Monday, November 15, 2010

Parenting Posts: Never Not Guilty

Now, to be fair to my critics, there are many in my family, and a few outside
it who believe that I have a talent for finding a way to feel guilty in about any circumstance. There is some merit to this assesment. Doesn't change the way I think or feel.

Most of my guilt has to do with time management. If I choose to focus on work, I feel bad I am not spending enough time taking care of Karis. When I am taking care of Karis, I feel like there is so much work that I should be doing or that needs to be done, but I cannot do it at the time because I am with my daughter.

This conflict furthers my guilt, because when I actually am taking care of Karis, I am not really present with her. I am thinking about the work that I need to do. And when I am working a day with a full-day of day care, like today, I feel unusually productive but feel like I should be with my baby, and I worry she will forget about me, and I will miss something about her.

Part of me thinks all of this is unavoidable. I wonder, though, if I would feel less guilt if I was not walking distance from day care, and if I did not work at home, or just a few steps away.

Part of me thinks if I wasn't committed to being with Karis half a day from the beginning I would not have this problem at all. When you parent a half-day, and spend the rest of the day trying to catch up with a full-time job, everything feels half-ass.

I want so badly to be an excellent parent, an excellent spouse, and an excellent pastor. And, whenever I give myself to one of these goals, I take away from the other. And that hurts.

I wonder why I never hear anyone else struggle with this juggling act. Everyone else seems to have negotiated this stage brilliantly with little stress. Several of my peers are able to juggle parenthood, ministry, and marriage more deftly than I. And they are able to support their families better financially. And they never seem to feel conflicted, overwhelmed, or wonder if they are really doing anything well.

1 comment:

SWG said...

If they say they don't struggle with these same issues then they are lying. Every parent struggles with them and I believe to some extent pastors struggle more because we don't have an 8-5 job. That has it blessings but also it's own unique challenges. I can't remember who said it I think it was Dr. Robert Laurent. "If you have the greatest ministry in the world but you have neglected your family what credit is it to you."
I do think you obsess about it a little much but your feelings are normal. And most dad's don't get to spend half a day on a regular basis with their kids. Relax and enjoy the ride. It will be over far too soon.