Monday, February 02, 2009

Got Guilt?

I've typed it once and I've said it a bazillion times, guilt is a powerful tool. And women are notorious for using it on others and on ourselves. When I was a stay at home mom, I didn't ever directly say things to working moms, but deep down it was there. "How could you choose a job or money or stuff over your kids?"

Then I became one of those moms. And yes, I chose. I justified the choice in so many ways that I was making my friends sick of hearing about it; I'm sure. (I've worked through and apologized for all that by the way.) And then Terry and I started talking about me staying home again. I was elated. We are settled on it. I am staying home next year. 

And today, I felt guilty for that choice. What the? I could not be seriously feeling this way. It's all I've wanted for the past two years. I've pleaded with God. I've been mad at myself for bad decisions. And I finally resigned myself to...what ever happens, happens. If I have to work, I at least have a great job, great flexibility and I enjoy it. Okay, the getting up in the morning I could forgo, but I'd have to get up at some point in the day anyway.

And the opportunity to stay home finally arrived.

But this past week, I've been enjoying my job on a whole new level. I'm a good teacher. I could be much better over time and putting in more hours; but all in all, I feel really good about my abilities. It's all been just clicking. Little Legoes just snapping in place. Kids are getting it. I'm getting kudos for my performance. All the stuff that makes teaching worth while.

However, several times I've had to talk myself out of STAYING. Why in the world would I want to stay? In a word: Guilt. 

I realized today I actually feel guilty because there are so many moms who have to work, or work and are much better at "doing it all" than I am, or I feel like I'm giving up this great job...crap, crap and more crap.

I hate guilt. I hate that we use it on each other. I hate that I use it on myself and sometimes even act like God is behind it. 

I don't have any words of wisdom here. This is a problem bigger than me, but I can at least address this in my own life. Frankly, from this point forward I refuse to allow guilt to be a burden in my life. I will make plenty of mistakes to feel bad about, but that is what God is there for, right? Pick me up, teach me, move on.

Guilt is one of Satan's best ploys to get us off God's track. He's got the majority of us wrapped up in it, ladies. It's just another way to condemn people.

So what's it gonna be? What do you feel guilty about? 


Lorren said...

Girl, what DON"T I feel guilty about?? Seriously, guilt used to motivate me in a lot of my was exhausting. God has really helped me get over that and learn not to be motivated by guilt.

The first day of school when you are getting those babies ready for school and not having to go in to work, you will know you made the right choice. There is a season for everything.

I miss you tons!! :)

Anonymous said...

Great post!! Yeah...a lot of times I feel guilty for getting to stay home when Dirk has to leave.

And for you? Just think of the fun and amazing things you'll be doing with your own daughters! Believe'll never feel guilty for that!

Keep're good at it!
(the other Robin) :)

PEZmama said...

I feel guilty about eating frosting right out of the tub.

I feel guilty about not doing a science lesson with my kids since the fall. (Yes. The science teacher isn't doing science with her kids. Have I ever told you I think science is overrated? Well, I haven't told you that because I don't actually think it. But I tell myself that so I won't feel so guilty... and now I am telling you too!)

I feel guilty about sleeping late when I should be starting lessons.

I feel guilty for yelling at my kids.

But here's the thing about guilt. Sometimes Satan uses it against us, true. But sometimes we feel it simply because - we ARE guilty - and we need to make something right. The trick is figuring out which is the bondage guilt (Satan's) and which is the growth guilt.

And maybe the whole thing about how you feel about teaching right now is just a test, plain and simple. Maybe God is testing you with circumstances at work to prove your faith.

Now, what he's got going on over on MY end, I have no idea. I'll get back to you on that once we finish our science.


PEZmama said...

And, oddly, I am feeling a bit guilty about not RSVPing to the last party the kids were invited to.


Kelly said...

Everything. I feel guilty about decisions I haven't even made yet- yikes!

Praying you feel peace... something that helps me, though, in situations like this one about staying home, is remembering that my husband is the spiritual head of our household, and I respect his judgement enough to try to let go of the guilt. I know he doesn't make decisions without truly seeking God, we both do together as well, but it is his position in our family to make the final call, and once he does, I seem better able to relinquish that guilt.
Not sure if that makes sense, I;m not all the way awake, but hope you are encouraged. :-)

Susie said...

Ooh, I love this post. Making me think about all the crazy guilt trips I have put on myself. Here's one for ya-feel guilty for not serving more at church. I lead a bible study in my home, but I don't serve AT ALL on the weekend. Skip is up there 24/7 and doesn't want the kids to be there all the time. Trying to agree with him, but then there's the guilt.

I often feel guilty for being a stay at home mom when my kids are all in school now. Skip loves that I'm home, I love that I'm home, but seeing women kill themselves to support their families when I can literally watch Regis and Kelly while drinking my coffee and having lunch with friends. Wish I could see this is a blessing for my obedience in being a supportive wife and mother.

Okay, I'll just email you next time I want to write a novel here. Sorry!

boomama said...

Ooooh, Robin- this is so good. I had a big talk with some friends this past weekend about "mama guilt" - and how we always wonder if we're doing the right thing. There's not a doubt in my mind that you're going to love being home again - and the great thing about teaching is that you can always go back when your girls are older. Sounds like you are leaving a great legacy at your school!

Cindy Beall said...

Okay, you didn't ask, but I'm gonna say this. I think that giving up teaching for you wasn't a huge sacrifice...until you started loving it.

Sacrifice is giving up something you love (teaching) for something you love more (Reese and Reia.)

Proud of you.