I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time feeling guilty. I’m either not working hard enough, or I’m not a good wife, or housekeeper, or mother, or dog owner, or church member, or…the list of things we could feel inadequate about is unending. It’s easy to feel that you aren’t good enough or aren’t measuring up to what other people are accomplishing. There are only so many hours in the day and we can easily make ourselves feel guilty about just about anything. For example:
- An author-friend commented on Facebook that she feels guilty for accomplishing a lot while her children are in school.
- Another friend of mine feels terrible for having to ask for help with her kids when she has a lot to get done while running her in-home business. She feels like she’s a bad mom for not watching her kids and for putting work first and also that she’s inconveniencing the person she’s asking to help.
- Another friend was moaning about being sick and needing to rest. He felt guilty for spending time sleeping so his body could recover.
Why do we do this to ourselves? If we are trying hard, we are doing the best we can each day. I saw a meme recently with a quote that I’m going to probably botch as I try to recount it by memory, but it said something like, “If you are functioning at 40% and you give 40%, you gave 100%.” A lot of days we are doing well and can blast through the day with 100% productivity and energy. But there are those days that beat us down and I like the reminder that if we give it all, we are still working at our capacity for that time period.
It is fine to take the time to work hard on writing or working at your day job! Meeting deadlines is important. And through working hard for a period of time, we are more free to spend good quality time with our families when they get home from work, school, or grandma’s house. Using time when our children are happily occupied away from the house–either at school or other some activity–is not something we should feel guilty about.
It is fine to take a nap when you are sick or even if you are so exhausted from your daily routine. Exhausted people aren’t productive anyway and a grouchy husband/wife/mom/dad isn’t always a good one. If we take time to rest, we can do a better job in our relationships and with what we need to accomplish after we rest.
It’s okay to take a few minutes to walk the dog and it’s also okay to skip the dog’s walk now and again.
And it’s okay to ask for help! Those who are in our lives offering to help usually feel special to be asked.
So let’s all stop feeling guilty no matter what and start reminding ourselves how well we are doing with all we are trying to balance.
We are amazing creations! We can accomplish great things with God’s help!
Do you struggle with often feeling guilty? Is your guilt misplaced?
Do you have any ideas of how to tamp the guilt down?