A mothers guilt trip: Why does it never end?

Last weekend, I decided to head away with my husband for a relaxing weekend together. Life can be so busy with work, volunteering, running the house and family time that it is easy to forget about your relationship as a couple.

I started planning it a few weeks out, I often have kids friends or cousins over for sleepovers so I didn't find it difficult to ask a favour this time, It was the guilt from my daughter afterward that still troubles me.  I worked with both kids, my daughter age 8 and my son age 12 to find where they would like to stay each night.  I tried to find the right mix of being spoilt by grandparents, having fun with friends and getting a good night's sleep on a school night without inconveniencing too many people.

By the time it was organised, I was ready for a break, I didn't even look after flights, accommodation etc, just the kids' schedules!  Thursday school pick up and sleep over, Friday to and from school and sleepover, weekend taxis, and sleepovers. The email documenting all their movements from gymnastics, rugby, hockey, and sailing fixtures they both had over the weekend would exhaust anyone!

Before leaving we made sure we had exactly the present they wanted on our return, an outfit for my daughter and a cool t-shirt for my son, we were airport bound and free.  The occasional phone call back to the kids confirmed that they were having a great time, even though they did miss us but they were excited about the present coming their way, and our return.

I spend a lot of time spreading myself too thin in all areas of my life but arrived back home totally relaxed, was greeted by two kids who were very excited to see us, it was lovely to be back home, everyone with big smiles.

I mentioned I had to head to a meeting an hour later, for a voluntary role I do, initially, this wasn't a problem, it was bedtime anyway and my husband was home.  When I tried to get out the door, it was a different story!.  My daughter was so upset "you ruined everything" "I am so angry with you", this turned into her blocking my exit, running out the back door after me, ringing me in the car begging me to come back.  My husband decided it was best to let her run out of steam, I'm not so sure it was the best idea.   I went to my meeting, received 10 missed calls, each with a sobbing message and received lots of sad emojis in a text from her on my husband's phone.

The relaxed feeling of the break away together had now long gone and was replaced with stress and I was on a guilt trip.  Isn't it remarkable how our children know exactly what to say to spark our feelings of guilt?  Next time, if I get away again, I will make sure I am 100% there for my kids that evening.

P.S. I did get a text as she fell asleep in my bed to say, she was sorry for what she said and she loved me so much but wanted me to come back. (4 different sad emojis attached!)

Fiona Staunton

Fiona is a chef, home economist and mum of two. Her passions lie in cooking and sailing. She runs healthy cookery demos from her home in Dublin and provides in-company healthy cooking demos with Fiona’s food for life. Check out her awesome recipes and blog here.

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