesn't happen, I try not to beat myself up by thinking there is always tomorrow. And then I try again. It's all I've got. :o/

    I've definitely got a problem saying no to people and it's something I really need to work on. But after 28 years of always telling people yes, it's a hard habit to break.

  4. Sarah you are awesome, this post needs to be read my many to make them feel better. It made me sigh a big sigh of relief because it feels good when you hear others going through similar situations in life. I agree- you have your priorities and everything else just comes after that. Love ya! ~Holly


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