I have a confession to make.
Really guilty. I’m full of self-reproach. And once I tell you why, you may decide you are too.
My daughter is taking the CogAT this week. The whole third grade is taking the cognitive abilities test. Before the test, we get letters telling how a good night’s sleep and a nutritious protein-rich breakfast are so important.
So this week while I’m helping my daughter pick out her outfit and get her hair just right, my husband is downstairs scrambling eggs and cooking bacon and biscuits. But when my daughter sat down to eat, you know what I was thinking?
Moms are supposed to fix the breakfast. I should have been the one scrambling the eggs.
And why don’t I get up a little earlier and provide this kind of breakfast every morning?
And the guilt begins.
I slip my arms into my sequined coat of shame, and I wear it everywhere.
Why sequins, you ask? They draw attention. And every eye is a jury member casting their vote my way – guilty. Guilty. Guilty.
A few weeks ago I was almost sick with it, when my sweet hubby asked me what was wrong. “I feel guilty,” I told him, staring at the ceiling.
“About what?” He sounded confused.
I took a deep breath and rattled off my list. Don’t hold me to it, but it went something like this.
I feel guilty for not exercising more. It’s my fault I’m overweight. I need to get healthier.
I feel guilty for not spending enough time playing with Grace. But when I do spend more time playing, I feel guilty for not sitting in front of my computer and working on my writing. Do you know how long it’s been since I worked on my book?
I feel guilty every time I leave the house and leave Alan with the kids. He is stressed from work. I probably should just attach them with bungee cords and take them wherever I go.
Why don’t I buy more organic foods? I feel guilty that I’m slowly turning us into a family of mummies with all the preservatives we eat. Hundreds of thousands of years from now, the bodies dug up and studied will be the Hatcher family, because we were “preservi-fied” and never changed a bit.
I feel guilty for not calling my extended family more. Why can’t I just set aside one day a week to make some “how are you” phone calls?
I feel guilty for not doing more service projects as a family. I think up good ones, but often fail to make them happen.
I try to have time in God’s Word every day. But sometimes I get busy and squeeze Him out, and I feel guilty.
I feel guilty because they need more Sunday school workers in the preschool at church. I don’t really feel God calling me there, but I am a warm body who loves kids.
I feel guilty because I don’t eat lunch with the kids at school very often. Grace is so busy, it’s exhausting to take her to the school. And now Colin is in middle school and may not even want me at school at all.
And on that note, why I am not more involved in PTA? Am I not the perfect person for it? I’ve been a teacher AND a parent. I feel guilty for that.
I feel guilty for not showering earlier in the day. I never go without a shower, but often don’t take one until two o’clock. Don’t all the good moms get up with the chickens for a shower?
And while we are talking about not showering early, I feel guilty for coming to the bus stop every day in my pajamas. Granted I don’t get out of the car, but what if I need to?
I feel guilty for not doing family devotions as much as I’d like.
I feel guilt when we eat out. That’s a triple whammy because I feel bad for not cooking, for spending too much money and for not eating as healthy as I could if I were at home.
I feel guilty for not folding the clothes straight out of the dryer. Instead, I jumble clean clothes in a basket and let them sit for a week so they’ll be totally wrinkled when we go to wear them.
Are you getting the idea? Alan was speechless when I finished. Actually, I don’t think I ever finished. I believe he stopped me. He didn’t understand.
I was like David who said, “My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.” (Psalm 38:4 NIV)
But when I mentioned this to a girlfriend, I found out something HUGE – she was guilty, too. Maybe her guilt-ridden items varied slightly from mine, but the shame was still there.
Ladies, why do we do this to ourselves? And even more important, can we be acquitted for all our crimes?
Are you struggling with guilt? Read the 3 Steps to Guilt-Free Living HERE.