And With That, She’s Gone

I’m once again sitting in an airport, blogging.

I do that a lot these days.

Chatting with some MOMocrats this week, I realized the Democratic National Convention starts August 25th. The Republican National Convention starts September 1st.

So what? Right?

Kindergarten starts August 13th.

That means just a few weeks after my baby boy starts the very daunting task of navigating elementary school- his Mom is skipping town for two weeks.

Sure, I’ll be home for a weekend in the middle there somewhere…but mostly I will be entrenched in politics.

This is weighing on me. Heavily.

How will it affect his adjustment to a new school and environment? Will having his grandparents stay with us help? Hurt?

Am I the worst mother EVER for going?

Then, like a choir of angels, the MOMocrat women chimed in:

“Take a deep breath. You’re a great mom, your kids are adorable, and you are doing a terrific job of keeping it all in balance (even if it doesn’t feel that way).”

“I hear you Erin. Hang in there.

It’s why I keep asking about the self interest versus greater good interest.

The first day of the DNCC is the first day of school here. And even though it’s not a first for my first grader, we might be switching preschools for my younger one (or back or not or holy crap wtf).

NOBODY has the ideal. The key is to do the best we can with the lives we have and from here it seems like you are def. doing that. hang in there.”

“Erin, I am totally serious about this– what you are doing, covering the elections for BlogHer and MOMocrats– this is making the world a better place for ALL children. You are doing this stuff for your children. And one day they will know it and thank you for it.”

I didn’t ask if I could publish these, so I’m leaving their names off. But…they know who they are.

And I’m going to print these words and tape them to my laptop.

As I get situated in San Francisco for BlogHer ’08, I’ll be very busy- calling home when I can to kids who may or may not feel like talking. As I talk with Liz Mair, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, and all the wonderful women I know…I’m going to remember these words.

Simply…thank you.


  1. *sigh* I could have written this post…in fact I think I have a few times in the past. It’s awesome being active & a mom and it sucks all at the same time.

    But yes…remember that the work you do, that I do, that we all do is to help make this world a better place for our lil ones. My daughter starts kindergarten this fall as well.


  2. Know I’ve been MIA and that this comment has nothing to do with your posting… but… in case you’re interested, our travel blog is up and running while we’re away. Peace – IF

  3. We each have this type of angst – many times – until our children have finally grown and flown.

    Conflicts with our oldest daughter’s “state occasions” included my grad school graduation (her second birthday), a three-week business trip I had to Germany (her kindergarten graduation), and a party honoring a SJ Mercury News Pulitzer win for 1989 earthquake reporting (her sixth birthday). There are others for our son, as well (when he reached his goal of breaking a 5.00 mile and when he made a triple play).

    Still, our children know that when the pressure is on, and when they need us to be there for the unexpected and often absolutely most essential times, somehow, some way, we will be there. Our daughter, now 24, needed some now-infrequent open-ended talking time last night. I carved the time out and protected it from all takers. I was there. I think it helped. So ultimately the angst-rich juggling works.

    When will our children will fully understand the difficulty of some of our decisions, some of which they liked, and some they did not? When they get to make them, themselves.

    My children haven’t yet opened the door to the “NOW I understand, Mom!” moments. I still have plenty of moments like that of my own, which I’m constantly surprised to find. I often wonder, as I go through them, what my mother’s experience was with the comparable milestones of her life. I wasn’t curious then. I am now, very much. And NOW I understand, or think I might.

  4. Erin, I think I remember that you and I live pretty close to one another. I LOVE the preschool my daughter went too. She’ll be starting kindergarten this fall. Email if you’re interested in the name/location/deets.

  5. I still remember that my (very busy, very important) doctor-father never attended any of my middle school basketball games. Does that make me a rotten, selfish, still-immature kid?

    Sometimes I wonder if these feelings are society-induced guilt or mothering/fathering heart-tugs we maybe should listen to.

    How do you tell if a feeling comes from the external world or your own conscience/heart/mind?


  1. […] Queen of Spain wrote an excellent piece about traveling mom guilt yesterday. I travel for work, for fun, and for my activist extracurricular activities. My traveling mom guilt is no more for any trip. Society tells us, inscribes in us, that “fact” that moms should always be with the kids. Yes, I also think that it is written in our genes and hearts as well. Yet there is also that part of us that yearns for a few hours or days away from being mom. As I tell my daughter, “Mom” is my title, not my name. Elvis Costello will remind you that my name is Veronica. […]

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