With teary eyes, I kissed my daughter one more time and bid goodbye, picked up my luggage and without looking back disappeared in the chaos of Mumbai airport to take a break from my daily monotonous life. I could feel a knot in my throat, I calmed down myself before moving ahead for the baggage check-in counter. I just left my 3.5 years old daughter for the first time for 15 days and was trying to struggle myself from recovering this guilt.
Soon the announcement has made and I boarded the plane for 14 hours long journey. I was going to a different continent, to a different time zone. It had been a long time since I’d been alone for such long time after my daughter was born. A feeling of guilt engulfed me and I closed my eyes feeling anxious and tried to give some rest to my restless mind. I was not disappointed but just taking the time to feel the real me once again.
I had been planning this trip for almost a year now and felt my daughter was too small to take along. Moreover, I wanted to go solo, I wished to access the part of this world alone. But never had the courage of doing so until now. Many absurd thoughts were keeps on coming like… what if something happens to me? What if my kid stopped eating? What if something happen to her during my absence? Does it make me a bad mother ? and many more. At the same time, believe me, I had to face many questions from the people who were not at all affected by this decision and was none of their business.
“what!! are you insane? how could you leave your daughter and go for a vacation to enjoy yourself claiming that you need “Me” time ?” or “you are so insensitive” were some of the reactions I received when I broke out the news that I had applied for a Schengen Visa to Spain which got approved. I didn’t understand why it was not ‘OK’. I was not abandoning my kid or family, it’s just I would not be around for a while. My husbands also leave us for a week or a two or sometimes for a month but no one gave such remarks on it. Maybe it is culturally acceptable or did they have the legal stamp when they were born?
Ironically the term parenting has become the whole sole responsibility of mothers at least in the Indian society. I do not want to bring any revolution but it’s just “as simple as” that mothers do need some time off for themselves. For now, I choose to be a stay at home mother, motherhood is my life and it’s my responsibility but sometimes, I can hear a rumble from my former self to give ‘my life’ an equal importance. So when the opportunity knocked my door to travel a few months back with one of my best friends, I grabbed it. Definitely, some guilt arose at first but my family supported and respected my decision.
People told me that I have been blessed to have such a good husband who allowed or let me go on this trip. Yes, that’s true, my partner is supportive but that should be the standard, not the exception. I did not found anything great in this. Moreover, I was confident to leave because I know my daughter was in safe hands of my husband and my mother-in-Law who is much more experienced than me. obviously, I missed them but we called and did skype. My husband was more than happy as he got his time alone so-called ‘space’ 😉 , they had messed up the whole house, watched TV uninterrupted, slept till late, ate whatever they want and did what not 🙂
And when I returned after getting a nerve of travelling solo, I felt more rejuvenated and active. I was feeling more independent, confident and Self-assured. I felt a more like me rather than just a mum. My daughter was thrilled to have me back and showered more love and was so excited to see all the gifts I bought along. I wanted to break the cycle and happy that I did and lived the odd. I promised my daughter when she would grow up a little, we can both go together.
So do not regret and get out from this so called mother guilt. You will not become a bad mother, sometimes it’s ok to be selfish. 🙂
I read somewhere few lines from Cecelia Ahem which I liked the most :
“As long as you are around, your life too. So just as you shower love and affection and attention on the husbands, parents,children and forever friends who surround you, you have to do so equally with your life, because it’s yours, it’s you. And your life will stay till the end with you and that’s the truth. “
Have you ever experienced the mother guilt? How did you tackle it? Would love to hear. Thank you for stopping by 🙂