I'm once again feeling the pangs of mother's guilt. Much like hunger pangs 2 hours post any meal, they show up whenever I anticipate enjoying myself without my children in the picture.
This time the cause is an impending 4-day trip to NYC to visit my sister and her husband all by myself. All by myself. I don't even remember what it's like to travel by myself! i have not done that since before Luca was born three years ago. I can hardly believe that I'll be at the airport and I'll have the choice to read, snooze or have some coffee while I wait for the plane. And that's the boring part!
The guilt is divided in two. The first and strongest part is actually not related to leaving my children, but rather to leaving the whole parenting load to Alain. He's been on some trips since Luca was born three years ago - a 3-day cruise, a few weekend bachelor parties, a mountain bike trip and even a 2-week journey through Egipt with his dad when Andre was five months old and Luca was 2 1/2. So why do I feel this guilt, but I don't hold negative feelings about Alain taking a few breaks here and there?
The other half of the guilt is the generic mother's guilt. I feel bad about leaving them behind a few days and about enjoying myself without them and because I will be without them.
I understand that, from an evolutionary point of view, this makes sense. After all, mothers must be wired to feel this way so they don't leave their babies lying around somewhere when they need a break, no matter how much they need the break. But I wonder if it will eventually fade over millions of years, much like body hair, and we'll eventually have a reasonable mother's guilt equivalent to eyebrows and eyelashes.