Friday, May 28, 2010

The Verdict Is In

I have a relationship with...
GUILT.
I'm thinking I feel guilt too frequently.  But in a course of a day...

How can I not feel GUILT when not only is somebody babysitting my children for me, but while babysitting,   the babysitter mom has to wipe my potty-training child's bum?

How can I not feel GUILT when I've told my child "just a minute" and they call for me again in 20 minutes, them having spent the whole last 20 minutes vigilantly keeping time?

How do I not feel GUILT when I look at our toilets and become concerned that a family member could possibly contract a potential disease from exposure to our own bathrooms at any given moment?

How can I not feel GUILT when I look at my children's sleeping faces, give them each a goodnight kiss and  then whisper a silent prayer of thanks that I don't have to see them awake again for at least 10-12 hours?

How can I not feel GUILT when I see an old high-school acquaintance at the store and immediately text an unkind comment a simple observation to my BFF?

Or consider this... Somebody has just called to ask if my only awake child can come and play with her child and she can even pick her up, because she knows my two boys are sleeping.  As I walk back in the house, giddy with excitement to have QUIET time ALL TO MYSELF, I realize I only have 15 minutes until the older two kids return home from school.  And then comes the GUILT... when I begin to get unkind feelings towards her thinking WHY DIDN'T THE WOMAN CALL ME AN HOUR AGO?!?!

But I guess GUILT is good in someways...

I feel GUILT when I drop my Kindergartener off at school for her field trip and see probably every single Kindergarten mother accompanying their child on the Field Trip except...ME.  But then I remind myself that not only am I just finishing up the school year as the PTA President, with one more year to go, but that I'm on my way to Costco (with two-not-easy-to shop-with-little-boys) to buy 600+ drinks and order 600+ popsicles for Field Day for THEIR kids. That's why they have time for a field trip today and I don't.

And of course, GUILT serves a great purpose when it motivates me to DO BETTER.  Feeling GUILT helps when I am in the middle of a temper tantrum and the children and husband are ducking so as not to be assaulted by flying socks, homework papers or the occasional toy.  The GUILT brings a much quicker end to the tantrum and motivates me to do better more than any type of peace or joy ever does.

And now I must go.  Because I can feel some GUILT coming on... my dining room is covered with PTA papers that I promised myself I'd clear four days ago, the Cub Scout shirt is patiently waiting for the silver arrow to be re-sewn on so it isn't quite so crooked that it will embarrass the wearer, and my three year old cowboy is begging for his Wranglers to be moved from the washing machine to the dryer.

Oh great! And now I need to find some tape to fix the drawing that just got ripped because someone wasn't paying close enough attention to a one year old.  Actually, maybe I'll just throw it away and hope no-one remembers about it.

Aagh-the GUILT.
Does it EVER END?!?

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