Just for Moms: The Guilt Series, Part 2
Today was one of those days. You know... one of those where you never seem to wake up. You can't seem to physically pull yourself up to do anything other than sustain the life of your kids. One of those days where you consume a large dose of caffeine just to stay awake, and the only reason you're staying awake is so that the house is not burned down and the kids do not permanently damage each other.
I had Cherith bring her workbooks to the couch for school today. I tried a number of times to blog, but the brain would just shut down on me and, invariably, I'd fall asleep. My husband had one hour at home this evening between work and class. Usually, I spend this time making dinner and making sure he gets something good to eat. I take a few minutes to chat about my day and then listen to him tell about his day. But today, when he came in the door, I simply asked, "Do you mind if I take a nap?"
Usually, I would have spent the entire day feeling guilty for the way I felt. I would have felt guilty for not cleaning, not playing with the kids, not making a tasty meal, and being just plain boring and "mean". But not today. Because today, I took the judgmental thoughts and put them through a filter to test their validity.
“You’re a lazy, irritable woman. It shouldn’t matter how you feel. You’ve got a job to do, and you should just plow through and smile as if nothing were wrong.” These thoughts hit after I had been up for about an hour.
On the surface, I would say these statements were true. I was not acting as a happy, disciplined woman. I do have a set of responsibilities to my family, and the most important one is to shower them with love.
But just because my actions were not those of a bustling, whistling housewife with four happy children playing around her did not mean I was guilty of wrong. It simply meant that I was guilty of being tired and exhausted. And that’s ok. There’s no reason to feel guilty for needing a restful day.
I think a lot of times I assume that since I “match” my self accusations, then I must be in the wrong. But just because I am guilty as charged does not mean I should be charged. Most of the time, it simply means I am not interpreting my circumstances correctly, and therefore my accusations are not well founded. This type of guilt is totally unnecessary and is, in fact, quite damaging. It leads to more stress, which pretty much counteracts any attempts to “do better”.
A woman who is not free from unfounded guilt is not free to accomplish great things.
I absolutely must share with you a timely and encouraging tidbit from an email newsletter I received this morning. It comes from Lisa Bryne’s Well Grounded Life.
“We don't honor what we need right NOW. We keep believing that if we just PUSH. ON. THROUGH. somewhere there will be a finish line, somewhere there will be the red light and we can finally rest, someday we'll see the END of our to-do list.
It's a lie.
It's a destructive pattern and we are losing our lives to it.
When you live a life without boundaries and without protecting your inner life force...you are supposed to feel drained and tapped out.
These are the messages of a life out of harmony. They are your LIFE LINE, not your burden. They are the spark of life left in you begging for you to break the pattern and begin to reassess where you are headed and whether that is where you really want to be going.”