Our Daily Adventures

Vacationing and Mom Guilt

Last Saturday, I came back from my very first vacation I’ve been on since I gave birth. The company I’ve been working for for only 2 months gathered us all in Portugal so we could meet and have fun for 5 days.

I’ve never been to Portugal before, and with all expenses paid, I couldn’t wait to go there! And yet…

And yet.

It meant I would be away from my little one from Monday morning to Saturday morning. That’s only five days, and I knew he’d be safe and sound with my husband and his mom, but I couldn’t help feeling anxious and sad.

Now, those emotions are completely normal when you’re leaving your baby for the first time. After all, the longest I’ve been away from him prior to that was three hours! So sure, it was scary and that’s okay.

But the thing that I also felt — that the people in my environment made me feel over the trip was mom guilt.

Do Moms Get Time Off?

When you’re a mom, it goes without saying that your job is 24/7 for a couple of years at least, especially year one.

That’s why, when I would tell people I’d be vacationing all by my lonesome, the first two things they’d ask were:

But who will take care of the baby?, and

How can you leave such a small baby? I could never!

And don’t get me wrong — on the morning of my departure, I found it so hard to leave. He was sleeping peacefully, having no idea I wouldn’t be there for a few days.

I felt guilty and ashamed.

But once I was on the road; once I finally finished that book I started all the way back in March; once I realized I didn’t have to plan out two separate sets of meals for the day, wash endless dishes, endless clothes, and be on call 24/7, I felt so relaxed.

Some might say it’s selfish. Some did have the nerve to say that I’d be frolicking all over Portugal while my husband is babysitting, and let me tell you…

I hate that so much!

He was more than happy to do that. In fact, he convinced me to go in the first place. He did everything around the baby from day one, and most importantly — it’s his child, too!

I get so angry when moms are expected to be on call 24/7, but when dads do it, it’s babysitting.

Ugh.

My little one is seven months old today. When I was vacationing, he was 6 1/2 months old. We would talk 1-2 times a day, and he was so happy to be with his dad and grandma.

His dad is usually away for work for the majority of the day so this was a wonderful way for them to connect, while mom got some well-deserved rest.

Rest from your baby? So selfish!

No, it really isn’t. I struggled so much when I was pregnant — first with migraines, then sciatica, then bed rest. Then, my labor took forever. My breastfeeding journey was less than ideal.

And after only 4 months (despite having a whole year off), I started a new job.

So as long as my baby is fed, clean, and happy, I have the right to steal a few moments (or days) for myself.

He was so happy to see me when I came back, and because I was so well-rested, and have spent more than 3 hours thinking about something else but my baby and all the chores that await, let me tell you…

I came back a brighter, more positive, and a better parent.

So don’t let anyone tell you your body and joys aren’t your own anymore, and that everything needs to be on pause now. Because if you have a great partner like I do — it really doesn’t.

Jelena
Jelena

A 27-year-old married mom, trying to have it all. I have a full-time job I enjoy, a home I’m in love with, and plenty of hobbies I try my best to have the time for. A psychologist by vocation, with the goal of helping young women live their best lives.

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