Mommy Guilt

Today I kissed my children goodbye, hugged and kissed my husband goodbye, and boarded a very full flight.

I sat next to an obnoxious woman with a terrible perm, draped in an awful, black, mink coat…she shoved her tabloids near my arm rest and popped her gum. We flew just like this, across the entire length of the United States.

I landed in a cold airport, and was driven by a nice Polish man to my hotel. I ordered some food, had a drink, took a bath.

Not once did I feel guilty for having left my children. Not once did I feel like I should call, or return home…or even send an email.

However, I feel guilt for NOT feeling guilt.

What a terrible thing. To feel guilt over not feeling guilt. Here I am, in New York, on business and I am feeling guilty for not feeling guilty. Devra, oh Devra…Help me.
For those who do not know, Devra is the foremost expert on Mommy Guilt. Qualified to speak on the subject, despite those credentials having been left out of a recent Washington Post story including her name and her wonderful book. None the less, here I am, 3,000 miles from my children, away for the FIRST TIME EVER (except for the birth of one and my recent surgery) and I am not worried. I am not feeling pain or longing.

Oy. I’m a terrible mother.
Maybe tomorrow I will miss them horribly. Tonight, I just want to sleep in peace, for the first time, alone, in 4-years.


  1. I felt like that when all three of my older kids went to their first day of full day school. I felt horrible for not feeling horrible. As mom’s, we sure can find a way to work guilt in no matter what, can’t we!

    Enjoy your trip!

  2. I felt like this that first day they went back to school after christmas break. I think it was something we all needed. Sometimes us moms need a break as well.

  3. You shouldn’t feel guilty for not feeling guilty! We dedicate ourselves to them 24/7. Every now and then…we need to recharge, relax, and have one day of our ‘pre-mommyhood’ self! If you didn’t know they’d be okay with out you for a bit, you’d feel guilty.

    So stop worrying about not worrying and Have fun in New York!

  4. Don’t be surprised if you wake up half way through the night and can’t get back to sleep.

    No need to feel guilty. I’m in the process of planning a getaway weekend for me. Yes. Me.

    And it’s not even for business…


    – Gidge

  6. I am here to help! Everyone here is right on target no need to be guilty about not feeling guilty.
    Although, maybe not so for the Washington Post reporter who wrote the article The Queen is referencing. In that reporter’s case, a little bit of guilt would go a long way and I would receive an apology for the errors in her story and the omission my credentials.

  7. I don’t feel guilty for wanting to trade places with you. Enjoy yourself.

  8. I’m not really certain why you should feel guilty. When my kids were babies, I felt guilt. Now I do so much at home and am with them so much… that when I leave for a trip, I go with burn marks on the carpet.

    Not that this entirely suits your situation, but I’ll share it anyway. When I was pregnant for the first time and went to baby classes, the teacher told us that if we didn’t leave without our children every so often that in 18 years our kids would be saying, “My mom and dad were such great parents. It’s too bad they got divorced.” I really believe this to be true.

    So my advice to you is to go out and have some fun in the city. There’s a lot to do here. You aren’t responsible for anyone but yourself right now, so pamper yourself, go dancing, wear a slinky dress and be wild! Don’t even talk about your children.

  9. Oh, try to enjoy it. I don’t feel guilty on biz trips – but I also don’t enjoy them as much as I should.

    I just started researching biz blogging conferences this week & wish that one were one week later. I’d be there if it were. I just missed it & it looks like just what I need for my latest work project.

  10. You’re already a good mother. Being miserable while you are away does not make you a better mother. Enjoy yourself! I wish I could go.

  11. What is that thing about the heart growing fonder? Yeah. That.

    Enjoy yourself, Erin. You deserve a break.

  12. oh how i dream of the day i sleep alone AND wake alone, when i damn well please. just once. ok, or twice! and the guilt i suffer for feeling that way. you are so cool.

    if you have any free time, i have places you need to go while you are there . . .

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