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Mama Guilt, Twice

1. We had a trip to the zoo planned for last Saturday -- we being Chris and the girls and I, plus his parents and sister, whose birthday it was (Happy Birthday Mimi!). However, to make a long story short, Chris woke up with a a bizarre throat problem and he and I ended up spending the morning at the doctor's office, while everyone else went to the zoo without us. (Chris is fine -- well, he's not sick. He has a swollen uvula, probably caused by allergies and/or sleep apnea, which makes it difficult for him to talk or swallow. Not life-threatening, just very unpleasant.)

After we were reassured that Chris was not going to require an emergency tonsillectomy, I was actually a bit pleased with how things had turned out. I got a day to myself! I went home and cleaned the kitchen, including under the oven (disgusting) and behind the fridge (horrifying). I even took down the curtains and washed them (and will probably not put them back up -- I never liked them much. I've kind of lapsed on the home decoration front but the kitchen may be next.). Then Chris and I cleaned the girls' playroom and bedroom, boxing up and/or throwing out some outgrown toys and dilapidated art projects. (When Mallory saw her bedroom that night she said, "Wow! It's so clean! It's like a hotel!")

And the thing is, I didn't feel a bit guilty for missing the zoo trip. I knew the girls were in good hands and having a fabulous time without us.

But I did feel guilty for not feeling guilty.

2. Chris and I are thinking about asking his parents to watch the girls one weekend this summer so we can go out of town. Specifically, we'd be going to the annual comic book convention in Charlotte. Not everyone's idea of a romantic weekend, but it would mean that Chris and I could have time together alone, Chris could hang out with some friends he doesn't get to see very often, and I could spend an entire day in a hotel room ALL BY MYSELF. Mallory has had sleepovers with Chris's parents, Phoebe has been away from me for one disastrous night when I had to travel for a training seminar. We've never left the both of them for the weekend. Repeat: It's been 5.5 years since we've gone anywhere by ourselves. I think it's time.

But I feel guilty about this too. Not for leaving them, because I know they'll be fine (even though Phoebe still doesn't sleep through the night). No, I feel guilty because last year we went to Charlotte as a family and, while Chris was at the convention, the girls and I had a nearly perfect day together. We didn't do anything all that exciting -- swimming, splashing in a fountain, Build-a-Bear, a carousel ride -- but we still had a great time, and it's one of my fondest memories. So even though I know there's no way we could repeat that day anyway -- that this year we could try to do all those same things again but there would be tantrums, or rainstorms, or other difficulties -- I still feel bad for not trying to recreate the magic.

I need to get over that.

By the way. Thinking about moving to North Carolina? Consider this:

See that yellow dust? That would be pine pollen, and for about two weeks every spring, it's everywhere. It's particularly bad this year. Yesterday the girls were playing outside and little clouds of pollen puffed up every time they took a step. My pants (navy blue) and shoes (black) were coated with yellow dust when we went inside. It makes me itch all over, and it's making the girls all stuffy and sneezy. Hooray for spring!


aimee said…
No wonder Chris's (Chris'? I never know how to do that.) tonsils swelled up (were swollen? man, I'm having trouble today) That pollen is terrible! We have some of that but not nearly that bad.

I am glad you had a good day all by yourself. It is okay not to feel guilty. When we went out on our date Sat. night, the only thing I felt guilty about was not feeding my kids before we left. I really did feel bad about that.

and go on your trip without your kids. You need it!

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