Mommy Guilt

I woke up this morning knowing full well I had much on my plate with our 1st Birthday Bash for Jackson tomorrow.  In my mind I was SO not going to stress!  Then…something happened…Nathan found a (shhhh) cobweb behind our bedroom door.  After that…the not stressing…yeah…not so much.  Really!?  How could this happen to a self-inflicted neat-freak OCD obsessed lunatic!?  I mean really…there is never a dirty dish in the sink, a bed unmade, never a smudge on the counter or a crumb on the kitchen floor if it’s in my line of sight.  Ah…but the cobweb…not in my line of sight…it was behind the bedroom door WAY over my head.  But shouldn’t I have this place spick and span, top to bottom sunrise to sunset…I mean I am here all day long, right-?  Wrong.

Those are the things I tell myself.  Why am I so hard on myself?  Because I don’t have a j-o-b?  But I do!  First it’s wife and mother and then it’s housekeeper, homemaker, chief cook and bottle washer, “decorator extrordonaire”…and if my husband calls me Martha Stewart one more time…oy.   I often say “I just can’t get anything done!”  Usually it’s because a sweet little voice says “Mama…will you play cars with me?” or “Mama…will you read this book to me?” or “Mama, may I please have”…or someone says “Jack…you stink!”    I CANNOT say “No”.  How could I?  These precious little ones are here now…that will not always be the case. 

You know the feeling of defeat when you get something accomplished and not 5 minutes later it gets undone?  You know…like smudges of freshly cleaned windows…or cheerios strewn across freshly vacuumed carpet…or clothes ripped out of a folded basket?  But when I watch our parents with our kids…they actually don’t mind those things…in fact…they welcome them!  It’s as if smudges are a badge of honor saying “I’m a Grandparent…and I LOVE it!”  We didn’t hear “Oh, that’s okay!” when we did stuff like that!  So what am I missing?

A few weeks ago I was busily trying to finish something up before relaxing on the couch with Nathan and I’ll never forget what he told me.  He said “Just sit down!  You will have something to do until you die!  You’ll never get it all done!  Just sit down!”  What!?  This did not set well with the task master OCD obsessed neat freak.  You mean not everything and everyone can be happy, settled, clean, full and/or emptied and perfect ALL the time-?  Shocking, I know!  I had to admit defeat…he was right.  And I’m not one of those people who hates it when my husband is right…well…most of the time…but I had no choice here.  I cannot get it all done everyday.  I need to accept the things I cannot do…and NOT feel guilty about it.  Now there’s the kicker!

It’s funny how I am in a “Simplicity” bible study right now.  I see nothing simple about being a stay-at-home mother of 3 children.  I have never worked harder in my life and not just because I put immense pressure on myself for perfection.  This is a real job…the most important I’ll ever have.  I am accountable to God to how these little ones turn out!  They’re watching everything I say and do…and so is God.  The tasks will not ever end…but my guilt…which is wrong…can.  It can be simple!  If I just stop and listen to what it is the Lord wants to put on my to-do list I will be much more at peace.  And something tells me that when that same sweetie who asks me to play cars with him tinkles on the seatie I just cleaned 5 minutes ago, I wouldn’t be so upset!  And cobwebs?  Please…if someone sees cobwebs in my house and has the audacity to say so…you can bet I’ll be handing them a feather duster!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.   And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

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