Thursday, May 27, 2010
How Guilt Motivated Me
This weekend I went on a much needed date with my husband. We had not been on a date alone in 6 months! Sad, but true. On the rare occasion we do go out, my kids love babysitters. They actually beg for babysitters. My kiddos are very social, active and thrive in new environments and with new people. It isn't surprising that getting a new face in the house is a treat.
I don't know why I felt so jealous when I heard the extreme giggles as we left for our date and shut the door behind us.
I thought about my children several times on our date, always knowing they were well cared for and having fun. This certain babysitter is by far, their favorite!
When we arrived home and opened the door, I was struck by that same feeling of jealously as I heard those contagious giggles again. Had they been laughing this hard and having this much fun for the entire 3 hours we were gone?
As I read to them that night and put them to bed, the jealously turned to guilt. I thought back over the last few weeks...maybe months of my interactions with them. They have not giggled like that with me.
I have not played with them much.
All my children want to do is play with me. They just want my attention. Lately, I have been pre-occupied with everything else, but them. I am home with them two days a week. On these days, I lug them to the gym for a quick workout so I can maintain my sanity throughout the chore filled day. When we get home from the gym, I attempt to do the laundry, keep the kitchen clean, organize closets, water the garden, keep up with social media for my coaching business, make phone calls, write bills and pick up toys and art supplies 30-40 times a day. The entire time I am crossing things off the list I have two whiney and mischievous kids doing everything to get my attention, and I am annoyed by them.
The baby sitter just played with my children, and they giggled.
I listened to my guilt, and today we did nothing but play. We played from 7am to 1pm without interruption. I did not touch the computer, I did not go to the gym, no laundry, no dishes, no phone calls....No whiney children!!!!
My children giggled all day.
I know it is unrealistic to do nothing everyday, but today it is just what we needed.
I used to think guilt was a wasted emotion. Maybe so, it depends on how it serves you. Does the guilt just keep you living in the past, or motivate you to change your present behavior?
I thank my guilt for motivating me to take a break and enjoy my children.