Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I've got 22 minutes to write this blog post and return home.  I just spent 4 minutes unwinding the tangled mess that is my earbuds so I can use them. The coffee shop I go to is full and the conversations are distracting. With only 22 minutes I need to focus and write. So, earbuds in, Head and the Heart on, and now I am ready (I hope).

As I walked out of my house and shut the door behind me I was consumed with some serious Mommy-Guilt. I think you know what I am talking about. The guilt that consumes you whenever you think you've done something that hurts your child, when you make a tough parenting decision, when you choose yourself over your kids. And so on.

It started when my oldest stepped off the bus and immediately asked for a snack. I was on the phone with my sister, even though I knew I needed to hang up as soon as I saw the bus. I wasn't able to give Jack my full attention or the snack he so desperately wanted.  When we finally walked in the door he is an angry mess and I've got one foot out the door again.

Today is the day that I get to have 45 minutes to myself. A baby-sitter the boys love comes over after school and plays with the boys while I walk and get a cup of coffee.  After the trauma of not having a snack at the bus stop, Jack was really unhappy to see that the baby-sitter was here.

"I don't want you to go!" he cries.
I hug him, use my soft mommy voice to try to console him. And give him 3 Christmas cookies, because I really wanted to get back out the door.  3 cookies was not enough and more crying, and hugging, ensued.

"Mason wouldn't sit with me on the bus." he says as I am trying once again to pry his hands off of me.
Oh, honey, my heart breaks. I hate the bus and the kids on the bus. Maybe I should pick him up from school for the rest of year. Or, maybe I should keep him home from school so he will never meet a mean kid and deal with rejections.  Or, maybe, I should just hold him as he cries and tell him, what, I don't really know.

I look at the clock, I've got 30 more minutes before my baby-sitter leaves. I give Jack one more big squeeze and pick up my purse to leave.

"Don't go!" He cries.

And this is where the guilt comes in. The terrible soul crushing guilt. I give him one more hug and I leave. I walk out the door and shut the chaos inside.  Does this make me a terrible mother?

I could have stayed and started dinner while the baby-sitter played with two of the boys. I could have continued to sit on the floor and hold Jack. I could have made a million other choices. But I put myself first and I left.  Instead I have 11 more minutes to sip my hot coffee, to listen to my music, and to take a moment to breathe.  Jack will still be upset when I get home, Micah and Finn will still be hyped up on too much sugar and too much time inside, and I will still have dinner to make.

I will also have space within me to meet the needs of my boys. Tonight, I put myself first. I feel guilt for that. But I don't feel guilty for the complete moment of zen I am experiencing right now.  Good coffee, awesome, music, and no one needing me.

3 more minutes and I am back in the thick of it. Wish me luck.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Without some "me" time, I'd be a raving lunatic. And I love and treasure my kids enough to not want to be that kind of person. Thus, the me time is a must!