Share This

Oh, It’s Tuesday: The Guilt of Leaving [Wassup Scotland!]

Castle Stalker Credit: bluestardrop

Castle Stalker Credit: bluestardrop

So I’m five chapters away from being done with the rough draft of the follow-up to 32 CANDLES, and I just found a fairly cheap ticket to Scotland, which will allow me to stopover in France on my way back to the States. And oh hey, I would be leaving at the end of this month. Since it’s just me, I’ve got places to stay in both Scotland and France, and I can write most of the trip off, since it’s for research.

Exciting, right?

Not so much, I can’t stop feeling guilty about leaving Betty and CH and my MIL for a whole week.

The practical side of my brain says that I’ve got to work and that it would be silly not to layover in France for a few days, since my writing exchange partner lives there, and when will I get such an opportunity again? Also, of all the times to leave Betty, this is probably the best, since she’s in full routine, taking regular naps and going to sleep fairly easy; and while she’ll definitely notice that I’m gone, she won’t remember it in the long-run.

But the guilty mom in me feels bad that I’ll be having fun while others attend to my baby, that I’ll be going to two countries that my husband would love to visit himself, that Betty will not be happy for a day or two before she gets used to my missing presence.

And the feminist in me is just mad, because if I was a male writer had the resources I had, he’d probably be off without near this much fret. I’m reminded of this Malcolm Gladwell article about a write-at-home dad who made several trips to the Dominican Republican to research his short story collection — and he didn’t even have a book deal.

Still, I’d be interested to hear from moms and dads on this subject. How did you handle it the first time you left your family for an extended period of time? Any suggestions would be mightily appreciated.