A weekend away – without the family – is quite relaxing. But, there is a truckload of Mom Guilt that comes with it. Being okay that you missed the soccer game, the classmate’s water park birthday party or your oldest’s 1st tooth fall out is tough. In the last 3 months I’ve been away quite a bit for work and during these times I’ve missed some milestones and plenty of moments. It’s okay. It happens. There is just a lot of Mom Guilt that comes with each trip.
In March, as I enjoyed a few days in Northern California with the EBAY Parent Panel, my oldest lost her 1st tooth. I remember getting that email from my mom, sharing the excitement. It was such a bittersweet moment. My daughter was thrilled about her lost tooth. I was so sad not to be there with her. I was even more worried that the Tooth Fairy/SmartyPantDada wouldn’t remember his job that night. Yes, I had to remind the Tooth Fairy nearly a dozen times to have cash on hand and to write a note. I don’t think I slept that night, worried he would forget. Thankfully, and a bit miraculously, the Tooth Fairy got the job done and my daughter called me 1st thing in the morning with tremendous excitement that the Tooth Fairy had left her $5 and a note. I smiled, with a tear going down my cheek. I wish I was there with her to see her now toothless smile as she read the letter and stuffed the bill in her piggy bank. The need to spoil her at the ultra expensive airport gift shop helped me deal with the missed event. The Mom Guilt was horrible.
The following month it was my baby, at that time nearly 11 months, to hit a milestone when I wasn’t home. As I enjoyed my days at Hispanicize, the SXSW of the Hispanic community, I got a call from my husband. The baby had taken her 1st steps on her own. Needless to say, I brought her to the conference with me the next day and witnessed her 1st steps in a session led by the Pichy Boys. That was total Mom Guilt in play. Taking a baby to a conference, especially one who just learned to walk and has no interest in being constrained in a stroller, was possibly one of the most exhausting things I’ve done!
Then it was this past weekend. Was it necessary for my husband to text me a million photos of him and the girls? Yes. I loved getting every single one. The Mom 2.0 Summit was thankfully just 30 minutes from home but I treated it like it was in another state. I stayed there, at a condo next door to the hotel with Alexis. The texts of “we miss you” were so hard to swallow. I was so close yet not there with them. When I returned on Sunday, absolutely 100 % exhausted, my 5 year old who was thrilled to see me asked if we could go to Samuri, a local hibachi restaurant. No desire to go. All I wanted was to lie on the couch and cuddle with the kids and husband. After a little rest, I washed my face, brushed my hair and got the diaper bag ready. All 4 of us headed to the restaurant – which had us wait 40 minutes for a table and then another 30 minutes before we had an ounce of food to eat. Mom Guilt was pushed to the limit. All worth it though. She was thrilled, as was the delirious nearly 1 year old who was up an hour past her bedtime!
All of these events that took me away from my wonderful family were important. As I continue to put effort in my social media career, I need to invest time through conferences and commitments to contracts with brands like EBAY, Country Crock and others. It’s okay. My trips are a few days at a time. I’m a phone call away. There’s Skype and FaceTime. I can stay connected and see moments like my daughter’s toothless grin. There will always be Mom Guilt, it’s part of being a mom. I’m not ashamed and I will gladly spoil my children with each trip!
How do you handle Mom Guilt?