Snapshots from my recent guilt trip

I feel the need to confess. I’m not 100 percent satisfied with being a mom.

I love my kids. They’re a great joy. They make me laugh, and I’m grateful that God gave them to me. I’m still amazed at the whole womb to birth to child development process.

But.

I need more than this. More than dirty diapers, jarred baby food, car seats, breastfeeding, potty training, waking up at 5 a.m. to crying children and a constant state of unclean. People tell me I’m going to miss these days. Really? I’m going to miss graham crackers stuffed into a piggy bank?
Stepping on toys in the middle of the night? Temper tantrums? Getting up 20 times during a meal to meet the needs of a  2-year-old, then a 10-month-old, then back to the 2-year-old? Stickers in every corner of the house, and on the van?

And for this, I feel guilty.

I know moms who seem to be totally content in their role. I love that you home school, make Halloween costumes, create fun activities and projects to do on rainy days, and enjoy your kids so much that even a day without them is hard.

I’m not you.

For this, too, I feel guilty.

Why is it that no matter our situation, we moms seem to always be on a guilt trip? And is it only moms or are women, for some reason, prone to book themselves on a one-way flight to can’t-measure-up land?

I heard at Bible study tonight that women find it tough to be “too much and not enough all at the same time.” (Our video quoted Staci Eldredge, “Captivating” author, among others.)

So, we can’t win? If we’re too much we feel guilty and if we’re not enough we feel guilty. That’s enough to make me feel guilty.

God has given me a passion — OK, I’ll call it a gift even if I don’t always want to believe that — for writing. And I’m insanely frustrated right now because there are words, stories, projects, scenes in my head, fighting for attention, trying to make their way from my brain to a computer screen somewhere, and I can’t make it happen. I can’t find the time. When I do have some time, I feel like I’m too wiped out to put in the effort writing requires. I need to read and research and write, and instead my days are spent with my two darling adorable children who will only be this age for so long, and at times, I’m resentful that I don’t seem to have any time to do what I was made to do.

And, you guessed it, I go back to feeling guilty.

So, what’s a mom to do? I can’t stop raising my kids. I’m not even sure we’re done having kids. I know that raising them is a worthwhile experience, but I can’t ignore the passion to write that burns inside me. I’m really bad at waiting. And I think to myself: if God is making me wait on the writing, then why is my head full of ideas?

I feel stranded, and I need a way out. I’d like to settle in the land in contentment, but I’m not sure I have the resources to make it there right now.

If you know a good travel agent, let me know. I’ve taken my last guilt trip.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Snapshots from my recent guilt trip

  1. I often wonder if there is such a thing as a fully satisfied, content life. I don’t think that I’ve ever met anyone who is. That’s one of my biggest fears about having kids, that I will feel like I’m missing out or giving something up…or, I don’t know because I have them.
    I’ve been struggling with that type of ‘not being satisfied’ thing a lot lately, that’s why I wrote my post about trying to focus on living one day at a time and enjoying each moment. I get so overwhelmed with not being what I want to be or whatever that I forget about the everyday.
    I think it’s okay to not be satisfied, but I think we all have to learn how to be happy with our lives as they are and change the things that we don’t like without messing others up…I don’t know how to say it, but I think that you have it in you to figure out how to be an amazing mom and do what God has put a passion in you for…

  2. Lisa–I have to tell you that the hardest time in my life so far was when Lucy and Ruby were Isabelle & Corbin’s ages. It is really REALLY hard to have 2 babies at different stages and be all by yourself for the majority of the time. But (to borrow a phrase from the gay community) IT GETS BETTER!! I was so depressed and so overwhelmed at that point in my life. I felt like I was losing myself. But every year they get a little older, and can take care of themselves a little better. Plus I have a better support system now & can actually have a babysitter every once in a while. I actually felt like having a 4yo, a 2yo, and a newborn was WAY easier than just having a 2yo and a baby because the older two can play together, and take care of themselves a little. Just remember that the nursing, diaper changing baby stage is just a tiny phase in your life. Even a year from now it is going to be so much easier.

    The baby stage is so hard. And being content with the day to day of it is so hard. I have always struggled with doing one thing and wishing desperately that I was doing something else–especially if I have some creative idea rattling around in my head–so I can totally identify with your post.

    I’ve been trying really hard in the last year or so to change that because my kids are really starting to notice when I am only half paying attention to them. Plus I don’t want to be that kind of parent, you know? I want to be totally engaged when I am spending time with them. I stay up late at least once a week to get out some of my creative energies…maybe that would help you a little? I don’t know. Just having a block of 5 hours without any interruptions where I can just work on whatever project I am thinking about gives me something to look forward to. If I KNOW I am going to have 5 hours later in the week, it kind of frees me up to totally concentrate on the kids even when I get an idea about something that I want to do–I’m okay to wait on it a little because I have a block of time set aside for that.

    Guilt sucks the life out of you, too. I kind of think you need to throw that off of you, ya know? I am really trying to acknowledge when I am feeling guilty about something & try to move on, I guess. You just need to be yourself & not worry about what other people are doing or thinking. (I know that’s hard–but I KNOW that God can free us from guilt.) You are a great mom, and you’ll be an even better mom when you can find that balance between meeting your kids needs and meeting your own needs. If you are secure with who you are and what you are doing with your life you’ll be able to pass that on to your kids.

    love ya & sorry for being so rambly,
    val

    • also–I really, REALLY recommend the book Raising Happiness, by Christine Carter. She studies what makes people happy and her book is so good. I read chapters of it over and over & I’m trying to do some of the things she talks about. Here is a link to her blog:

      http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/raising_happiness/

      It has a TON of great insights. It has a bunch on raising happy kids as well as learning how to be a happy mom. She’s not a Christian, but SO much of what she talks about agree with what the Bible says, it’s awesome.

      love ya,
      val

  3. I think any mom who says she loves being a mom 100% of the time is lying to themselves and others. I love my kids and wouldn’t trade being a stay at home mom for anything…but sometimes I love them more when they aren’t under my feet all day 🙂
    Being content is hard, especially when it’s the same thing day in and day out (yeah the stickers on the van may move from the van to the library book or the graham crackers may turn into being cheerios stuffed up their noses…but the chaos remains the same).
    You aren’t alone Lisa 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s