Sunday, January 17, 2010


It's Sunday morning and I feel guilt.  I don't think the Thayers will be making it to church today.  I feel the Catholic guilt setting in after a childhood and many adult years of getting there every Sunday.  I tend to feel that God is an understanding God who know that my heart is there and that sometimes life just creates obstacles that make getting to the actual church for the service is difficult. I lead a life of helping others and prayer.   However, I still feel judged.  I still feel guilt.  One bad thing about a strong Catholic upbringing, I guess.  But don't judge me for that last sentence, my Catholic friends.

It was a great day yesterday at the Sesame Street LIVE.  Roa was mesmerized!  Simply stared at the dancing, singing human-sized TV friends.  The lights and twinkly stars of the set where the best feature for Roa.  I soaked up the energy that radiated from his excited little body.  It was pure magic.  One we will keep in our memories as our first big family-centered event. 

Sure, we have taken Roa to the zoo, to the mall, on a fall wagon ride, etc.  However this was an event where we had tickets, where we had to be quiet at times and sit. Where getting out to move around was a little bit of a challenge.  Where diaper changing, too, was a bit of a treck.
Life with Roa has been a challenge and a lessen in parental guilt.  Since birth, a simple trip to the store was a gamble.  Simply put- Roa was uncomfortable.  Uncomfortable in his sweet little body that cramped  and arched and ached.  Uncomfortable with the sensation of a wet diaper, the bright lights after little sleep, the cold winds of the outdoors. Uncomfortable with reflux that caused him to want to nurse frequently from Momma.  It made any trip out of the safety of our home stressful.

Honestly, we didn't take him many places.  And to this day, I feel guilt for not venturing out on my own more with Roa.   Will he arch in my arms and scream? What if he cries the whole time?  What will people think? Where will I nurse him or change his diaper? 
Now that Roa has grown to a 25 pound toddler, managing him alone on an outing is difficult.  Especially during Minnesota winter.  Sure, you can say use a carrier or a stroller, but if you have met my smart little angel, you know that sometimes those wonderful modes of transporting a baby cause him anger and frustration because he wants to WALK and EXPLORE and do TYPICAL toddler things that his mind tells him to but his body does not allow. 

So I continue to feel guilt about simply staying home.

Today we are staying home from church because we threw a wrench in King Roa's schedule by our Sesame Street outing yesterday.  His napping was off, his bedtime altered, his meals didn't go down so smooth.  Some people judge, furthering our guilt, and say, "That is just life.  Make him learn to deal with an altered day." 
I was one of those people when I was a teacher working with families of children with special needs.  But now,... I live it.  I realize that my body aches from being up alot of the night with a fussy boy.  I want some sort of normalcy for the rest of our weekend as Bryan and I feel the guilt of passing our active boy off on one another so we can steal a bit of rest for our tired "30-something" bodies. 

Plus, I don't want to go to church and see the peaceful babies, nestled in mother's arms and the adventurous toddlers chasing toys in the Crying Room or dutifully eating Cheerios as they sit straight and strong in their Daddy's laps.  I feel the guilt of envying these Beings of Perfection.  Of secretly hating them for their blessings. Do they appreciate what God has given them in that able body?  And that is not the thoughts a GOOD mother should have in a House of Worship.

So I sit here at my computer and feel the guilt and share in my confession with you.


  1. Others have shared the same type of guilt. God is loving and understanding as are your friends.

  2. Christianity is bigger than showing up at church each Sunday. Our God is a loving God and always knows where your heart and soul is. He is with you always and everywhere!

    Luv ya!

  3. I share your guilt Jennifer, with a double whammy of irish Catholic upbringing. LOL And youre also not the only one who looks at the other kids and knows she has a long way to go before her thoughts are not a little tinged with jealousy and anger and regret.


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