Jun
11

Packing for my guilt trip

Posted by Lorain County Moms

I love my family. I really love them. And I really love waving goodbye to them in the rearview mirror. I’m taking off for a weekend in Chicago, to spend time with my best friend, see her new house and, yes, get away from home. I am not the first to strike out in this brave new world of mommy freedom apparently it’s a trend, complete with a trendy name: Mommycation. But it turns out my carry-on is going to be weighted down a bit on this jaunt. My 4-year-old, newly enrolled in the Drama Queen theater department, will be handing me some lovely guilt to take along for the ride.

She’s a couch flopper, this child. Upon hearing news that offends her sensibilities (such as, “Mommy has book club tonight.” or “We ran out of dark chocolate nonpareils.”) she will enact an entire body droop, turn on her heel, and race for the living room to fling herself into its soft embrace and begin the emotional outpouring of pain and woe that only those pillows can absorb. There are rarely actual tears, but the trembling lip and downcast eyes are only the start of the Oscar-worthy body language.

I haven’t actually told her yet that I’m going away. With each day that brings us closer to the announcement, and subsequent ride to the airport, I know that I’m going to pay for this. The worst part is realizing that the old standby trick will no longer work the sense of time she once lacked allowed a wonderfully blurred line between “tonight” and “in a few days,” but that’s over now. Her nightly interrogation of me that begins with, “In the morning time, what day is it going to be?” has sharpened her understanding and it will be all too clear to her how many nights I won’t be tucking her in when I explain that I’ll be gone from Saturday until Tuesday. Look out, couch, here she comes!!

Should I feel terrible about this? Should I postpone my precious little solo getaways if she’s at an age where it truly upsets her? I suppose some moms the ones who never leave their kids, rarely even use a babysitter for a night out would say yes. But I have to believe that what’s good for mom’s soul is good for the whole family.

Living in the suburbs, as I do now after 20 years as a city girl, and being a full-time SAHM makes this need even more imperative for me. When I went to the office every day, with plenty of time to read on the train, hit the gym or zip out to do some shopping at lunchtime, and devote long breaks to conversation with other women, moms and non-moms alike, it was both less necessary and less justifiable to dash away from home for ‘me’ time. Time away, to focus on grown-up activities, to remind ourselves what it’s like to be an independent entity (especially one gliding through an airport with only ONE suitcase), to have uninterrupted conversation and the chance to see a museum exhibit that doesn’t involve water play … these are all things that can help balance our ability to stay connected with our kids when we get back home.

And the good news is I know Drama Girl will be fine. She won’t stay in devastated mode the entire time I’m gone. In fact, she’ll probably drop the act as soon as she gets home from the airport run, but she’ll be sure to remind me for days and weeks to come how much she missed me and how sad she was while I was gone. Meanwhile, less than a thousand miles away, I’ll be left to unpack my bag in my friend’s guest room stack the novels and movie mags on the bedside table, smooth the gift wrap on the little presents for the resident 3-year-old, pop the camera batteries into the charger, and admire the bed that I will sleep in all alone, with no one to climb aboard and start breathing onto my eyelids before the sun fully rises. And I’ll tuck that little parcel of guilt right there between the pillows while I turn around and head out for dinner.

—By Momma Q,  NEW JERSEY MOMS BLOG

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This is an original post from the New Jersey Moms Blog (http://www.newjerseymomsblog.com).

Jun
06

Unplanning parenthood and minding your mommy brain

Posted by Lorain County Moms

Many years ago — before, the hormonal super wave hit and my world turned PG-13 — I used to be quite the planner and followed a very strict regime of making lists for, well, everything. Especially, if in a course of one event, I had more than one thing to do, I made a list:

Shop for groceries

Shop for paper products

Make place tags

Make party favors

Clean house and decorate

Go to the bathroom

Flush toilet

Even made my kids’ birthday cakes (thank you, FamilyFun magazine) and then, I dunno, around the time my youngest (she’s 7) entered kindergarten, three years ago, I think, something major happened to the positive side of my mommy brain.

Call it a malfunction, dysfunction, whatever, I’ve become forgetful and perhaps even a little absent-minded (as most parents, I hope) but, lately, I find myself feeling frustrated … no, wait … annoyed, more often than not, especially when reading research on how having babies can sharpen women’s minds.

Really?

Okay, so yeah, I have become a multi-tasking genius and can listen to four different conversations (at once) since becoming a mother.

Do I feel empowered?

I don’t know, I’ve got one sick kid home, my two oldest girls aren’t very happy with me at the moment (something about not being allowed to dye their brown hair black and my being mean) and the boy isn’t home yet (he’s still blond, though, I think) so, jury’s out on that one.

“Poor Mommy, you’re brain just isn’t working like it used to.”

Why? Because, some stupid and totally unrealistic television commercial or magazine advertisement tells me I should be happy when my kids spill something, or make a mess of themselves, or a smart ass member of some think tank somewhere suggests that I can no longer think for myself, let alone make the right choices, anymore.

Especially, when it comes to raising my kids.

In fact, I’m feeling even less empowered and guess I’m just tired of people making the simple joys in life — like, allowing my kid to eat a hot dog and down it with a glass of Kool Aid, or say we’re planning a “staycation” rather than admit that we’re absolutely thrilled with being able to enjoy the comforts of our own backyard, here in Jersey, this summer — sound so, you know, complicated.

Frankly, after 15 years of raising kids — not to mention, killer dust bunnies — I’m just happy to be alive, let alone worry about someone else’s agenda.

Still, I can’t help but pine for the early days of parenthood, when all I had to do was blow a bubble, or wiggle my ears to make a kid happy and remember a time when I actually enjoyed the challenges of helping them with their math homework.

Oh, I still make lists, except now they hang on the bulletin board, ignored, like the dozens of other notices my kids bring home from school.

Did I mention, all four of my kids attend four different schools?

Like all good intentions, my plans have become very simple in nature:

Wake up

Go to the bathroom

Flush the toilet

Let’s just say I leave the rest up to the fickle finger of fate, we all start flipping these so-called experts the bird and call it a day … m’kay?

—By Liz,  NEW JERSEY MOMS BLOG

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This is an original post from the New Jersey Moms Blog (http://www.newjerseymomsblog.com). Liz is a columnist for the Imperfect Parent (http://www.imperfectparent.com/ethompson/) and writes about the trials and tribulations of raising four children at thisfullhouse.com, while making other mothers look good, free of charge.

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May
05

What kind of TV show is my life?

Posted by Lorain County Moms

If I had to pick a genre of TV show that bests summarizes my what would it be? Let’s evaluate our options.

DRAMA

Some days with two little ones it is all about drama. Even the smallest happening during the day turns into a momentous event that could span across hours. We spill a drink and the overacting begins.

We’ve had our trips to the ER. They’ve ranged from jaundice to pneumonia to head bangs to our personal favorite — a booger in the nose we thought was a breathing problem. With two boys, I’m sure we will be regulars on this show.

Other days, I appear as the Desperate Housewife Lynette who feels overwhelmed with being a working mom. My house is a mess, my kids are running, wild and I just want to cry. Oh, how I wish I was a little more like Bree with her immaculate house and home cooked meals.

SOAP OPERA

Nope, not a soap opera. Definitely not enough sex going on our house to be a soap opera. Sleep is way too precious. Although my boys are Young and Restless.

ACTION/ADVENTURE

There is always action going on. My little guy would be great on Prison Break. He’s always trying to escape some enclosure. He led the revolt at his daycare when he was 2 years old. He figured out how to open the baby gate and lead his classmates to freedom. I also do feel like they are competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championships.

REALITY TV

We are the mini-version of “Jon and Kate Plus 8.” I am so Kate as much as I hate to admit that. I’m a control freak and like things my way. Thankfully, no one is editing my life to pull out the worst soundbites they can and blowing it up on HD TV. Shh, I have had a mini-version of the Toys R Us incident. Moreover, why does it always feel like it is 100 degrees in those places? Hubby is laidback like Jon and doesn’t get upset often. He sort of goes with the flow, which sometimes is so irritating. My oldest is like Maddie. He is king of drama and everything is the end of the world. My little guy is like Joel. He is definitely his father’s son.

SITCOM

Where do I start? This is very much us. I laugh with my husband all the time about being a cross between Kevin James in “King of Queens” and Jim Belushi in “According to Jim.” He does crazy things sometimes but you have just gotta love him. I am more like Debra from “Everybody Loves Raymond” — a little intense sometimes, a messy housekeeper, and bad cook, but at the same time intelligent and loves her family dearly. Add in a little craziness at “The Office” and you round out my week.

I guess in the end, The genre that most fits my life is documentary. We are watching and living life as it happens. No edits, just going through day-to-day experiences. Some days you cannot stop the tears, other days are non-stop action, some days you’d like to edit out the “real” you, and other days are just plain pee our pants funny. It’s all about documenting the memories of your life to remember for later.

—By Lois Whittaker, NEW JERSEY MOMS BLOG

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This is an original post from the New Jersey Moms Blog (http://www.newjerseymomsblog.com). Lois also blogs about products, giveaways, and articles for moms and babies at Goodies for Mom (http://www.goodiesformom.com/), and is the inventor of the Cushie Pushie Breast Support Pillow for Nursing Moms (http://www.cushiepushie.com/).

Apr
28

Spring! Spring! Spring! Clean?

Posted by Lorain County Moms

I couldn’t stand it anymore. For any of you who have been happily afflicted by the knitting bug, you will understand that yarn begins to take over everything — your under-bed areas, your ottomen (that’s plural of ottoman in our house), your window seats and attics and worst of all, the office.

I’m a writer, and I have a (half) room of my own, but mostly I find I must run to the library, the Barnes & Noble with a cafe, the relative privacy of the kids’ swing-set platform to write new things. I need to be away from all those paper, plastic and tchotchke reminders of who I am and what I need to do — the $2 check for school pencils, the 16,000 camp forms, the Burt’s Bees hand cream, the tiny wooden house my husband gave me when we lived in San Francisco and were not yet married (look! he said. I’m giving you a house!). I love it all, and it’s good to get away from it, too.

At the same time, sometimes it’s heavenly to get rid of, to clean out, to remember and excavate. In response to my musing about building a studio over the garage, my husband cleaned out four huge shelves in the basement. “I think I just saved us about $500,000,” he said. “Now we don’t have to build an addition or move. You can put your yarn there.” Good man.

Once we started, though, we spend the weekend moving and cleaning and sorting. Old, very good toys to hand down to friends and nephew, an amazing box of maps now hardly ever mined in deference to Robota, our name for our GPS navigation system. But there were some fabulous memories, though — Point Reyes maps, Mount Washington trail maps (we kept the best stuff), maps from Mt. Laguna in San Diego, where we used to go cross-country skiing with the dog, then come back down and drive less than an hour home — to go to the beach.

My husband painted the fence (the third time in 11 years we’ve done it — whether it needed it (oh, it needed it) or not, we dug and planted a Square Foot Garden, I cleaned out the fridge (jam of ages), we moved extra copies of my three novels into a space in the basement where hopefully no silverfish will tread. So now here I am with a refreshed office, a refreshed sense of who I am and where I’ve been. I think maybe I’ll tackle the cabinets next. Though the file drawer could use some sorting. And the kids’ closets.

Or maybe I’ll just blog.

—By Gwendolen Gross, NEW JERSEY MOMS BLOG

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This is an original post from the New Jersey Moms Blog (http://www.newjerseymomsblog.com). Gwendolen Gross lives in northern New Jersey, where the daffodils have kissed the green and the tulips lipstick the rainy April. She writes novels when she isn’t cleaning her desk.

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Apr
14

Surviving … in sickness and in health

Posted by Lorain County Moms

Cold and flu season is upon us, and hopefully my marriage will survive! There are really very few things my husband and I argue about. Who is “sicker” is one of the few and one of the most ridiculously childish. With the exception of the kids, there is little empathy for the infirm around here. My husband is sick right now, which explains why he just barreled angrily out the door to work after our nasty exchange of words, leaving the tea I was making him in a travel mug behind to make some sort of dramatic statement. Fine by me … I got to drink it.

I caused the argument; I’m fully aware of this. I was not very supportive of his illness complaints, to which he was well entitled. I gave him the tried and true “Suck it Up” attitude with a little self-martyrdom thrown in for effect. This is how I see it. When I, the wife/mother, am sick I don’t lay in bed and rest. Why? Well, if you are a mother you will know the answer to that question.

I WANT to lay down in bed, I SHOULD lay down in bed, and my husband would even support it; but I don’t. There are meals to be cooked, a house to kept, children to attend to, and various things throughout the day that I can’t make disappear simply by hiding under the covers. When my husband is sick, however, he manages to get through the workday heroically. But once he comes home, he assumes the horizontal position with proclamations of catastrophic illness. Half the time he has a garden variety cold; sore throat, sniffles … the same crap the kids and I have. You would think it was the black plague and scarlet fever combined the way he carries on.

I don’t doubt the veracity of his malaise (though the severity of symptoms are sometimes in question) and I don’t begrudge him for laying down and resting. What ticks me off is that I am also usually concurrently sick, or have just recovered, and have received absolutely no acknowledgement, special treatment, lovingly supportive words or acts, or general R & R during my boxing match with airborne pathogens. In fact, for a week prior to his illness, I was reasonably sick and spent two sleepless nights up with coughing attacks. I went through 1,000 Halls Cough Drops that week. He’d say things like “Why do you smell like medicated vapors?” Perhaps it’s because I’m sick, oh insightful one.

When I bring up the fact that I also am, or just was, sick he then must make a case for why HE is of course is “sicker” than I: He has a fever, or diarrhea, or a brain tumor … some special symptom that I missed out on which justifies why he needs more rest and empathy. He should be considered a medical miracle from all the life threatening diseases from which he has recovered.

I’ve concluded that he must have some sort of latent Florence Nightingale fantasy. I’m not sure, but he really gets offended when I’m not overly sympathetic to his sniffling. I think he sees my reactions as a test of my true love for him. I don’t look at it all that deeply. I just think; Hey, your sick. Join the freakin’ club. But perhaps I should treat him the way I would want to be treated. Love thy husband as thyself and all that stuff. Tonight, I should make him some tea, fluff his pillows, and kiss his foreheading lovingly to check for fever. Perhaps all anyone really wants is a little acknowledgement that someone cares about them when they feel like crap.

—By Alicia D., NEW JERSEY MOMS BLOG

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This is an original post from the New Jersey Moms Blog (http://www.newjerseymomsblog.com). Alicia D. also blogs about life, motherhood, and her husband’s drama at Welcome To My Planet (http://www.welcometomyplanet4.blogspot.com/).

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(c) 2009, Alicia D.

As written for New Jersey Moms Blog, http://www.newjerseymomsblog.com.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Apr
06

My kid fell off the couch and other stories from club motherhood

Posted by Lorain County Moms

My sister called me last week in hysterics after her “immobile” 5-month-old somehow rolled off the couch.

Yet while she was crying, I was laughing and welcoming her into club motherhood—which is marked by all of the unexpected, traumatic and nerve-wracking things we experience as moms.

After all, my son rolled off the couch 6 months earlier. And as I sat there hysterical, all of my mom friends on twitter assured me that I wasn’t a bad mother and unexpected spills off high objects are often the first right of passage into club motherhood. (I mean what first time mom imagines that her kid will go from completely sedentary to rolling in one day?!)

And of course, I can’t help but think of all the other traumatic mom moments I’ve had over the past 16 months as a new parent.

I remember clearly the first week my son was born and I almost called child services on myself.

The “incident” happened when my husband and I took our baby to the store for the first time and felt funny leaving him buckled in the car seat while we shopped (we didn’t want him to be uncomfortable).

So like any good parents, we took off the protective winter bubble over the carrier and unbuckled his straps.

But as we were leaving, we put the bubble back over the carrier and FORGOT TO BUCKLE THE BABY BACK IN THE CAR SEAT!

We actually drove half way home before we realized what we did and pulled the car over to fix the problem.

We then blurted out at the same time, “you better not tell your mother!” and didn’t speak of the “incident” again for weeks.

It was terrible. Admittedly I never did it again, but that was one of my overwhelming moments as a new mom that made me wonder if I was really cut out for this gig.

And of course, no mom can forget the horrific moment when they found a penny that someone dropped on the ground in their baby’s mouth (I know I can’t).

That becomes the moment that you learn to scan the room like a hawk before you even put the kid down to play.

Finally, my most recent badge from club motherhood came when I discovered that the high chair really shouldn’t be pushed up close to the table during feedings.

That is because little boys like to see how strong they are and will use their feet to push off the table and flip the highchair backwards.

Talk about traumatic. Thank god the padding protected his little head from bumping the ground, but dear lord; I had anxiety attacks all day long after that one.

Again, just another one of those things weren’t mentioned in any of the bestselling motherhood books I read from cover to cover.

But thank god for club motherhood because even the “best” moms have parenting horror stories.

—By Amber Watson-Tardiff, NEW JERSEY MOMS BLOG

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This is an original post to New Jersey Moms Blog (http://www.newjerseymomsblog.com). You can find more from Amber Watson-Tardiff on mommy guilt and parenting on Twitter (http://twitter.com/jerseymomma) or on her own blog, jerseymomma.com.

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(c) 2009, Amber Watson-Tardiff.

As written for New Jersey Moms Blog, http://www.newjerseymomsblog.com.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Mar
23

Healthy living in a bad economy

Posted by besttech

The Economy. Oh, such loaded words today.

There are a billion ways I could talk about how the current economic downturn has affected my family (a smaller bank account, jobs in jeopardy), but there is one particular area that is on my mind.

Food.

In an effort to find positivity in a pretty bleak time, I’ve made steps to fend off the depressing financial woes by engaging my family into a healthier lifestyle. My logic? If we all feel better it might take some of the sting of reality away.

I am preparing meals at home more often. I am attempting to cut out a lot of processed foods. And, personally, I am on a quest to lose weight. Things have been going swimmingly, until I looked at my household spending on groceries for the last two months… they were sky high!

Eating healthy has a cost. And eating vast quantities of fresh produce has blown my budget.

Months ago, dinner might consist of pasta with a jar of sauce. Or on a really bad night, a bowl of cereal. Pretty cheap. But adding in fresh vegetables and salads is starting to increase my weekly grocery bill past the point of no return.

Another surprise? Shopping at a speciality store for those healthy ingredients for my new recipes sure makes my body feel good, but my wallet is screaming in agony.

Let’s face it, processed foods are somewhat cheaper. I can buy a box of Mac ‘n Cheese for much less than if I bought my own pasta and cheese and prepared it myself. All the while, the Media is touting “Cook at home!”, “Save money!” but that plan only works if you are eating out multiple nights a week. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a $70 meal at Steakhouse DuJour is more expensive than buying your own steaks at the grocery store and slapping them on the grill.

But to eat healthy at home? If a family is purchasing processed and prepackaged meals that’s about as cheap as you can get. You can’t beat the shelf-life either, which means less waste. There’s also something to be said for the “99 Cent” menu. Take notice that salads are never an option. The fast food retailers know it too… healthier food costs them more. A 99 cent burger or a $7 salad? If you’re counting pennies, a hard choice to make.

In the end, I guess I have to weigh the positives and negatives of continuing our plan.

The upside? My family sure feels a lot lighter on our healthy food plan.

The downside? My wallet is lighter too.

—By Shelli,  NEW JERSEY MOMS BLOG

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This is an original post from the New Jersey Moms Blog (http://www.newjerseymomsblog.com). Shelli also blogs about the road to self-improvement at http://bagmomma.blogspot.com/.

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(c) 2009, Shelli.

As written for New Jersey Moms Blog, http://www.newjerseymomsblog.com.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Feb
23

Raising a social butterfly

Posted by besttech

I didn’t realize that the popularity contests started so young, as early as preschool — maybe even earlier. My first child has autism and social situations are challenging for him, to put it mildly. Friends are few and far between and he rarely gets invited to birthday parties or playdates. But who has time for that anyway?

Instead of birthday parties and playdates it was always therapy, school and doctor’s appointments for him.

My daughter, on the other hand, at the tender age of 4 is quite popular. The mailbox overflows with birthday party invites and I’m constantly trying to sandwich in playdates around her daily pre-k and weekly dance class schedule. I love the fact that she has lots of friends and a social life (bordering on better than my own … scratch that — it IS better than my own). But, lately, her popularity has put me in a predicament.

I have birthday party woes.

My little social butterfly just turned 4 years old and I’m in the midst of planning her birthday party. Since I never had big birthday parties growing up, I’ve always thrown them for my kids. Past parties have included things like bear-making, karate, bowling or the kids play-gym. My daughter wanted a dance party this year. I explained that perhaps her friends who are boys wouldn’t be too down with that idea and maybe we could just invite her friends that are girls. I expected her to melt down but instead she expressed concern to me that one of her friends wouldn’t be able to participate — a sweet little girl in her pre-k who requires the use of a walker. Because this is one of her best friends at school, I agreed — we’d find another place to have her party.

If I thought picking an acceptable venue (that I could also afford) was tough enough — I had no idea how tough it would be when we got to making the guest list. The school has a rule that invitations for parties should be for all the kids in the class or no one at all. I actually considered being “one of those” moms that passes out invites on the sidewalk at drop-off time to just a few of the kids’ parents. Not to mention all the kids she plays with outside of school, like from dance class — all these kids who have invited her to parties in the past. And as the invitation list grows (and my wallet gets thinner) — I think, whatever happened to the small party at home?

So I sit here getting ready to write up invitations, I’ve decided that this social butterfly stuff really is not all that it is made out to be.

–By MaryTara,  NEW JERSEY MOMS BLOG

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This is an original post from the New Jersey Moms Blog (http://www.newjerseymomsblog.com). MaryTara blogs her adventures in parenting two beautiful children on the Jersey Shore, life with autism and without it, the gluten- and casein-free diet, and vaccination choice issues at The Bon Bon Gazette (http://www.bonbongazette.com/).

Jan
23

The Shag, the Up-Do and The Mom

Posted by besttech

As a mother, at what point does it become necessary to cut your losses? Or, in this case, tresses? Many of my friends chopped theirs after having children, a ‘do I jokingly refer to as “The Mom.” (Like “the bob,” only not unstylish on purpose.) I never understood why the sudden change to “The Mom” — until the day my hair slipped into my face while I was feeding the baby. I wasn’t able to swipe it away without disturbing her, so I was forced to sit there helplessly wriggling my nose and trying not to sneeze (or curse loudly). As traumatic as that was, and regardless of how many times that same ridiculous scenario has played out since, I have refused to cut my hair.

I have long hair. Several inches past my shoulders, charged-the-extra-long-hair-fee-at-the-salon kind of hair. I like it. And I ain’t cutting it. I happen to look horrendous with short hair. One look at my 7th grade class photo proves that point (although the braces, dangly earrings and flowered coveralls aren’t exactly helping things).

It has taken me a long time to get it where it is now, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to lop it all off. Except — it’s the ‘do all the cool moms are rockin’ these days. The peer pressure is getting pretty intense. Could it be time to give up the frizzy, broken long, flowing locks in favor of a shorter, boring and outdated more sophisticated cut?

I turned 30 this year, and I have to force myself to admit that I’m aging. I can’t shop in the junior’s section any more (well, maybe just a little — the sweaters are so cute!). I’ve started to think of teenagers as “damn punk kids”; and those damn punk kids giggling in the corner table at Panera are, in fact, laughing at me, not the woman behind me.

Is it my hair? I still look at women older than myself and think, “What are they thinking dressing that way?!?” Am I that woman? Am I the “OMG-look-at-that-woman’s-hair-she’s-so-old-does-she-think-she’s-hot-o r-something” lady?!?

Screw it. I’ve got more important things to worry about. Like at what point do you start coloring, because you know how long hair looks with a lot of gray in it.

–By Kate B., NEW JERSEY MOMS BLOG

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This is an original post from the New Jersey Moms Blog (http://www.newjerseymomsblog.com). You can find Kate B. obsessing about everything in her life at her personal site, Rockin the Suburbs (http://www.katehayesblazo.blogspot.com/).

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(c) 2009, Kate B.

As written for New Jersey Moms Blog, http://www.newjerseymomsblog.com.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Jan
10

Not fair!

Posted by besttech

My sister is in Hawaii. She’s been sending me photos from her cell phone; you know the kind, so achingly beautiful you have to gasp at how incredible the world is, then vomit because someone is actually there and you’re not. But it’s OK, because one of my husband’s fraternity brothers lives there, and is getting married in June. So we’ve got a trip planned to Hawaii, and I’m really looking forward to it. My husband has been checking flights, we’ve been talking about places to stay, what to do with the baby. And then my husband says, “I’m not sure we’re going to be able to go.”

Now I’m angry. Why? “The baby,” he says. I respond that her recent clingy behavior is just a phase, and she’ll be fine by next June, she’ll be almost 2. Our mothers can tag-team watching her for the week, it’ll be fine. “No”, he says, “I’m not sure I’m going to be able to leave her for that long.” Oh. Hello, guilt, my old friend. I never thought about that. So now I’m angry and guilty. Why didn’t I think about that? My first thought wasn’t about how much I’ll miss my baby, it was about how pissed I was that we weren’t going to go. I mean, yes, I’m going to miss her, and miss her terribly at that. But that wasn’t my main concern, it was the trip itself. Am I a bad mommy for thinking that way? I love my daughter more than anything. But is it so wrong to want something for myself, even if it means leaving her behind for a while?

–Kate B., NEW JERSEY MOMS BLOG

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This is an original post from the New Jersey Moms Blog (http://www.newjerseymomsblog.com). Kate B. is a journalist and new mom. She also writes at her personal site, Rockin the Suburbs (http://www.katehayesblazo.blogspot.com/).