Three Words No Parent Wants To Hear

Please don’t go!  These are the last words I heard from my daughter before leaving for the conference I am currently at.  There were tears and begging and it was heart crushing. I think every hustling mom out there can identify with the guilt over long hours and not being able to split yourself into three people so that you can be everything to everyone.

I will be away from my family for a total of 4 nights and 5 days.  That is a long time! I think the hardest part of going away is knowing I will be stressed over traveling and handling the events of the conference, but also the stress of knowing my children are missing me so much while I am gone.

To try to make the departure a little easier, I made sure to make the week leading up to my leaving extra fun!  I thought by doing this my kids would appreciate that time and not have quite the melt down. Starting on Sunday night, we had a full house nerf war!  Ricky has a legit arsenal of nerf weapons, and targets. Throughout the house I set up some plastic bottle targets, and if you knocked them over that was 10 points.  You got 5 points for every time you connected with someone, and we all started at different levels of the house. It was 30 minutes of pure joy and laughter. Ricky won, of course, but there was no disappointment from Brooke.  

Monday night we snuggled in my bed and watched Disney movie Zombies.  They are in love with that movie, and I promised them I wouldn’t have my computer open while we watched.  It was so nice. People used to say TV was warping minds, or people aren’t paying attention because they are zoning out to television, but we have a whole new issue to deal with today.  Today, the kids aren’t paying attention to the tv or movie, they are also watching their ipad or their ipod. The average person will be interacting with 3 devices simultaneously, which is crazy!  So the movie got our attention, laughter, and singing. It was great!

Tuesday ended my fun filled three days with eating at Portillos for dinner in the VIP section.  Again, this was computer free and we talked about our Rose and Thorns from the day. We also pulled out the trivia app on my phone, and played some trivia.  I talked about how nervous I was about the conference, and worried things wouldn’t go okay. Brooke talked about her excitement for her dance recital she is practicing for, and how she was so happy she didn’t have a spelling test this week.  Ricky talked about how much fun the nerf war was and he wants to do it again, and school was just okay today. He is also looking forward to his lacrosse tournament in two weeks, which involves an overnight stay.

These nights sound great, right?  For me it was amazing, but it also meant so much extra work.  I would devote this time into making these fun nights, but then I would tuck them in and work finalizing calendars, travel, contracts, and last minute changes.  I was going to bed around 1am and getting up at 5am. I also got about an hour of sleep Tuesday night. I had to make sure their bags were perfectly packed for going to my mom’s house.  I also needed to make sure I had my laundry done and I was packed for such a long time away.

All of this was going to be worth it, though.  The payoff was going to be the kids were going to be so much better Wednesday morning when I kissed them goodbye, but hell no!  It was probably worse. They were so upset! The weird part is in my head I just felt like, oh shit, I have raised a bunch of assholes!  I sat at Portillos last night and talked about everything going on, and they don’t give a crap.

The reality is, they love me very much, and that is amazing.  There is something so wonderful about knowing my babies love me so much they don’t want to see me go.  I mean think of the alternative, if I were to leave and they didn’t care, I think that might sting.

It is Friday morning now, the first day of the conference.  I have already had a few curve balls thrown my way, and I have been able to solve for them, which feels amazing!  My kids are with my mom and I have been receiving pictures and texts; they are having so much fun!

I am really looking forward to going home on Sunday to get love and squeezes, but I am equally excited to share with my kids all the hard work I did.  I hope when my children are adults and look back over their childhood, they know how much I love them and know they were/are a priority. I also want them to realize what hard work looks like.  Most of all, when they are adults I hope they feel a little shitty over the fact they really didn’t appreciate me, which will make them visit me more and bring their kids over while they are at work, so I can make sure the grandkids are having the best nerf war too!

What is your biggest hustling mom guilt struggle?  How do you deal with having to leave for work? I would love to hear all of your hustles too!  Comment below, and I hope your hustle is on point today!



Colleen Lieberstein

Colleen Lieberstein, Executive Administrative Assistant, is the heartbeat at two award winning and fastest growing companies in the Chicagoland area. She lives in New Lenox with her two energetic kids, and her supportive husband. Colleen loves to read, play with her children, and go on adventures with her family. Exploring new places and eating new foods is the best.