The Guilt of Ditching Dinnertime (and Liking It)

Tonight, for the third time in 11 months, I’m going to go out after work instead of picking Mason up from daycare. My co-workers arranged a happy hour, and I’m super excited to go and hang out with them (it’s my first happy hour!). But I’m also wrestling with big-time guilt.

Before Mason was born, my hubby and I went out several nights a week. But after Mason was born and Chris started working out of town, I found it incredibly difficult to take any time for myself. The fact that I have to hire (and pay) a babysitter isn’t really the issue–it’s that if I’m not around then Mason has to spend “our time” with someone else. And that sort of breaks my heart.

But here’s the kicker: Despite the guilt, I’m looking forward to a night off from giving Mason dinner. It’s a relief. After all the food throwing, sippy cup battles, and now his refusal to eat anything but graham crackers, raisins, and applesauce for dinner, I find myself dreading dinnertime more often than not. I’m sad that I feel this way, because I love cooking for Mason and eating out with him, but when every bite is a fight it just gets exhausting.

I shared my feelings with Chris last night and he insisted that there was no reason to feel guilty. He pointed out that I’ll be home in time to give Mason a bath and put him to bed (two things I never let anyone else do), and we both agreed that I need a break every now and then. But still…

Can any of you other mamas relate?


4 thoughts on “The Guilt of Ditching Dinnertime (and Liking It)

  1. I totally understand the mixed feelings. As I said in another comment, sometimes kids actually eat better with people other than their mommy. So why not give it a try while enjoying your “me” time?

    As a married single parent doing solo parenting -my hubby is deployed in another country for extended periods and all extended family members live in a 3rd country, I have a babysitter pick my son up from daycare and give him dinner during the week when I work full-time and many times long hours. During the weekends, I’m all by myself with my son.

    It’s a no-break lifestyle – if you can still call it “life”. So any “me” time has been totally impossible. I’m really looking foward to the summer, when I’m planning to take my son to visit his daddy and take the first break in 3 years.

  2. I love Jane’s comment about it being a no break lifestyle! The “If you can call it a life” bit! lol!

    I take care of my one year old 99% of the time as well, although I get help, tremendous help, from my 8 year old son (bless his heart), and my aunt (bless HER heart!) with naps or watching him if he’s in his high chair and I need to go to the bathroom or something. And sometimes his dad will help out here and there as well.

    As hectic as it is, I know that I don’t take half the Me time I should – I could probably have more if I would take it. One reason is that I just tend to not take it til I”m at the breaking point – bad habit, I know – but the other is that once you are exhausted enough – it is even more exhausting to go do something out of the house! Naturally, my non-parent friends don’t quite understand.

  3. the guilt… it’s normal… I think it’s hardwired into us. To keep the species going, OR God really IS a man and is just torturing us!

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