Thursday, March 14, 2013

Priority Conflict

Do you ever feel your priorities warring with each other?

I do and it’s soooo hard.

I know as a working mom, and a former single mom, that is the nature of the game, but it seems to get harder with time, or maybe it’s age. It gets harder to make myself a priority when I don’t feel like I make my family enough of a priority.

Let me explain:

Growing up, I never thought to stay home. I knew that I would grow up to be a working woman. Then, with the birth of my first child and my life as a single mom, I knew that there was no other option. So, I went to school and prepared my career.

But, now, I don’t know why, but I have the insane desire to stay home. I have this yearning for days at home, be they lazy or busy, for a simpler and less stressed life.

Now, mind you . . . I have worked all but four years of the last 15 years. But over the last couple of years everything changed. Gradually, I started fighting with myself and my guilt every time I had to take a sick day or leave early for a doctor’s appointment. Then, I started working from a different office, farther away, and with a lot more stress. Now, I just want to be home. I want to clean my house, I want to be free to come and go as needed, I want to be there to cook dinner and clean the house.

As the year moves on, I feel more and more guilty that my husband has to cook every meal, that I don’t seem to have the energy to clean the house, and that I now have a growing list of medical problems on top of dealing with my oldest daughters depression, etc.

So, when a member at church invited me to join a promising sounding Thursday night women’s group, I thought that it would be the perfect opportunity for me to get some support and to grow stronger in my faith. My husband and I talked it over, and we made arrangements for dinner that night, etc.

And, then it happened.

I started driving to the group and I couldn’t extinguish this growing feeling. I know that I have written before on my social issues, about how I am scared, sometimes cripplingly so, in social situations. I am scared of rejection and of being a third wheel. And yes, that feeling was creeping in on me as I drove, but there was something else too.

I started to think of all the activities during the week that take my family away from each other. Between all the activites, we go our seperate ways 3-4 nights a week. I started to feel guilty for looking at another commitment that would take me away (even if it is the only one I would have alone, and even if it is on the same nights as karate). It started nagging on me that I would not get time at home with my oldest on Thursday evenings. That I would have no option of going to karate, although, honestly, I hardly ever go. This feeling just kept growing inside of me. This feeling that what I was doing was not right. And, then I pulled into a crowded parking lot. (Now I had been told that this group was about 80 ladies strong, but the number in my head was NOTHING compared to seeing all those cars!) I immediately knew that what I was doing was wrong, at least for me, and I left.

Could that group have been good for me? Sure.

Could it have been just what I needed in this world? Sure.

Could I have just been another soul lost in the crowd, as I feared? Sure.

Could it have helped me grow spiritually? Sure.

Am I sorry that I didn’t go? I don’t think so. I was sorry that I didn’t go a year ago when I was first invited, but I don’t think that I am sorry that I didn’t go this time. I want to be home. I need to be home and, at this time, I think it would have just been too much.

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