I leave tomorrow night for the first leg of a road trip to Nashville for a long weekend. I am traveling down for my boyfriend’s daugher’s 21st birthday celebration. I believe there will be ten of us – only 4 “adults” (though technically all 18 and over). It should be a really good time with good food, good drink, and good conversation.
I have been away for weekends before, but I have never been this far from Kiran for this long. I am feeling equal parts excitement and anxiety. Guilt and the absolute knowledge the break will be good for me.
I will be away from ALL responsibilities for more than 96 hours. No childcare responsibilities, no household management responsibilities, no filing medical paperwork, no looking at bills, no running errands, no laundry, no dishes….No responsibilities.
The last couple days have been busy, preparing for this. I questioned multiple times if this vacation would really be worth the stress of preparing for it. I know it will be.
I find myself in a very weird position with all of this. With how my entire life is outlined. I talk a lot about being overwhelmed and exhausted – and I am – but I also get built in breaks when Kiran spends time at his dad’s house. It makes me feel guilty – and wrong – because so many people in similar caregiving situations do not have these breaks.
Even this trip. I almost feel like I am doing something wrong. That as a mother, as a caregiver, I shouldn’t leave my child behind to go do this. Nevermind that he will be having a fabulous time spending a long weekend with his dad, and that I absolutely find that beneficial and valuable for all three of us. I just can’t shake the part of me that feels I am somehow shirking my responsibilities or doing something wrong by taking this trip.
I went back and forth for months. There was a point, right before I ultimately decided I would go, that I decided I couldn’t possibly. I have never felt strongly about my decision to go – I just needed to make a decision because the others going needed a commitment.
All of this goes along with everything that has been challenging me lately. Everything I am learning about taking a break and finding ways to relieve stress – the letting go of the exclusive caregiving role.
I’m still not convinced I made the right decision in going. I’m also not convinced I made the wrong decision. I made the decision, and here I sit, feeling equal parts guilt and determination, equal parts anxiety and excitement …
And there is a part of me, deep down, that truly feels this vacation will refresh and rejuvenate, and help me be a better mom as we go into this holiday season.
Or that’s what I tell myself to assuage the guilt.