Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mom guilt. I'm an expert.

Every other Tuesday, I spend time doing an activity with the 8-12 year old girls from my church. Today, Grace said something to one of the girls about doing something active with her family, and the girl replied, "We're not really the kind of family that does things like that together. We do things by ourselves, like watch TV or spend time on the Kindle and stuff like that."

It made me sad for her.

I love that we do active things as a family and that spending time doing things together as a family is important to all of us. The girl's comment made me think about how I want to make even more of an effort to focus on doing more things together. Sometimes I do things alone because I know it will get done the way I want or because it will be faster and/or more efficient. However, my kids are gowing up fast. And I feel like I can't keep up. Like I'm missing it.


Since I stopped subbing, I have been really stressed about getting things done that kind of fell down the list of importance. But somehow, I feel like I don't have that much more time than I did when I was gone all day. So when my girls are home at the end of the day, I still feel like I am playing catch up and get impatient while the girls do homework but they won't focus or if they take their time getting ready for bed.

While I was making my second batch of sugar cookies this week because something keeps going wrong and they are not turning out how they are supposed to and I have to have perfect Halloween sugar cookies because I put that pressure on myself, I was thinking about how to balance all the things I need to do and want to do and don't get done with the mom guilt and the wife guilt.

Then I had a conversation with Scott about how Ellie gets in bed with me most mornings and I let her because I like snuggling with her, even if it means interrupted or less sound sleep. Out of concern for my well being, he thinks I should send her back to her own bed so she will get out of the habit of coming in to wake me up and she'll start going back to sleep.

But I know this is temporary. It won't last forever. And just Iike all the nights when she and Grace woke multiple times to nurse when they were little, I will miss this phase. I will miss her little body nestling into mine so tight. These are the things that matter. If I can just remember this at the end of the day, maybe I won't beat myself up so much. Maybe.

I don't want to miss a thing. I don't want to look back with regret. It is important that my kitchen floor gets cleaned in the next day or two. But as I plan my days, I will do it with my family in mind. I will put them first. I will sacrifice the things that don't matter in the long run for the things that do, the things I can't get back. I'll snuggle my girls an extra 10 minutes at bedtime and then mop the floor instead of reading. Because there will be time to read later.

And if I don't get a third attempt at the perfect batch of sugar cookies this week, life will go on. I will try to not beat myself up. I will try to set the guilt aside and focus on what I did instead.

Finding balance is hard. It's a daily struggle. But I won't stop trying. I can't or the guilt will take over. And then I'll never win.

If you take nothing else away from this rambling, randomness of my thoughts, please remember what is really important. And cut yourself some slack. I know this has nothing to do with running. But running is secondary to being a mom and a wife for me. In the big scheme of things, my family is what truly matters.



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