Tuesday, November 13, 2012

guilt and priorities

Whether I've recognized it or not, in my few months of motherhood, I've been driven by guilt more than any other emotion, feeling, or priority. In talking to my "mom" friends, there have been hints of these feelings from them too.

guilt for...

not reading enough books to Simon
not reading myself
not working or having a "real job"
that I'm not loving my family and friends well
not serving the church as I should
the laundry that doesn't get done
Tom working when he's already taking a full load of classes
not keeping up with friends
that we're eating leftovers for the third day in a row
that our place isn't clean
that I haven't responded to emails or texts or written thank you notes promptly
taking a nap
that we sometimes don't have any fresh fruit or veggies in the house
taking a walk
that I've had the same clothes on the floor. for a month.
for not blogging enough
blogging instead of working
talking to people on the phone or going to see friends
having any down time
not loving Tom as I promised I would

I'm really grateful for the stomach bug I got this weekend. Sadly, being physically disabled was probably the only thing that would make me stop the craziness I'd created for myself. I've been waking up at 5:30 to start sewing and then would work until about 10 at night; I'd stop only to nurse, do a load of laundry, respond to 'business' correspondences, respond to a quick text, do some tummy time {for Simon - I'm not so much into tummy time myself}, eat a banana or some crackers, take Agnes out, eat dinner - all the things that were getting in the way of work. I've been driven to work 14 hour-ish days because I feel guilty about not having a "real" job. Even though that's the decision Tom and I made. Together

He demanded that I not do anything this weekend. It's the first time I've done nothing in months.It's only now that I'm out of the fog that I realize how driven by guilt I've been. Not driven by the priorities I've set for myself in my mind {God, family, health, serving others, being joyful}. I guess it's not so much a re-prioritizing of my priorities, but living in according to my priorities. Work isn't even on my priority list, yet that's what's been driving how I spend my time.

As I've been feeling better these last two days, I've been taking it easy and doing things that I've wanted to do for months. I told Tom this morning {as I put a dress that I wore for his birthday celebration {a month ago} in my closet}, "You know, if I take it easier, I'm going to look like I'm lazy, and you're just going to have to deal with it." Tom retorted, "No, you're going to have to deal with it." 

I kind of hate it when he's right. I'm the one who needs to be ok with "seeming lazy" even though I'm not, usually

Really, I need to be doing more of this:


  1. you explained it perfectly! i have a priority list, but i also keep a short list of things that could be dropped should i need a shower or a nap or a BREAK. it's good to keep balanced, but it's incredibly hard to do as a stay at home mom. thanks for learning the lesson and sharing it with us :)

  2. Girl, I'm the exact same as you and you put it in perfect words. Great post and I will go be "lazy" now too.

  3. Chane',

    This was so me 3 years ago when Stephen was a newborn. It was weird time of figuring out my priorities and what days at home would look like. I too felt a lot of guilt over all the things not done and the appearance of laziness. I wanted my day's work to be measured and visible- still do. It is hard letting go of that expectation for yourself.

    Stay at home/work at home is a lot for a mama to juggle. It has a unique set of challenges. Hang in there and be gracious to yourself.

  4. I have absolutely no doubt that you are a wonderful mom and wife! You were certainly an incredible teacher who knew what had to be done and did it! Everyone deserves some down-time! (And you shouldn't have to be sick to get it.)


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