Wednesday, November 3, 2010

When guilt creeps in

It's not a pretty picture, when guilt creeps in.

As a mom who recently returned to full-time work after working part-time since my daughter was born, you can imagine that Mr. Guilt has pretty much taken up permanent residence in my psyche these days. He's unpacked his things, put them away in closets and drawers, and started leaving the cap off of my toothpaste.

And then my daughter came home today reporting that she'd been in time-out during nap time at school. For the gazillionth time this month. Given, she's 3, and could just be remembering a day last week when that happened. But Mr. Guilt points a finger at me, reminding me that if I weren't working my full-time job, the afternoons of difficult nap times and time outs would not be an issue. Instead, we would've been having perfect picnics at the park in the afternoons, celebrating the wonder that is my creative and energetic kiddo.


I think I take it too hard, the idea of my amazing daughter suffering the slightest bit. But on a day when I was at work from 7 a.m. to almost 5 p.m., when I left before my daughter woke up and came home when it was almost dark, to a daughter whose delicate self image was suffering... it was just too much. Guilt flung wide the door and stomped around with muddy boots.

I talked to my mom on the phone and actually cried. But she made me feel better, and then my hubby encouraged me to e-mail the school and try to figure things out. It's a wonderful school, with amazing and caring teachers who will completely work with me to make things right.

So I wrote an e-mail, a small positive action, which helped a bit.

Tomorrow will be better, I'm sure.

How do you deal with lousy days? How do you keep yourself from feeling guilty about the zillions of things that you can't make perfect in your life? Today I could use ideas.

By the way, Gretchen Rubin posted these ways for getting through a lousy day today. I thought it interesting that her post was so timely. Maybe it's universal to have rough days just before the time changes?


  1. I feel the same way so many days. I cry and call on friends to listen and understand. I try to remind myself that I am helping my daughter understand how the world really is and that most of us don't have the option to stay at home all day with our kids. (This is NOT an attack on SAHM!!!) I am simply saying that those of us who have babies and want to stay home but can't truly feel the guilt. My husband always says just do what you can honey....Right now I feel most guilty about not spending enough time with my firstborn...he gets left out lots b/c of how much time Ava demands..okay I am ya..Hugs!

  2. Thanks, Amber! It's nice to know at least that I'm not the only one feeling that way. Hugs right back!

  3. What I read: Flannery is so blessed to have a mom that loves her so much that she sacrifices her joy to take care of her the best way humanly possible. And yet another major plus: that she is getting the benefit of learning (ok, perhaps through punishment) how to behave in school at such an early age so that she'll be light years ahead of those rebellious youths who can't sit still in class. Lastly, that she can't nap in school - therefore she will never fall asleep in Calculus someone I know. Just saying. I've never met anyone who had a perfect life. And if I did meet one, I don't think I'd like them very much at all.

  4. Hah, I do remember falling asleep in calculus! That didn't help my math skills out, I'm sure! Thanks for the positive perspective!

    Love ya Kelley!!

  5. I agree w/Amber and Kelley! And I would add... We can only do the best we can do. And we all have to make sacrifices over the course of our lives that affect others and because we're Reed women, we'll feel guilty about it. But as Kelley so eloquently said, no one's life is perfect and God never promised us things would be fair. He just said He'd be there with us through them. Flanna is learning lots of lessons at an early age that will benefit her for life. And just like us, she'll be stronger in the broken places, emotionally tougher, and more empathetic because she's had those experiences. As will you. And robi. And remember, "normal" only exists as a setting on a dryer. So keep your chin up and know that we've all been there and could post our own blogs about similar things that you could read to make you feel better, but.. we don't have our act together as well as you do. So you'll have to call or email or facebook us and we'll share our stories to make you feel better. LOVE YOU!