Friday, May 13, 2011

Mom Guilt Strikes a Fatal Blow

Mom-guilt. I hate it. The moment the nurse placed each of my four babies into my eager arms, I could physically feel a lump form in my throat, a lead brick settle in my stomach, and some type of hot, painful, guilt-hormone race through my veins.

He has ear infections because I didn't breastfeed long enough.

I should've put an extra blanket on her when she fell asleep.

I knew his friend was sick when he came over, why didn't I cancel their play date?

She wouldn't have stitches in her lip if I'd left her training wheels on.

So, this morning I'm sitting in an audience filled with camera-toting parents and grandparents. Samuel, my 4th grader, has made the cut. He's one of five top spellers in his grammar school's 3rd and 4th grade classes.

This means one thing...district championships. Nineteen schools participate from the county and only the best of the best spellers compete.

Driving there this morning my inner dialogue began:

Hmmmm, you know, come to think of it, I don't recall going over the spelling words with Samuel.

That's okay, he's in the gifted program, remember? I'm sure he's got this figured out. I mean , who can't spell "friend" or "flimsy"?

But, you went over spelling words with his sisters and brother when they were in spelling bee's. You took the time for them.

Yeah, but I'm not a "new" parent anymore. I am much more relaxed about Samuel.

Or, maybe "Just Too Busy" working on your book?

Mom-guilt struck its fatal blow.

Sitting through three hours of a spelling bee, on a multi-purpose room bench can be painful. But, do you know what is excruciatingly painful?

Seeing tears well up in my son's eyes and watching the anguished look on his face as he missed the only two words on his team - losing the district championship for his school.

ACCUSE and MEASLES will go down in infamy, right alongside a few Kraft family spelling bee favorites like NASAL and BALLOON.

With that said, I'm going to be absent for a week or two. I'll be back on June 1st when the book comes out. I need to be present for the ones who need me most. It's time to focus on my one true calling, and the sweetest, most rewarding ministry God could ever give me - my family.

(But, if I'm not back in two weeks, don't send flowers - send BALLOONS. And, don't ACCUSE me of having the MEASLES. It's probably just a NASAL infection.)


Susan said...

Hawaii was Kate's downfall in the spelling bee. She forget to say capital "H".

You're a great Mom...enjoy your family and I can't wait to get my book (ordered online awhile ago)!!!


Mari said...

Enjoy your time! I will be taking a bit of a break soon myself, because my sweet son will be coming home on leave!!!

karendalycook said...

Don't let the guilt overshadow the great relationship you have with your kids. Glad you are taking some time with the family before your book launch. Laugh, play and enjoy your family...much love my friend.

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

Susan, Oh poor thing-I agree with Kate, it's too small of a state to earn a capitol letter!

Mari - Oh happy Day! Rejoicing with you!

Karen - Thanks friend. I love them so much. God must know I need to focus and get centered in Him before the book is out, huh?

Elizabeth M Thompson said...

It is wonderful that Sam made it to the district spelling bee!

Try not to beat yourself up too much about the busyness of motherhood. Somehow they grow up to be the people God created them to be in spite of their less-than-perfect parents.

Carrie Schmeck said...

Argh. It's bad enough to have the guilt. And then for that guilt to play out in flaming glory. Yikes. I'm feelin' your pain.

Have some blissful time off.

Jennifer @ said...

Enjoy your time with your family. And congratulations on your book. It looks like a winner!

Angie Knight said...

Awww. Mom--If I told you MY would feel SO MUCH BETTER. But--I will save it for our next "in person" meeting. In the meantime--know that no amount of guilt "unmakes" the great mom that YOU ARE.

I love you dearly !

Beth in NC said...

Awwww. I'm sorry! Don't beat yourself up. You're a great Mom!


Paul said...

You're still the best wife and mom ever!!


Chris Pedersen said...

Joanne, There is no more hurting pain than the regrets of parenting. You're a wonderful mama. You were there for Sam at the spelling bee. I'm sure there were plenty of parents absent. HUGS!

Erin MacPherson said...

Ohhh... i'm so sorry... but you know it's not your fault!! I'm feeling some mom guilt right now, too, over the fact that my mom is taking my baby on an 11-day vacation this summer. I don't want him to think I'm sending him away... lump in throat.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

So very sweet, friend. Both of my older boys won the spelling bees at their school which meant long trips to compete at a higher level. I worked with them back then. But now, when my 4th grader won his grade (a feat all its own considering he's dyslexic), I kind of let it go. He didn't get past the next round, and he was fine with it all. But I often wonder where my energy for it all has gone?

Last night, Amelia had an assignment for reading. I was so "done with it" I simply said "good luck", went to my bedroom, and shut the door. Sure hope she finished it.

Enough rambling... I'm famous for it these days. Just wanted to say "I get it."



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