Guilt and Fear

You should purée your baby’s first tastes, save the world and your baby’s butt with cloth diapers, and put your baby to sleep on her back by 8. Thank you, parenting articles everywhere! But where is the 10-step list to holding it together when your life is in shambles?

I am doing my best to navigate being a mom of a two-year-old who needs holding, snuggling, chasing, tickling, laughing, singing, spanking, and loving. Mom of a two-month-old who needs nursing, rocking, sitting, praying, and special care taking. And wife to a husband who is facing the most difficult days of his life and needs hugging, listening, supporting, and encouraging.

All of this thousands of miles from home. Countless days from familiar faces. Memories away from comfort. And too many sandwiches since a home cooked meal.

Undoubtedly, I am leaving many things undone. When I choose to take Audrey to the zoo one morning for a special treat, gnawing guilt takes over that I’ve left Annie lying in a cold hospital bed. When I sit with Annie till late into the night, gnawing guilt whispers to me that I’m missing Audrey’s bath and bed time. When I sleep comfortably through the night in my Ronald McDonald house bed, gnawing guilt haunts my dreams of Annie being bottle fed every three hours by a stranger because I’m not there to nurse and nuzzle her back to sleep. When I haven’t hugged my husband at the end of the day, gnawing guilt tells me it shouldn’t be this way.

And then fear jumps through the door that guilt left gaping open. I fear I’m not brave enough to mother a heart child. I fear I’m not strong enough to bear the burden for my family. I fear I’m not energetic enough to raise my toddler. I fear that this life, this story that God is writing, would’ve better been anyone else’s.

“You may feel unqualified, uneducated, untrained, and even unworthy. Yet those are excellent qualifications for God to do a mighty work.” -Charles Swindoll

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3 thoughts on “Guilt and Fear

  1. Neda Garrett says:

    Tracy, I hope this doesn’t seem empty or cliche to say, but I think you are doing an absolutely impeccable job. The guilt will always be there no matter what, and you are doing a mighty job right now. It’s obvious through your pictures and your words what an incredible mother and wife you are to your family. God gave Annie, Audrey, and Matt the mother/wife that they needed. You are not lacking anything to be everything that they need. I’ll continue to pray for you and your family. God bless.

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  2. Mary says:

    If you weren’t having every one of those feelings then you might be lacking in what you have been called to do. Guilt, of course, and fear do not come from God but the desire to do all the things you are trying to juggle do. He has placed the love and concern in your heart for each one of your family. I don’t think you would be human if you weren’t struggling to accomplish every thing that needs to be done. The good news is that every morning His mercies are new. The fact that you can get up and get dressed with all of this on your head is proof that He is with you and He will carry you through. Will you have regrets? Probably….Will you wish you had done something differently? Of course…That is part of being a wife and mother. We never do everything perfect but we must strive to be and do our best…and if it is our best then it is good enough. God knows your struggles, and He knows your heart!!
    It’s hard for me to even think of that young girl at my house being old enough to be a mom much less dealing with the heavy life issues you are facing! Know that lots of people in LR love you and are praying for all of you!! Lots of love today!! Mary Bennett

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  3. jan degruy says:

    Dear Matt and Tracy,

    It has been a true pleasure to get to know you both and Audrey through just a glimpse. As others have said, you both are doing an awesome job with what you have been handed. I totally get the guilt and emotions, as we have road this roller coaster on and off for 21 years now, and I must confess It doesn’t get a whole lot easier, even as they get older and they get more independent, and don’t “need” you as much. We are still mom’s, as that is the job GOd has given us and the heart strings are still very much attached.
    We will continue to pray for you all, as you navigate the days, weeks and months ahead. We know that, although this is not what any of us had planned for our children, GOd sees the whole picture that we only see a small piece of. We have to trust that He is not given us this journey to harm us, but to grow us and those around us in ways that we could never dream. So although some days seem long and indescribable, know that HE sees us in those moments too and holds us in His palm always!
    Thanks again for the privilege of getting to know you just a bit as it made my stay here easier and encouraged We will be praying for you guys in the days and weeks ahead,

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