Like it or not, we all have that habit of making excuses to justify what we do. Let’s face facts and be frank with ourselves. “I am unable to exercise because I am so busy”, “It looks difficult”, “Hmmmmm it is easier said than done”, and all the other statements we make either verbally or mentally to justify our actions. What am I driving at today?
This reality hit me one morning on my way to work one morning. Like most parents we know the importance of using the car seats for our kids, but to avoid tantrums and for the sake of our own peace and sanity we decide to unbuckle them against our better judgement. Deep deep down we know it’s not right considering the safety of the child. As I was saying, my son had a cold so I left him with my mother, God bless her! and set off with my boss madam who within minutes of setting off hopped from her seat to the front seat. I quickly used the seat belt just to strap her and if you are familiar with the slippery ease of these toddlers you would know that the seat belt would just be a loose rope that would be so easy to untie. She quickly slipped free ignoring all my voice of caution and warning to move to the back seat if she was not going to stay strapped in the seat. Even after pleading that, “Please sit down or Police will catch mummy”, it still fell on deaf ears.
Unfortunately for me my luck run out that morning, I happened to stop just in front of a Policeman in the slow-moving traffic. I quickly froze with a focused gaze on the car ahead of me pretending I had not noticed him. He then approached the vehicle and knocked on the window then signalled for me to roll down. In fact from experience I never knew the police in Ghana paid attention to ensuring kids were buckled up in their seats. I rolled down and endured all he had to say knowing he was right. Won’t go into the specifics of what ensued. At that moment I was mad. At myself? No! But at the policeman, “How dare him?, does he know how difficult it is to focus on the road whilst you have a kid throwing tantrums amidst trying to keep them entertained?” “Does he know what I go through every morning with my two kids?”.
I was enraged to the extent that I started blaming my daughter for not listening to me and getting me into this shameful situation which I hate to admit really got through to me. She was unperturbed though :). Then after the guilt, blame game and weak justifications had washed off and I knew he was right and I was wrong and that ALL my justifications didn’t hold water, I started to get real with myself. What also hit home was when he said, we shouldn’t compromise our kids safety to avoid tantrums for they are young and may not truly understand what is right and wrong. It was all up to me. #word!.
How often do we make excuses in our lives? Our walk with God? On our parenting journey? Think of all the excuses you can recall and reassess whether they were factual excuses or just a story deliciously cooked up to make you feel good about the lie you just told yourself.
I am unable to make time to read my bible because I am very busy with work.
My kids won’t even give me space. My kids keep me up at night so I am unable to wake up early for church and also have my daily devotion.
My God is eternally forgiving so I can also go back to him after I sin.
Have we made the effort to find alternatives? Or we are just comfortable with where we are because our excuses make sweet sense in our ears?
Immediately I strap my child in her seat and hit the highway that’s when she needs attention and I can’t stop.
It’s best I keep him or her free to improve my concentration whilst driving.
I am giving my child lots of sugar because he or she won’t listen and would throw tantrums which might wake the baby or interrupt what I am doing.
Personal and career goals
It’s easier said than done! Put yourself in my shoes and see.
They had it easy unlike me.
Why should I leave my comfort zone when I am “comfortable” and “truly happy?”
He had a good education that is why he excels.
He is favoured by his superiors.
I had a difficult childhood that is why I am experiencing this as an adult.
These are just a few examples of excuses we make in one way or the other. It could be consciously or unconsciously done just to block the guilt of knowing we are actually not towing the right path. I have come to the realisation that to get the right thing done does not come easy. It takes patience, discipline and belief to achieve, contrary to doing the wrong things which comes at a zero cost in the present and bigger implications in the future.
The next time you are faced with options, truthfully ask yourself what is the right way to go? How difficult or what would be the possible challenges or hurdles? How do I manage to sail through to minimise these challenges in choosing the right way?
I never said it will be easy but beginning to make the effort counts. Take baby steps if you should!