A Fine Line

At what point does much deserved away time from your children morph into guilt laden "Me Time" sprinkled with a touch of "Neglect"?
I ask this because as a stay at home mom, I spend A LOT of time with my kids. In the working world, I'd be considered a borderline work-a-holic. I'm the first to admit that my attentiveness ebbs and flows with the tides and moons. Yeah, I surf the net and take personal calls while I'm in the office. Hey, nobody's perfect. But on AVERAGE, I'm a darned good mommy. So good, that even when I get a few hours away, a date night, or a dental appointment, I suffer serious bouts of worry and self doubt. I should be home singing the ABC's and baking cookies with my children. I don't contribute to our gross income. I am not furthering our retirement fund. I do not deserve a pedicure.
Which brings me to my point: I am about to embark on my second childless overnight in one week. That's right, two separate glorious adult excursions all in the same week! I know, the last time I had two nights away was when I went into false labor. And you're asking "How the hell did you get so lucky?"
Last week my parents, aka "The World's Greatest Grandparents", begged to take my children for the night. I willingly agreed, hung up the phone and quickly made as many hair, nail and martini appointments as possible. I cannot say enough about the joys of spending 24 hours in your own home alone. (You can read about it in last week's blog entries)
And now, it just so happens that John and I are headed to Napa for a night without the girls. How did this happen? Have I reached a new era in my parenting career? Maybe we're in the honeymoon phase of raising kids. That moment when they've graduated from breast feeding, when they're verbal enough to tell grandma they need a hotdog, and not quite to the point when their hormones morph them into raging teenage lunatics who hate your guts. Well, maybe. But I still have guilt.
It's one thing to be overworked, exhausted and daydreaming about a little time alone. It's another to be handed a dream getaway once a week. I mean, what did I do to deserve this? Or rather, what price will I pay in exchange for this? It's no secret that a mother's absence is rewarded with illness, attitude or wakefulness. Oh, yes, that would explain last week's 24 hour child free excursion...since my return we've dealt with pink eye, bronchial inflammation, and rotovirus. And that's just my youngest!
So here goes nothing, mommy's going away for the night girls. Use your manners and when I return I'll shower you in my love and attention! We'll make play dough and have tea parties. And don't worry, I'm sure to have a miserable time worrying about how much therapy all this "Me-Time" is going to cost us later. Bye-bye, now!

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