Another thing that motherhood has taught me: Catholic guilt has nothing on mom guilt.
I know I have said it before, but I feel guilty whenever I even think about leaving Reese for extended periods of time (other than to go to work or when I know she’s in bed for the night.) The fact that I only get to see her for one or two hours Monday-Thursday makes it very hard to justify ever leaving her on the weekends.
So a few weekends ago, when one of Andrew’s closest friends from high school got married out of town, I tried to plan a way where we could both attend all the wedding events without leaving Reese for the whole weekend.
Lucky for us, my best friend Sarah and her husband Ryan live in the same town where the wedding was taking place, and agreed to watch Reese on Friday and Saturday nights while we were at the rehearsal dinner and the wedding.
I have yet to leave Reese overnight anywhere and I really didn’t want to if I didn’t have to. So despite the fact that we had two nights booked in a hotel, I was still planning on spending both nights with Reese, either at Sarah’s house or picking her up and bringing her back to the hotel with me. The wedding was taking place in the hotel, so logistically, my plan was not ideal and some (Andrew) may even say it was stupid.
Friday night we went to Sarah’s after the rehearsal dinner and all spent the night there. On Saturday, determined not to lose all the money we put down on the hotel, I picked Reese up after leaving the reception and brought her back to the hotel.
It was an evening wedding so even though I left the reception halfway through to pick Reese up, it was still pretty late by the time we both got back to the hotel. I got lots of judgments/looks as I walked through the hotel lobby at 1 AM carrying my groggy 15 month old. The valet, assuming I was the only one in the car, actually almost drove away with her in the back before I could get her out of her seat. I guess he didn’t know our baby hangs late night.
After two days of being out past 11 pm (!!) and up before 6 am, Sunday morning hit us like a punch to the mouth. Pre-Reese, wedding weekends involved late nights and late mornings. We would roll out of bed on Sunday morning and hopefully have time to take a shower before heading to the post wedding brunch. This weekend, 6 am found the three of us sitting in bed, Elmo playing on repeat and Andrew and I literally counting the minutes until the brunch began.
Four hours later, we were the first ones in line at the buffet.
The time it took for us to recover from the weekend was enough for me to rethink my reluctance to leave Reese for an overnight, and to consider letting go a little.
We have family members who have been clamoring for a sleep over with Reese for some time now, and I think I’m ready to take them up on that offer. I know we’ll miss our girl and I’ll still have a few guilt-ridden moments, but when I am gloriously sleeping in until whenever I feel like it, eating entire meals sitting on a chair at a table, and not finding applesauce in my hair at the end of the day, I will know that I made the right decision.