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by: Emma Aguirre

I think the fussiness of last week was related to me being gone and teething. I can’t quite see anything in my daughter’s mouth yet, but it’s just a feeling I have. She’s sucking her lower lip and has started poking at her gums more, rather than sucking her thumb. I’m leaving again this weekend on a girl’s trip so I need to double check that we have plenty of baby Tylenol handy for hubby. I also have plenty of homeopathic teething tablets and teethers on standby.

This girl’s trip leaves me torn. I was quick to book it with my good friends as we’ve gone away together every year for a few years now. I’m so lucky to have to such amazing friends and a good time is guaranteed. This year is different though, as it’s my first as a mom. I’m not the only mom on the trip, in fact, there are two others. This year we’re headed for some R&R in Fredricksburg – heavenly – spas, wine, shopping and good food. We have a wonderful cottage at our disposal and I’ve been looking forward to it for a while. I know I need this time for me, logically. My husband has told me I need this time for me, that I deserve it. So why can’t I shake the guilt?

Guilt in that I know my daughter is likely teething and it could really kick up this weekend. Wouldn’t it be just like the thing for her first tooth to pop out while I’m gone? I’d be so sad (admittedly, slightly relieved to have missed the chaos, but I would feel mostly sad to have missed such a milestone). It also took her a couple of days to get back to normal from the last time I was gone, just for that one overnight. I can’t stop wondering if she thinks I’m not coming back or where I’ve gone and it just breaks my heart. The upside is I know she has a packed weekend with her dad and again, the logical side of me knows he’ll do fine.

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I’m also feeling guilty because we are now a one income family, and it doesn’t seem fair that my husband makes the money and I get to take off and spend it. Staying home with my daughter for the last (nearly) seven months is the hardest job I’ve ever had, and I never get a break from being mom. There are no days off and weekends are just like every other day. Even when I’m out of town, she will be at the forefront of my mind. A recent study said that if a stay-home mom received a salary she would earn about $61k. It’s simply not enough. We’re rewarded in goofy, gummy grins and sweet moments, yet no part of motherhood feels like “work” for me. So I wonder if the money I’m spending to take this trip could be better spent elsewhere as we battle the budget.

I’m pretty sure the masseuse will be able to hammer out all this guilt (and work on my low back that I swear is still pining from the epidural), and if not, some good Texas wine and peach cobbler certainly will. While I’m looking forward to going and some quality adult time with my good friends, I’m looking forward to coming home again and snuggling with my sweet little girl. I’m already planning how we’ll spend Monday!

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