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I am too exhausted to feel guilty — hoora!

Categories: Balancing Act, Your life


As of today, my daughter is away with my parents for 10 whole days, splashing at the beach, watching too many cartoons and eating endless “mommy doesn’t let me eat this at home” treats. Heaven for her and, dare I say this, a bit of heaven for me and my husband.

You see, I have tons of working mom guilt. I’ve tried to battle it, fight it, ignore it, rationalize it, but it’s sill there, especially when my work takes me away from my daughter overnight, say on business trips (I know I am not alone in this). When my parents took her for two weeks last year, I felt incredibly guilty, the entire time. And as we were getting ready for her trip to the beach this year, I kept waiting for the guilt to kick in.

But it didn’t.

I am a way from my kiddo and I don’t feel an ounce of guilt. (OK, that’s a lie, I feel an ounce of guilt, but not more than that.)

And here’s the cherry on top: I don’t feel like a horrible mom for NOT feeling guilty (yes, have done this as well, a pro at it, actually.)

There isn’t much suspense here or a magic anti-guilt formula I’ve found that I can share with you. In fact, I know precisely why I feel the way I do: I am completely and utterly exhausted. NEED. A. BREAK. exhausted. Need to feel like a human being again, sleep more than four hours a night, eat while sitting down and not running around exhausted. I have, as one might say — well, I might say, seeing that here I am saying it — hit a bit of a wall and I need to chill out.

My husband always laughs at my version of chilling out because it still involves doing a ton of stuff. But for the next 10 days I am determined to continue to not feel guilty and feel thankful for having parents who are nice and young enough and willing to take our kiddo with them for a bit so we can get a break.

I am going to sleep (a bit) more.

I will go to the gym on most days.

I will eat while sitting down.

I will watch silly stuff on TV and finally catch up on all of my taped Monk episodes.

I will have a conversation with my husband that is not conducted with a laptop between us.

I will go for walks. I will work, but I will try my hardest to work a little less.

I will eat too much dessert.

And when my husband and I take a little trip to Montreal for a few days, I will bring a padlock so that I can lock away my laptop for hours a day and chill.

Hoora for guilt-free mommy-needs-some-sanity vacations — we all need one!

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4 comments so far...

  • It’s hard to slow down sometimes. For me, sometimes it takes an outside event — like breaking my wrist this summer — to force me to sit still. Haven’t had working mom’s guilt yet — but I sure might if I couldn’t keep the lights on. Right now I am having blogging mom’s guilt. Just started a blog and have been editing draft posts to the exclusion of Scrabble, Encyclopedia Brown and lots of other activities my son and I enjoy. Does this happen to all first-time bloggers? Milo starts school first grade tomorrow so I better get back on track now.

    Lawyer Mom Leigh  |  August 24th, 2008 at 5:33 pm

  • Sounds like you are being rewarded with a little more time for yourself and your daughter is being rewarded with special treats from her grandparents. You are both taking a break from each other and are happy about it.

    This past week my 4 yo son went to my in laws on Thursday evening and returned on Saturday evening. While I also felt a little guilt for not spending time with him, he was loving it. When I called to talk to him, he didn’t want to talk to me. He was playing with his uncle and didn’t want to talk to mommy, can you believe it.

    So whenever I start to feel guilty, I just remind myself that my child is actually happy to spend time with other people.

    Vera Babayeva  |  August 24th, 2008 at 11:03 pm

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