Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bad Mommy?

I had to go away for work last week. Again. A part of me was dreading leaving all my “Cubs” behind for three nights. A part of me was exhausted from a hectic weekend at home and the prep work involved in leaving for a few days – dinner plans, lunch box options, laundry, play dates, notes to the sitter, notes to my husband , even notes to self! And then, as we attempted to enjoy a civilized Sunday supper and I had to reprimand Ciara for spitting in Liam’s milk and the triplets for feeding the dog, I realized that a part of me was also kind of, well, psyched.

While I would have long days full of meetings, clients and demands, I was virtually guaranteed that I could eat a meal without flying food or leaving the table to enforce a time out. As I looked around at the mayhem I was about to leave behind and thought about the relative peace that a business trip would provide, I had to wonder yet again, am I a Bad Mommy?

A few phone calls during the week would suggest that I am. To share just a few examples:

• We had no cold cuts for Liam’s lunch. I had left cooked chicken nuggets (made at 7AM Monday morning!), thinking that might make me a Good Mommy. But it didn’t. I’m told that as my husband cleared the chicken nuggets out of the backpack, my sincere kindergartener whined, “I told Mom I didn’t want chicken nuggets!” Which is true, but I couldn’t come up with an alternative before I raced to the airport. Which makes me not only a Bad Mommy but a Bad Listener and clearly, a Bad Grocery Shopper!

• The next two days, Liam arrived home from kindergarten with wet pants. The kid hasn’t peed in his pants in a while. When asked why, he announced without hesitation “because I miss Mommy.” Enough said, right?

• Last but not least, I forgot about an early closing and that the poor kid would be arriving home on the bus at 11:30 instead of 2:30. Man, if I ended up alone at the bus stop, I just might wet my pants too!

There were a few other minor issues… I ran out of time over the weekend to get our triplet stroller repaired, leaving my sitter in a lurch. I hadn’t anticipated the sudden (early!) arrival of summer and ninety degree temperatures so all the kids sweltered in too-heavy pjs and scrambled for shorts and t-shirts.

Despite it all though, when I finally got home, weary from an intense work week, I was greeted by smiles, hugs, and if I do say so myself, even a few jumps for joy. My tots most certainly weren’t holding a grudge about my absence or the things I forgot… which made me think maybe I’m not such a Bad Mommy after all. Just don’t tell them how much I enjoyed my fancy client dinners!

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