I am plagued with maternal guilt. This is not new since, as a mother, it’s nearly impossible not to feel guilty almost all the time. “I’m not reading enough with my kid.” “I’m not taking my kid outside enough.” “I’m being too harsh on him and he’s going to hate me for it.” “I’m not being harsh enough and she’s going to be a brat.” My personal battle is with the “I shouldn’t take time to myself because I’m abandoning my kids” issue.
I realized just how badly I was suffering last weekend when I sprinted out to the mall during nap time and it took me a full 45 minutes to slow down and realize that I could enjoy the time to myself. There was no need to rush home. Daddy was there. Everyone was asleep, for pete’s sake. Slow down, window shop, and chill the hell out. I finally did and was able to pick up a few cute things that I needed for my upcoming weekend away with the girls for a bachelorette.
Cue maternal guilt. I am beyond excited to head to the beach for a weekend in the sun with my best friend to celebrate her upcoming nuptials. We’ll hang out by the pool. We’ll drink at random times during the day. We’ll go out to dinner (and not have a baby strapped onto our fronts). We’ll go dancing. I. Am. Pumped.
I also feel so guilty. I’m abandoning my children. They’ll be without me for an entire three days. I am a terrible mother.
Rationally, I understand this is ridiculous. My mother travelled for work a lot when I was growing up and my sister and I turned out just fine. We have a fantastic relationship with her and always have had. My relationship with my 2-year-old and 6-month-old is not going to suffer because I was away for 3 nights.
In fact, our relationship will likely improve. I have a friend who says, “let me miss you.” It’s so true. My kids (and husband) need to miss me. And I need to miss them. I need to recharge my batteries and they need to get to spend some quality time together without me jumping in to do things “my way” all the time. Daddy does just fine when he’s doing it his way. And I see that every time I leave. When I get back, my kids go to both of us for hugs, kisses, and help. Not just me. And I love it.
I know that I’m going to be so sad walking out the door tonight knowing that I won’t see my babies for three whole days and nights. But I also know that I’m going to have an amazing time, feel like an independent adult, and, wait for it, get to relax. It will be amazing.
Come Sunday, though, I’ll be so ready to get home.