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TruthNotes

Timeless truth in a changing world

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Guilt

The Double-Sided Nature of Guilt

The other day I had a panic attack.  It suddenly hit me that I was totally screwing up this whole parenting thing.  I wasn’t spending enough quality time with my kids, I wasn’t disciplining well enough, I didn’t hug them enough, I wasn’t teaching them enough responsibility with chores, I wasn’t keeping on top of what they were learning in school…  In short, I was generally failing at pretty much every aspect of my motherly duties, and I was pretty sure my kids would be completely messed up for life.  Bad parent?  Guilty as charged.

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Guilty Consciences

Mommy guilt is a powerful thing, as most mothers can tell you.  Many of us worry that somehow we’re completely messing things up for our kids.  There are so many different books out there telling us how we “should” be parenting, and a lot of us read them only to realize we fall far short.  We worry that we’re damaging our kids for life, that they’ll be ruined forever if we do this parenting thing wrong.  Hence the painfully true E-Card that says, “Behind every great kid is a mom who’s pretty sure she’s screwing it up.”  One of the most encouraging books I’ve read is Mommy Grace: Erasing Your Mommy Guilt by Sheila Shuller Coleman.  I really need to re-read that book, because just last week we had a really bad morning, and I felt guilty about it the rest of the day.  Let me illustrate, but read on at your own risk…

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Fender Benders

It was not a good morning. At. All. I had accomplished the crazy morning dash of getting the kids ready for school and out the door on time, but as I pulled into the empty parking lot I realized we were on a two hour fog delay. At least, that’s what I assume. We didn’t have fog by our house, and since this was before the days of text notifications for delays and cancellations, parents were left to their own discretion to check the radio or TV for delays. I, obviously, hadn’t deemed it necessary to check, so here we were sitting at school fully ready for the day two hours early. But the day was about to get worse.
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