Monday, April 19, 2010

Guilt: Controversial Monday Style

We just got back from a fun trip to the Zoo. I apologized to Berean for not doing age appropriate things with her, but explained that it is just part of life as a 4th child.

She was all like, "but Mom...all my friends get to nap with their moms and chill in their cribs, and go on little walks around the neighborhood and I have to be hauled all over the city in my car seat. AND what is worse is I have to EAT whenever you want me to and in the most inappropriate locations."

And I told her that she was going to be happy when she is older and can show her friends pictures of the greatest Grizzly Bear fight ever and be all proud saying, "and I was SO there to witness it".

But then she reminded me that she spent the majority of the weekend snoozing in her car seat underneath the trees while we raked and rolled up sod in the new lot. And that somehow when hanging out with friends Sunday night she ended up with cheeto dust all over her forehead.

And then I felt a little guilty, 'cuz I am pretty sure Deacon never had cheeto dust all over his head or missed his bath 2 times in a row. (oh, I shouldn't have said that. A six week old who hasn't had a bath in 6 days? Bad mom, for sure).

So I have been thinking about guilt a lot lately. I feel guilty when I don't spend enough time with Noah. I feel guilty when I don't make supper. I feel guilty when I miss the baby's bath day. I feel guilty when I yell at the kids. I feel guilty when I don't "play" with them that often. I feel guilty when I leave their AWANA verses until Wednesday afternoon. I feel guilty when I drag the baby on age inappropriate activites. I feel guilty when I work, I feel guilty when I don't. I feel guilty when Roman doesn't have pjs to wear. I feel guilty when I fall asleep on the couch and don't spend time reducing clutter. I feel guilty when I don't have the energy to go on a run late at night or to take the kids to the Y so I can swim.

Aww, so much guilt.

And guilt is looked at so negatively.

And I realize that I have too much of it about things that are simply out of my control.

But SOME guilt can be good, I think.

Guilt can let us know there is a problem. Something we have done wrong, or something we need to improve on.

Feeling guilty about not "playing" with the kids much can force me to sit down and play a game with them (even when I don't want to at all) and I often find myself having fun and both being blessed by it and blessing them. That seems like a good thing.

Feeling guilty about not making supper means I may throw something together from the freezer or pancakes or may think about it earlier for the next day. That saves money. That seems like a good thing.

Feeling guilty about not keeping up with a friend may force me into a phone call I don't really have "time" for, but in the end I may discover that talking with her is what I really needed and was ultimately more important that what I had planned.

Do you see what I mean?

What things do you feel "guilt" over that actually pushes you to do the right thing or a new better thing?

1 comment:

Johanna said...

ooh, dicey! hmmm, I was thinking about how guilt is kind of an underhanded way of giving us a lot more credit than we deserve. Does that make sense? It did in my head. Like, when I feel guilty about something, I'm taking that problem into my own hands instead of handing it over to God and asking him to help me with it. But, as you pointed out, sometimes guilt spurs us to do something worthwhile. I don't have time to feel guilty because I'm so crazy busy all the time; but then I feel guilty because I'm so programmed and busy all the time that I don't have time to do spontaneous fun things--overall, I think my guilt makes me evaluate what is truly valuable to me--and that's a good thing. Whew, sorry so long!