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Mommy Guilt

March 3, 2010

I love what I do, but there are times, like last night as I was sitting on the eighth row of a semi-private Lolita show at Miami Seaquarium sipping aged Colombian rum and laughing with an industry colleague, when mommy guilt strikes. And it strikes hard.

To combat the guilt I feel at missing bedtime or dinner time as many as three nights a week lately, I walked in the door and immediately handed my new plush stingray to my son and the giant orange beach towel I’d won in the raffle to my husband. Tonight in class I distributed the entire bag of Ghirardelli chocolates my friend (their PR rep) had slipped into my purse to my students. Now there isn’t even any evidence.

Weekends are sacred, though. My son and I have our routine where we get up on Saturday and walk over to the farmer’s market, stopping by the bakery for a chocolate croissant and orange juice on the way. Then we drive down to the library and swap out for a new week’s worth of books that my husband will probably end up reading to him instead of me.

We make it work, my husband and I. For 18 months he traveled to Colombia two weeks of every month. Now almost every night of the week I have somewhere I could be.

I work out these little compromises in my head, like, “I’ll leave work early and we’ll ride home on the train together.” Or, “Let’s make muffins before I run off the minute the dishes are cleared from the dining room table.” He understands, and so does my husband, who cuddles or distracts him while I slip out the door again.

I was talking with our CEO today about this balancing act – of clients, prospects, family, friendships, passions, downtime – that I am adjusting to as work heats up and life doesn’t slow down. “It doesn’t get any easier, but we can make sure it stays fun,” he said, sympathetic but less than reassuring.

And he’s right. Whether it is teaching students, mentoring employees, solving problems for clients, or spending a day immersed in family, an engaged life is about doing what you love. And a bit of guilt here and there is always a helpful way to tip time back into a better balance.

Now I’m going home to cuddle with my son.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 4, 2010 7:02 pm

    Yep, I’m quite familiar with the whole keeping track of how many mornings/nights you’re spending away from the kiddos for work. Every mom has a different pain threshold for how much time she can be away from her kids. You definitely know when you’re reaching it! Sounds like you have a pretty healthy perspective on the whole thing. Good for you!

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