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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

MOMMY GUILT



Mommy guilt!
Been there, done that?
I thought so.
Me too.

So I was thinking about it yesterday as dh and I worked on our third batch of cinnamon apple butter together.
(Yes, we make bodaciously marvelous apple butter together; gals, this is what happens when you convince them the stove is a "grill".)

There our four kids were, watching The Wilderness Family on DVD, while we spent about 2½ hours busying ourselves in the kitchen.
[Begin lament]
I should be with them.
They need me.
Why am I sitting here stirring apple butter?
This is lame.

[end lament]

Wait,...just why am I sitting here making apple butter? The obvious answer was that my family likes cinnamon apple butter and I was making it to please them.
So why do us moms have to complicate the issue?
I mean, hubby wasn't having "daddy guilt" (at least not that I could see; has that been invented yet?) And the kids did seem perfectly fine without me.

So I got to thinking. It wasn't so much that I was busy making apple butter that gave me a small dose of mommy guilt. It's just that I was busy.

Busyness.
Time sucked away from the precious moments of our days.
Time is limited and must be stewarded wisely.

So, I slathered a little apple butter on a bite of english muffin (to help me think, of course) and thought some more.

Mommy guilt when I'm washing and folding the bed linens. Sure, we do need clean bed linens, but if one (or all) of my children is feeling particularly mommy-needy that week, why can't I delay that chore and invest in my children instead?
When they are gone, will they recall those clean sheets?
Or the time spent (or not spent) with me?
Which one do I want them to recall with fondness?

Mommy guilt when they want me to go outside to play with them, but I decline because it's "too hot" (seriously, do we ever outgrow that whine?) and I'm feeling right comfy in the air conditioned house.

But,...

Would I melt?

Actually, yes I would.
I have naturally curly hair and it totally frizzles to the max after too much heat and humidity (seriously, I do).
But just because I'll come back inside looking like an English sheepdog doesn't mean I should take my dose of mommy guilt lying down on the sofa.
Time is what they want and it's mine to give.

Or not (gulp!)

Cautious note to self: I cannot buy it back when the fleeting moments of childhood are gone.

As I recently read (and agreed with) elsewhere on the net, I'm certain when my children are grown and gone, I will yearn for these days I'm in midst of now.
I will wish I could do it all over again.
I just don't want to wish I had done it differently.

Throw mommy guilt out the window at some point this week, won't you?
When your child comes and asks you to get stuck in the Molasses Swamp for 47 turns (again), indulge him.
No matter how well intentioned your busyness may be regarding the serving your family, your children will be well served indeed by your willingness to simply be with them.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven..."

Live wise in Him!

~Toni~

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