Thursday, September 9, 2010

Golden Arch Guilt

I don't know about yours, but my mother-guilt is a bit cyclical.

It rears its ugly head at least once a day, usually when I give my children too many sweets or when I climb into bed and realize I didn't read one book to one child. (And I'm supposed to be a homeschool teacher.)

But there is one particular place that almost always invokes a high intensity of mother-guilt.


For one thing, just pulling into the parking lot in the old mini-van gets me pegged. Tired mother, not cooking dinner.

Then, the first big dilemma: the playground.

I have three options.
  1. Follow the rules and take off the kids' shoes, leaving socks in place as requested on that big posted sign. The mother-guilt erupts right when the first kid slips on the tile floor in their socks, or cries halfway up the too-slippery slide (not that my children ever climb up the slide.).
  2. Ignore the rules and make the children go barefoot on the playground. EWWW. One child with hand-and-foot disease and we're quarantined for a week. At the very least, my children go home with disgusting feet.
  3. Cook dinner at home.
Well, that last one isn't an option. And none of these leave me guilt-free.

My other dilemma: do you really force your kids to eat all of their dinner before they get ice cream? From a health perspective, can the ice cream really be worse than the chicken nuggets? If the mother-guilt for allowing my children to climb the slide hadn't paralyzed me by now, the idea of just ordering ice cream and french fries should.

But today, I broke free. Oh yes, I did. While Real Gil took the girls on a date to see a movie, I pulled into McDonald's, shrugged off that ridiculous and deceptive guilt, and didn't even lose eye contact with the guy behind the cash register when I gave our order: one small fry and an m&m McFlurry.

The Little Man was happy, I enjoyed my favorite magazine for a half hour, and we went home with clean feet because we broke the rules - and went on the playground wearing shoes.

I'm feeling liberated tonight!

Resting in Him,

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