Let go of the guilt…if you can

12 Sep

During a conversation with a fellow parent/classmate the other day, I was asked if I feel guilty about being in school and having less time to spend with my daughter, Hannah. He said he struggles with this because he had become accustomed to doing certain things with his children that he currently has no time to do. I jumped at the chance to say, “Yes! I feel guilty, too!” I was immediately relieved to learn that I am not alone in this battle. So what should we do to resolve this?

My simple answer: try to let go of the guilt. I know, easier said than done. Take a look at this idea for a moment, though. Where is the guilt coming from? Well, for me, it’s the fact that I used to be with my daughter 24/7. Now I’m spending several (or more) hours a day at school, and then I’m working on assignments or reading when I come home. The quality time I spend with Hannah is diminished.

That being said, I also have to look at what I’m doing while I’m not with Hannah. I am furthering my education in an effort to find a great job that will not only help me provide for my family, but it will also make ME happy. Yes, ME. I loved being home with my daughter, but I also struggled with it. I felt stagnant. I wasn’t accomplishing any of the other educational or career-related goals I had set for myself. It was time to do something for ME.

So, fellow parents/students, spend as much quality time with your children as you possibly can, but remember you’re doing this for them, too. Teaching them the value of education is worth more than you think.

A few inexpensive ways to spend time together:

  • For all ages: if you have a child who loves to read, spend some time at the library. You can also use it as an opportunity to find books for that research paper due next week….plus, it’s free! For locations in Phoenix and surrounding areas, go to http://www.phoenixpubliclibrary.org
  • For the younger kiddos who love to read with you at home (and for those who may not be able to just pick up and leave the house): http://www.onemorestory.com allows you to read along with your child or listen to the narrator tell the story. Several free book samples are available on the site, and the subscription fees are reasonable. Thank you to my pal Karen for this recommendation!
  • It’s difficult to take children to the park when it’s 110 degrees outside, but when it starts to cool off, there are more than 100 beautiful parks in the Phoenix area that would thrill any child:  http://phoenix.gov/PARKS/parks.html

4 Responses to “Let go of the guilt…if you can”

  1. karenselliott September 12, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    Good point – if we’re not happy with “self” we can’t be a good parent or grandparent. And the value of education is also right on. Great blog, Joanne.

  2. creatingameaningfullife September 13, 2010 at 3:40 am #

    Useful tips that lead to meaningful relationships. Thank you!

  3. Sean September 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    I agree with Karen.

  4. HY Feng September 15, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    It must be tough to spend less time with your daughter. U guys are great.

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