We’re goin’ on vacation! Whoop Whoop!! Yes, Tom and I are going away (BY OURSELVES shhhh!!!!!) to celebrate our anniversary. The last time we spent more than 24 hours away from home (alone together), was in 2006 when I flew out to Phoenix to meet him after a sales conference and we stayed at the Biltmore in Phoenix for a few nights. While we were there we climbed Camelback Mountain. That may not sound like much to you, but it was monumental to me…which is why we’re goin’ back to do it again. Not six years older, but six years wiser I say!
‘Course right after we booked the flight I got an email from the middle school. Brigham is due to graduate this year and I have been asking other moms for months now if they knew the date of the award (graduation) ceremony. Nobody knew. So rather than actually call the school (which would have made a lot of sense looking back on it) I assumed (which is never a smart move) logically it would be the last week of school. Nope. And, of course, it falls smack dab in the middle of our vacation.
Have you ever experienced the cycle of guilt? It is an evil pattern. It starts with just plain feeling guilty about something (like…missing an event, returning a swimsuit you actually wore, speeding in a school zone, re-gifting that ugly sweater your sister gave you, setting the clock ahead an hour so your kids go to bed earlier) after the guilt comes justification (we deserve a vacation!, I only wore it for half a day for pete’s sake, I had to get to my hair appointment and kids were already in school anyway, my sister always re-gifts my stuff so who cares, the kids need some extra Zzzz’s it will be good for them) then the guilt comes back. And so it goes round and round and round.
You don’t have to be a mother to partake in the cycle. Although moms are generally super good at it. Here the cycle starts with a simple question, bottle or breast? And ends with….well, come to think of it, I don’t know the answer to that one (and can I say I am very grateful for the oblivion).
So, we are missing our son’s middle school graduation to take a well deserved vacation. Surely he’ll understand, right? We’ll send grandma and his big brother will be back from college, so it’s not like he won’t have anyone to cheer him on…why do I continue to feel so guilty?
The problem is my guilt cycle with Brigham goes way back. Like prebirth, so we’re talking fourteen years. It began with the fact that I ended up in the hospital with complications during my 26th week of pregnancy. I had to stay there for six weeks before he was actually born (at 34 weeks). Doesn’t sound like much to feel guilty about, until I add in the fact that I was doing daily jumping jacks in my hospital room (behind closed doors, several sets a day) to bring on labor. Not at 26 weeks of course…but further along, like by 30 weeks. My ob actually kept me in the hospital so I wouldn’t be at home doing things I shouldn’t…like folding laundry, vacuuming and taking care of my 10 and 4-year-old sons. And there I was doing jumping jacks to bring on labor because I was so insanely bored sitting in a hospital room. Can you imagine if Brigham had been born with birth defects because of my behavior?! Maybe that explains why I am feeling so guilty today about missing this event…
Now, I have a choice here, to continue to feel guilty about missing this (fairly momentous) event in his life or, let him know I love him and that I am really proud of him (which I try to do on a regular basis) and then go enjoy my vacation knowing that when I return I will be a much better mom (person) because of it. So, that’s what I intend to to. No more guilt.
Wow, that was easy….wish I’d a thought of it a long time ago!