Going Away ‘Mom-guilt’ Baking

‘What are your plans for the day?’

I work part-time so there are days in the week when I’m off. Sometimes, on these days, when my hard-working husband asks that question about my day, my back goes right up. I’m not sure why I get offended by it, as most of the time he’s just asking out of interest and making conversation first thing in the morning. It’s easier to not think and do routine conversation then. It’s a bit like asking what the weather is going to be, I’m sure my answer is forgotten in a few seconds. He’s not checking up on me, but my warped mind turns it into that. I feel like I have to be doing something worthwhile, or come up with a justification for my existence almost. I’m sure he gets equally niggled when I ask, ‘Where are you working today?’ I ask that every week day, without fail.

I wonder what he’d say if I just said I plan to sit on the couch and read all day, or watch an entire series on Netflix. To be honest I’d want him to challenge me on that – I’m far more likely to over-do those things in the evening. It’s rare that I have no plans for the day. Let’s face it there’s always stuff to be done whether working or not. There are always the mundane tasks – usually everything that I like to get done, but wish I could get done super quick so that I could sit down and write, or sew, or read, or go out for coffee. Before I know it it’s 3.30pm and the school day is done and I’m still working down the list, admittedly with a few wasted minutes checking social media. Don’t feel too bad for me, I do take time out sometimes.

The past couple of days I have had a bit of a game plan. In a few days I go away for seven whole days. By myself. Well, not by myself, I’m going with a team of from our church family to Brooklyn for a Boot Camp with Metro World Child. I’m kind of excited at being able to go, thankful that I can, and kind of nervous, because it will be a challenge and a little scary. I pray we’ll all be safe! After spending the entire winter in our quiet corner of the world, the shift to big, big city is going to be a culture shock – and we’re going to have to hit the ground running, and be confronted with things that we may not have experienced before. My first real experience of NYC is not going to be the tourist kind.

So I’m leaving the family to fend for themselves. I don’t do this often. Let’s face it they are well able to cope without me around for a few days now. It is probably even good for them. In my twenty-one years as a mother I’ve been away for two separate weeks without husband and children. The first time was to do some filming for a TV show (our fourth was ten months old at the time), the second time was to check out Canada before we moved here. The only other time I get away is for a night at a Women’s Retreat once a year. I don’t abandon them that much.

I do feel that I should provide a freezer full of food options for the week. I fear they will starve if I don’t, or be tempted to eat junk, or worst of all forget me while I’m gone. (Sob!) Plus, let me be honest, there’s some serious Mum/Mom-guilt going on for leaving everyone for a week. My game plan today was to bake some treats to put in the freezer. Now I have, there is a real risk that all of them will all be eaten before I leave as I didn’t get them to the freezer quick enough.

It strikes me as weird that today I’m baking cakes in my quiet kitchen, when next week I’ll be out on the streets of New York talking to kids and helping with Kids Club there. It’s another world, a leap into the unknown, a faith-building trip that I pray will have a longer lasting impact than that week alone, because I know that the experience of some kids in this city are not dissimilar to some of those I will meet there. It may even affect my answer to that question I get asked on my days off…

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