The guilt

I suffer from an insane amount of mommy guilt.

I feel guilty when I am out on a nice day, and my children are not with me.
I feel guilty if I go grocery shopping with only one child.
I feel guilty if I only take one child to the park.
I feel guilty if I've managed to give only one child a bath at night.

I feel guilty when I eat my children's chocolate. (Actually, not really.)

I feel guilty when I'm at work and not with my children, even though I know they are in great hands with my parents, inlaws, and grandparents.

I feel guilty if I say no to my boys about anything at all. (So I rarely say no.) (And they are totally well behaved wonderful little members of society, thank you very much!)

I feel guilty after I raise my voice at my children. (But I still do it.)

I feel guilty when I'm at the movies without my children, eating popcorn, because I know they like popcorn, too.

I know, it's crazy, really.

I come from a very close-knit family; we do everything together. Being Greek, family is everything. We are always together - we even travel together. We get connecting rooms. We eat dinner together several times a week, we talk on the phone numerous times a day.

I have left my boys overnight twice - each time for a 24 hour period, and I was only 2 hours away, with a few of my closest girlfriends. It was fun to be away, but at the same time, I missed them. Even though it was only one day!

Well, after three years of blogging, I am attending this year's BlogHer. There are quite a few reasons I want to go: to meet (and see again!) many of the wonderful women I talk to on a daily basis, and have gotten to know both online and in person; because it's taking place in New York City, a city I love, and of course, to learn - to take part in some of the sessions, to network, to make connections and to have fun. Of course, being invited to some fun parties and events is just the icing on the cake, the cherry on top, and oh, did I mention the swag? (Oops, did I say that?)

I would not have gone to BlogHer if it was taking place somewhere I know my children would love, like, say, Florida, where we vacation as a family every year. If that were the case, due to my mommy guilt, I'd either bring the whole family with me, or not go. I can't imagine seeing children on a beach and not having my boys there with me! New York City, as much as I love it, is not somewhere I plan on taking my boys until they're older and until they can keep up with my pace of shopping!

I know my 5 year old (as of August 1st) will be okay without me for a few days, it's my little guy I worry about - he is attached to me, (and I love it) but I worry how he'll do at night, two nights in a row. Sigh. He'll be with his daddy and my parents. I know my boys will be in great hands - but still... I worry. And the guilt! Oh, the guilt!

On top of it all, although my husband supports me 100%, my parents aren't that excited for me to go. My mom didn't leave me and my sister to go on a trip without us until I was 18 years old. So there is that guilt, too.


It's stressful and I have contemplated not going to BlogHer this year, even though my hotel, airplane and conference tickets are booked and paid for. As the days go by, I get more nervous, yet, I'm determined to go. (Did I mention Saks is within walking distance of our hotel?)

I am really looking forward to BlogHer - but the thought of leaving my boys... is not something I'm crazy about.

Next BlogHer related post: The fear of flying without my children.

Psst... are you following my reviews and giveaway blog? You totally should be following me over there, too, because some great giveaways are coming up for you! You're not going to want to miss out! Follow me at: Loulou's Reviews! Thanks, xoxo!
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LZ @ My Messy Paradise said...

I can not relate at all! I love my girls...I love my husband...but I NEVER do anything for just me. The thought of sleeping in and doing exactly what I want for a couple days is awesome!! My own bed. No little 'alarm clocks' demanding breakfast. No midnight wakings. Finishing a meal. Taking a long shower. Woo-hoo!

LindseyJay said...

Wow, and I have the opposite guilt, guilt that I can't wait to get away and have grown-up time to myself! But being a single mom 24/7 it's a bit understandable and I know they'll be in good hands with my Mom.
We all have our guilt issues but I hope you'll come, looking forward to meeting you!

MamaOnDaGo said...

I'm in the same mommy guilt boat as you. It's an internal struggle that I constantly deal with. Being away so much, bc of work, makes me feel bad already. Having to add other reasons to not spend time makes me feel worst. If you find a cure, let me know.

Caitlin said...

I completely understand. I debated for weeks about going, even knowing its just a few days and that everyone will still be fine without me. I thought about bringing them along anyway. I thought about just going for a day. My husband finally convinced me that if I really want to go, I should just go. It might be a guy thing, to be able to just do something because they WANT to do it without feeling any guilt over it.

I'm sure it will be a great time! And I'm betting lots of other women there will be feeling the same way!

I just found your blog because of your twitter post, but if you need someone to commiserate with there, come say hi to me!

Anonymous said...

Ugh I would be lying if I said i wasnt jealous! I kive 7 miles from NYC and Im not going!!!! Mainly because Im broke and can;t spend anything extra :( I am starting to do more for myself but my guilt takes over as well when I dont have my babies with me:(

Shell said...

Aw, but you will so much fun and come back refreshed- and a better mommy because of it!

Ashley said...

I'm sure it is tough, but it is probably good for them too! You will be so excited to see each other when you get back! What a great experience for you to go. 18 years old? Wow. That's amazing. You must have been great kids that they didn't need a vacation from you! :)

Nikosmommy said...

I have worked through my guilt issues. It's a waste of an emotion really. We can't do EVERYTHING we want for our kids, and sometimes we have to leave them at home/not included them/eat their treats. It's not the end of the world and they don't even know what they're missing anyway!!! I too have a very close-knit family that spends a lot of time together, but I also know that taking a small 'break' from the ones you love is extremely healthy. I left to go to Vegas with some girlfriends when my first was 2 yrs old. My mom (of course) didn't like the idea of going to Vegas to party with a bunch of girls (yeah, like we're that wild!?) but my hubs said to go and have a good time. I did miss my little guy (just had one at the time) but it was GOOD to get away and I was refreshed when I came back to him.

Brittany at Mommy Words said...

Aw Loukia i will be there to give you a hug if you need it! I have guilt that Sophia put on me, saying it was not fair for me to take Violet and not her. Hubs is planning a fun weekend without any of mommy's silly rules though so i might miss them more than they miss me!

The guilt is understandable but it will be good for them to spend some quality time with Daddy and I think you will be so glad you went.

Can't wait to meet you!

Just Another Mom of 2 said...

Oh, I had to add, found your blog & am following through Theta Mom's TMC!!

Just Another Mom of 2 said...

Oh, mommy guilt is such a hard phenomenon to tend to! I understand completely. I am a stay at home mom, and though I know I need to take a bit of me time, that rarely extends beyond the occasional (read: once every three to six months) meal out with my husband while we have family visiting. It is so tough not to feel as though we should be with our children constantly- however, we need the break, the time to ourselves, to be the best moms we can be. I hope you have a great time!!

Elaine A. said...

Your mom didn't leave you until 18 because times were a little different back then and guess what?! She didn't have an awesome blogging conference to go to! ha!

I understand your feelings. I know all mothers have them. I felt so bad when I was in Napa Valley and G was sickly but there was nothing I couldn't do that his father couldn't also do (well, except for 'mommy comfort' of course).

I think you just need to try to let it go as much as you can and have fun. And meanwhile I'll be feeling jealous and wishing I was there too so we could meet! :)

Kate, aka Guavalicious said...

Can totally relate. I usually don't have mom guilt but last week we found out about some medical issues with my daughter and now I am feeling horrible for leaving the girls for almost a week and spending all this money on a trip for myself.

It's silly because it's not like anything besides us knowing about them has changed. But guilt all the same.

Krystyn said...

I know that I would miss my kids and hubby if he didn't go, but I think it would be good for all of us to have a little time of our own.

My hubby went on a work trip and complained. I said, wait "you get up when you want, nobody is there to take care of you, you eat when you want, etc." Yeah....that's a no brainer for me.

And, I really think that we are better parents when we get that break to recollect.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Yay for you! I often feel guilty of the same things, but know my kids are loved and have an awesome time with daddy! When I went to Mexico and Vegas this winter? Barely noticed I was gone *sob*
But? they make up for it now, when Asher is currently coming my hair and calling me his princess!

CalgaryDaddy said...

Thats a lot of guilt. You are an amazing stop it! :)


T Rex Mom said...

I love your honesty - I hate going anywhere with my kids. I love having them with me and when they are not, I realize how much faster and smoother things (which makes me feel guilty for thinking that).

I think a healthy balance of the two is best - a little time away does make me a better, more patient mother.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I just wrote a long comment that go lost in an error...hate that. But all I wanted to say is that I completely understand. It's not so much about missing my kids (which I will), but worrying about them missing me. Maybe it will be easier when they get a little older and less mommy focused.

Lady Mama said...

I'm telling you this as someone who also feels tremendous guilt over lots of thing... go to BlogHer and enjoy every second of it! Or, allow yourself 5 minutes of guilt and then let it go. Your kids will be in the best possible care (aside from you), and really, how often do you have this kind of opportunity? And in NY? You will have so much fun!!

Angella said...

You will be FINE. I promise. You'll be so busy having fun that while you will miss your kids, you won't be overwhelmed with guilt (or shouldn't be).

Doing stuff for you makes for a better Mommy. :)

Mom2Miles said...

Someone once said to me that guilt is a wasted emotion. I understand the sentiment but, hello?! I don't know a single mother on the planet who doesn't suffer from guilt over something. Have a great time at BlogHer! Can't wait to hear how it is.

CaraBee said...

Well, you know how I feel. Guilt is for the birds. I know that my daughter loves spending time with her father and those days away will be good for both of them. And the same will be true of your boys. They will miss you but they will have a great time with their dad. And you deserve a weekend away! Can't wait to finally "meet" you!

jen said...

my mommy guilt is making me reconsider blogher this year. i have the tickets ... but i'm pretty sure i won't be going. good for you for doing something for yourself. "me" is hard to remember once "mommy" is your new name.