My preschooler was sick, my baby was sick, the house was a mess, the dishes were piled up, the laundry overflowing, and I was dead tired because I had been awake all night with a crying baby. I had responsibilities I should be doing for Church and the community but I couldn’t leave the house. I felt guilty because I had been sitting on the couch all morning holding my baby and reading a book, while my preschooler watched TV.
“Wait,” I thought, “why should I feel guilty? I’m in a temporary crisis situation.” So to make myself feel better, I got a piece of paper and divided it into 2 columns. On one side I wrote TEMPORARY CRISIS SITUATION and the other side I wrote WHEN THINGS GET BACK TO NORMAL. Then I listed what the crisis was (sick kids) and listed what I was able to do and should do (like give loving attention to my children). On the other side I listed all my jobs and responsibilities I would assume again, once my children were well.
After looking at my list I didn’t feel guilty anymore. I didn’t feel out of control anymore. I was being Mary instead of Martha and was putting important things first. And I could certainly read a book to keep my mind occupied while holding my baby, for pete’s sake, without feeling guilty!
Now I kind of look forward to temporary crisis situations because I can read a book or say “No” to others without feeling guilty. In fact, I just finished reading a book while sitting with my husband in the hospital yesterday. And I did not feel guilty one bit!