Perfectionist Confessions

Mom Guilt 101

Mom Guilt 101

Last week as I walked out of work on Thursday afternoon I breathed in a deep sigh of relief knowing that I would be getting a full 4 days or not being at work. Don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoy my job, but knowing that I had a few days to get some things done at home (and to wrestle through the DMV) was wonderful.

I also knew that I had some time to spend with my kids. Thursday night after we got home from gymnastics we took the time to go through all the kids clothes and SERIOUSLY downsize. By the end of the night 6 large garbage bags worth of clothes left the house. It was fun to talk through why to keep this thing but to get rid of that thing. While it wasn’t a chore I was thrilled with doing it was fun to do it with the kids together. Friday was spent with a sick kiddo, laundry, and lots of Netflix. A trip to the grocery store and the Collin’s gymnastics class was also on the docket. Saturday consisted of sorting through my own laundry and more Netflix, and a quick trip to Hurst for the big kids to see a friend. By Sunday I was sick and I spent the majority of the day on the couch with at least one of the kids basically on top of me. A complete run through of Netflix’s Carmen Sandiego and My Little Pony was in order.

The whole weekend was an opportunity for me to get the chance to rest and also spend time with the kids. I really felt like I had done a good job of really soaking in my time with them. As I walked out the door on my way to work this morning I felt good about the situation. I knew they were being cared for, I mean they were home with their dad after all. And I knew that I would be home in no time. And throughout the day I didn’t feel one ounce of guilt for being at work and not at home. That was until about 3 PM when I got a message from Dusty about the state of the kitchen when I got home. It was at that moment that I began to doubt every life decision I had ever made.

I took the time on the less than 5 minute drive home to brace myself for what I would be walking into. The truth of the matter is it wasn’t all that bad. Sure there were dirty dishes in the sink that needed to be put in the dishwasher but that was going to require unloading the clean dishes first. A simple enough job. And the counter needed to be cleaned off. The only other issue was the state of the table but that tends to always be an issue. Dusty and I talked about the events of the day and it was then that I felt the wave of guilt set in. I started to tell myself that I was failing at doing everything I needed to do to set my family up for success during the day while I was gone.

“I should have stayed up last night and done the dishes completely.”

“I should have gotten up early and made sure breakfast and lunch was ready”

“I should have done more. I should have done better.”

Isn’t that the way it always goes? Why do I feel the need to put more into each day than I have to give? Is there every going to be a day that I go to bed feeling like I did well and not ticking of the list of things that I didn’t get done or the things I need to do better?

The answer to those questions is simple: “I am a perfectionist and there probably won’t be a day I go to bed with the feeling of a job well done.” At least not until my desire and our necessity are not such polar opposites. And even then, until Jesus returns and the world is finally made right again, I will still have some reason to doubt and feel as I have let down. But for tonight, I have done the things I needed to do to help make tomorrow a little bit easier for my people while I go do what needs to be done.

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