A couple of weeks ago, I was up all night with a teething 6 month old and attempted to get her back to sleep three or four times. You could probably imagine my exhaustion at 6:30 am when the alarm went off. Anyway, after I woke up my husband asked me if I wanted to get…intimate. I wasn’t up for it then, so I said no. I had never, in our married life heard a more disappointed “okay”. It was like telling a small child “no” to going to Disneyland…who does that?
Now before you turn him into the bad guy, let me clear one thing up, the night before I had told Alex that we were going to have sex the next morning; I had built him up only to have let him down. What I didn’t tell him after I declined was how often I had woken up to get Joy back to sleep, so to him, I was just procrastinating our time together.
Anyway, as the morning goes on, Alex is getting ready for work and I’m with Joy making sure that she’s content, but throughout the entire morning, I was racked with this ugly guilt. Not only was it nagging me but also it made me reflect and severely doubt nearly every aspect of my marriage. To a degree, it even made me question my ability to care for and nurture my own child.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “Jeeze Mare, you were tired. So what if you said no to having sex one time?” Believe me, I feel so incredibly silly for even letting myself think that deeply, but throughout my life, I have had tendencies to let these doubts, negative thoughts, and feelings spiral into overreactions. I’ve always struggled to control and rationalize how my thoughts react to different circumstances. When something bad or even confrontational happens, not only do I place the blame on myself, I over analyze that blame and pick myself apart.
Later on that day, Alex and I cleared up our miscommunication (and it definitely was a miscommunication), but I still wound up being sacked with guilt and doubt. I was asking myself over and over again why it was that I had felt this way and the more I came to the conclusion, the sillier I thought I sounded. I felt guilty because I was too tired to have sex with my husband…I felt guilty because I was too tired to have sex…I felt guilty because I was too tired. Why did I feel tired? Because I was up all hours of the night trying to get my kid back to sleep! If I had said this out loud to anyone else out loud, they would have thought I was crazy.
So in a mindset of self-therapy, I began to explore the other things that make me feel guilty and boy did it add up.
I feel guilty for being tired all the time.
I feel guilty for not having a clean house or always having the laundry done.
I feel guilty for not making more play dates for Joy.
I feel guilty for not always being the person that makes your crappy day at work better.
I feel guilty for not always reading my bible.
The list just kept growing.
I’ve tried to always be the voice of reason in a person’s life when they make mistakes, and remind them that they were only human. I remind them that not only was it okay, but that it was enough; that there was perfect reasoning behind why God was God and we were not.
Yet that day, in those moments of doubt and guilt, I excluded myself from that truth. I wasn’t allowing myself the grace and acceptance that I so frequently and easily give to others. Not only that, but I was oddly fine with self-deprecating myself with doubt. I rationalized all of my shortcomings as such normal things about me rather than granting myself the “human card”
I’m only human. I’m only human and I’m trying the best I can. I’m a mom, but I’m still human. I’m a wife, but I’m still human. I’m not sure how you feel about all of this readers, but I’m done allowing guilt and doubt become normal logic towards my (very reasonable, mind you) capacities.
I’m sleepy, why should I feel like the worst person on the planet for it? God forbid I follow my own advice and cut myself some slack. I leave you with just this last little bit: I’m new. I’m so very new at a lot of things these days; being a mom, being a STAY AT HOME MOM, and heck, I’m still trying to figure out the odds and ends of being a wife to my husband. I’m still trying to learn the balance to all of these things and that it all right. I guarantee that while I will have days or moments that are successes, I’m going to also have failures, and it’s okay.
It is the intention and effort that you put towards your actions, not necessarily the outcome it produces. If we only rely on what the outcome will be, then guilt and doubt find a way to saturate your mind, heart, and soul. Challenge that guilt and allow yourself to confront why you feel the need to standardize yourself to a capacity that it unrealistic for you. Not for me, not for Michelle Obama, not for God…for you.