Confession time. I am a guilt ridden Mother. I’m sure it came attached with the placenta at the hospital when I held all of my babies for the first time. They say worry is like a rocking chair that keeps you perpetually rocking but moving nowhere. If that’s the truth then what is guilt?
I feel guilty about everything. What food I feed to my children, the state of my house, the state of their souls, the choices I make where I put things before them. All valid things, like housework which is necessary but takes up time I could be being with my family. Apparently a child’s personality is formed in the first 7 years of their life, well if that’s the case I’ve well and truly blown it. Not because of any wilful negligence or harm inflicted, just the usual day-to-day of living.
I feel guilty, sometimes , that we have 4 children. 4 children I am deeply grateful for but if we had not had so many there would perhaps be more to go round. Don’t ask me to pick one to not be here though because they are all my favourites. Usually I am stronger and can put these feelings of guilt away to where they really belong. I know, deep down, that I usually do the best I can.
What upset me this morning was my son asking if he could have a measly amount of pocket-money. They have an inset day today so we had to run some errands in town. I felt horrible saying to him, no he couldn’t because my other daughter had a friends party to attend and I had to buy a token gift for that. Despite my husband losing his job, we usually just about manage at the moment financially but this was a week where a lot of regular bills were due and I had to leave money in the bank for that.
He was understanding and completely fine about it. They are such good kids. They know we’re going through a difficult time so they never make a fuss about going without things they would like. We have a roof over our head and clothes to wear. Compared to a lot of people in poverty we have a wealth of things. The children have a wealth of things. We are very blessed. But I couldn’t help feeling guilty over the coffee out my husband and I had enjoyed with friends earlier in the week.
We’ve tried really hard to cut down on unnecessary and extravagant spending. I do the finances because my husband is forgetful in that regard and things would not get paid! Today I’m feeling guilty because the budget has gone awry again and it’s obviously my fault.
Sunday morning we had a well-timed sermon on “Money and happiness” and I was trying to mentally calculate the amount of money I could afford to spend on the kids presents. Then feeling ashamed because we were watching a video about “Samaritan’s Purse” and their shoebox appeal. Those children who were receiving the shoeboxes were so grateful it brought tears to my eyes.
So, everything in perspective. We, as a family have so much. Material things do not buy us happiness. My children will manage with less. Our situation will be relieved some time. God has not forgotten us or ever failed to provide for us. Misplaced guilt will not do me any good. My son will benefit far more from me spending quality time with him, as I’m about to do now.
Till next time.
PS. Don’t even get me started on the guilt I feel over my marriage and my spiritual life.