Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mommy Vacation Guilt

I am leaving tomorrow to spend a week in Italy. My best friend and her family are living in Rome right now, so I am going to go visit her while my husband holds down the fort here at home. I'm very excited about this trip. It will be my first time visiting Europe and I have a million things I want to see and do. But today I noticed a tiny bit of "mommy guilt" seeping into my day. I'm trying very hard to make sure things are all set and ready before I go so no one's activities will be interrupted at all. Food is in the pantry so they won't starve. This will a good chance for the kids to spend extra time with their Dad, so I know they will have fun. I won't even be away all that long really.  I won't miss too much and they'll barely notice I'm gone before I'm on my way home. So why then am I feeling these pangs that somehow I shouldn't be doing this? I don't think I'm the only Mom out there that feels guilt when she does anything just for herself.  I think we all need to stop doing that to ourselves don't you? And here's why -

1) It's important now and then for a woman to reconnect with who she is at a deep level. Just her, all by herself. To have fun and have time to think and relax and have adventures.  Just because we had a child it doesn't mean that the girl inside of us ceased to exist. We don't stop having dreams and goals and wanting to play and laugh and explore. I love being a Mom and it brings me great joy. But now and then I want to go remember that I am not just "Kevin's Mother". I am Laura. And I'm going to love eating gelato on the Spanish Steps.

2) It's a good message to teach our children that they need to take time to renew their spirits. So when they are parents they will nurture themselves and their relationships with their spouses properly. I wish now I had understood this better when I was a younger mother. I want to teach this lesson to them.

3) It's a good thing now and then for kids to have time with their dad's with Mom out of the way. The child/father relationship is different than the one they share with their mothers. But since Mom is often the more hands-on parent, Dad can feel a little pushed out of the way at times. He may not do things exactly how you do them while you are gone, but the kids will have a great time. Remember that old Bill Cosby comedy routine? "Dad is great! Gives us the chocolate cake."   No worries...they'll survive.

4)  There can be a bit of relentlessness in the life of a mother. Repetitive tasks and constant demands. Carpools and meals to be prepared. Diapers and dishes. Laundry. Homework. Pretty much dawn to dark day after day. It's all good, but can be physically and mentally exhausting. A little R and R  can help ward off depression and anxiety and resentment. Getting some extra sleep and a little break in the same routine is critical now and then. I am a better Mom when I take the time to recharge my own personal batteries from time to time. Even the long plane ride sounds restful. Hours and hours with no one asking me anything except "peanuts or pretzels?" Bliss!

5) Going away helps you appreciate coming home all the more. As nice as the vacation will be I will miss seeing the faces of my loved ones every day. Will wonder often what they are doing. I'll miss them. And be just as excited to be on my way home as I am to be leaving now. I'll return with some fun stories and pictures and European candy to share! They have already put in their requests.

I'm going to try to keep up with the blogs this week, but if my posts are a little more sporadic than usual I hope you will understand. The Sistine Chapel calls my name!! Au Revoir!

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree! I have found it to be important to take time to maintain and nurture the friendships with my friends apart from being a mom. It is easy to lose one's individual identity after becoming a mom since your whole world seems to rotate around the family.

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