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Katy England Katy England
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Guilt trips

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Guilt trips Guilt trips

By the time this hits print I'll be back from my business trip. Three days and two nights. I will have left Sunday in the morning before the kids get up and I'll be home Tuesday night, likely after they go to sleep.

Boy am I nervous. I mean, I've gone on a trip before. I wrote about it and everything. I had a lovely evening away from the kiddos and partied with my now sister-in-law. I had a fabulous time. But this is different for a few reasons.

One, I'm leaving for longer. I mean, it's fairly straightforward. A longer trip means more work for my saintly husband and more time away from the kiddos. 

Two, this time it's for work. Which is weird, because I always used to feel like my work was pretty important. I enjoy it a lot but suddenly I feel bad about it. This is crazy!

Three, I'm looking forward to going. Like really, really looking forward to it. The more excited I get, the more magnified my guilt about wanting to go.

Last, the kids are more aware of my presence (and absence) than they were before. I mean, they always knew when I came back and would be incredibly happy to see me. But they were pretty cool about me leaving. In fact, one of the funniest parts is that the kids really like watching us leave, because they get to see the car move. And if we don't scoot out the door fast enough or worse you forget something and have to go back in the house, you can expect attitude.

But I've also noticed that when I'm gone for extended periods of time, they notice. The hubby reports that they ask about me, and it's the same when he's at work. They know that when one of the cars is gone, one of the parents is gone. There is a series of questions from the boy: 'Mama car?' 'The Mama car is outside.' 'Dada car?' 'The Dada car is with Dada at work.' 'Dada?' 'Dada's at work. He has the Dada car.' Once I accidentally said the Dada car was outside. He looked for it. He knows things - in the same way his sister knows where the graham crackers live now.

And worse, there have been days I've worked longish hours or missed a bedtime. They notice that too, and it impacts how they behave. Thankfully there will be grandparents around to mitigate the stress. But I spend so much time trying to avoid causing the kids stress. Most of my goals in life revolve around making them feel better.

Now, my logical brain knows that they will be fine. I will be fine. And the world will re-order itself shortly after I return. I know that. By my mom-brain is less understanding. I keep getting dumps of adrenaline at the thought of leaving. Whenever I leave the house I'm feeling twinges so many twinges!

But it had to happen sometime, I suppose. I'll go, have a great time and come back. Things will be a little nutty, but will settle. Maybe the guilt will go away, but part of me doesn't want it to.

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