Mom Guilt

How was your weekend?! I hope it was good! These photos are from a couple weeks ago. Since we have the studio at our BFBH offices I quickly had David snap a pic when the kids came to visit me and they ended up being some of my favorite pics ever!! Lately I have really been struggling getting mentally ready to leave for our Europe trip. I am going to Europe for 12 days without David or the kids. At first David was going to come with me but we were both feeling really uneasy about leaving the kids for that long.. and David said he wanted to be home for a project we are working on so he volunteered to stay home. It instantly made me feel so much better but I am still having a hard time knowing I am leaving them for so long. It is technically a work trip but in my mind it feels selfish to leave the kids to go to Europe even though I know its not the case. I keep trying to figure out why I have this extreme guilt about leaving because I know so many men who travel for work and are gone 3 days a week or even weeks at a time. No one thinks anything of it, I don’t think anything of it. It is for work, he is providing for his family, so why should he feel guilty for leaving? Yet here I am about to leave feeling so guilty. It makes no sense and I keep trying to tell myself that but anytime I think about it tears well up in my eyes.

I remember leaving the kids and David for 6 days when I had to go to Utah for the shoots we did in Utah getting ready to launch Barefoot Blonde Hair. That was only 6 days and I remember getting home and just bawling because the kids felt so much bigger when I held them!!!! It made me so sad. Leading up to me leaving I just want to spend every single waking minute with them so that when I have to leave I am kind of ready for a break.. and that way mayyybe for the first few days I feel relieved to have a break?! Maybe?! Thank heavens for FaceTime. And I think I am going to leave little gifts for them to open each day I am gone. What do you guys do if you have to leave your kids? What makes you feel better?

Emails To My Kids

Since Atticus was born I have written emails to him and now Rosie too. I started with a baby book and quickly realized that a physical book didn’t make sense for me because most of the time when I get the urge to write to them, its when I am in bed at night thinking about them. So now every couple months or just whenever I feel like it, I write them an email with updates on what they are into, funny things they say, what I love about them, and just favorite memories from those couple months. I of course would prefer for my kids to one day have hand written letters but it also makes me nervous that I would lose them. This way I will never lose them and I know I will actually write them. Every time I write an email to them I am crying the biggest tears by the end.

Do you guys do emails or letters to your kids? I know this is such a morbid thought but I actually considered writing them emails for graduation day, wedding day, and when they have a baby…. JUST in case something happened. I know that is bad to think about buuut I have a feeling I am not the only mother who thinks about that scenario?!

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  1. I love the idea of writing emails to your kids! I have my first one on the way and I keep trying to find a cute baby book but I think writing emails and attaching pictures are just as good, if not better. That way they’re never lost and you can do it from literally anywhere! You always have such good ideas and are so inspiring! I love how you “mom”! 🙂

  2. It’s a good thing. We’re lucky enough to be more connected to our children, so sometimes that hurts. I had similar experiences when mine were young. But we didn’t have texting and Skype back then. I would leave little gifts and notes, and make sure their unforms/clothes were ready for school each day. Those things assuaged my guilt. I also arranged extra play dates and other distractions. You know you’re children are safe, they’ll love this special time with dad and you’ll come back rejuvenated. All in all, it’s a gift! Don’t worry! But don’t worry if you still miss them like crazy, it’s a good thing!

  3. I love your mama heart so much. I know exactly how that feels. I have only been on 5 dates since my Liam was born lol. He is ONE next week. I think of writing those future letters everyday. You just inspired me to go ahead and do it.

  4. Oh Amber…
    I am not a mom yet but I can totally understand your feelings and I think most moms or dads have them. I think you just don’t know that they feel guilty and of course, if they need to leave often, they get used to it. But I think you need to take it as a challenge for y’all 🙂 think positive! Only 12 days in Europe and not month away in a space shuttle or something like that 😀
    I also think that the idea of writing emails is so so cute and I reeeaally want to do that for my kids as well and give it to them on their 18th birthday 🙂 So cute!

    Love from Germany
    Xx Paulie <3

    http://www.mind-wanderer.com

  5. OMG – I 100% agree. I don’t even think about it when my husband travels but when I have to be away from home for work (which is not that often) I feel utter dread. My daughter is always fine but it just feels wrong. Well done for talking about this! Hope all goes well for your trip!

  6. Hi Amber. My mum is one of the highest lawyers in her firm and one of the only females. It’s hard for especially having two daughters and when we were little we used complain to our gran that we never saw her (which wasn’t true we always had weekends and evenings together) anyway as I have grown older though I find I appreciate the time with my Mum so much more than my friends who’s Mums don’t work and don’t ever leave them alone. So I think it’s a good thing to have some space every now and because when they see you again then it will feel extra exciting 💙

  7. When my first child was born ( he is almost 18 now), I started with the conventional “baby book,” but quickly realized it didn’t feel authentic writing down his stats as though he was a race horse. Instead, I started writing it as a “letter” to him and maybe his future wife. Over the years, the frequency has changed, sometimes I only write 1-2 x a year now, but I still chronicle all of his struggles (and his sister’s who is almost 14) and things they do or say that make me laugh. Since I don’t actually sit down to write that frequently, I keep notes on my computer to help me remember the funny things they’ve said or big events I want to mention and write them down. These have been a godsend. I also print out poems or quotes or articles that I want to share with them and tuck those into the journals. I am a hospice nurse, so I definitely think about how grateful I am to have this book that could give my kids some comfort if something happened to me. The other thing I did that I highly recommend, was audio taped my kids throughout the years. I have great footage of them singing songs during bath time or just randomly chatting in their room or little conversations that we had about the world. I cherish these more than any of the videos, as they are so pure and lovely. Thank you and your family for all the beautiful sharing that you do on your site.

  8. I have a one year old and a three year old, and I travel for work several times a year. Every time I think it will be easier m, but it never does! Ugh! One thing that helps a little is that I buy them a book in whatever city I’m in (preferably about that city, but sometimes just a random picture book). Then when I get home we read it together and they get s chance to learn about the city mommy went to. They now have a little collection of books from all over the place! It’s a fun way to create a bonding experience over something, even though we don’t get to experience it together.

  9. oh my goodness don’t be so hard on yourself! You and David are such hands-on fun parents and your kids are travelling the world and having amazing experiences all the time. Maybe re-frame it to think that this is how you provide for your family to have such an incredible life.

  10. I very rarely have to travel for work and have a trip coming up where I will be gone for only three nights and it is giving me the worst feeling. I think feeling sad/guilty is totally normal. And I think there are probably plenty of men who have these feelings to but just don’t voice it because it isn’t ‘normal’ for them to share.
    I love your idea of writing emails to your kids. I recently created an email for my son on a whim and thought it is going to be so silly when I give him an account….but having it filled with letters to him. Ohh that packs some punch. Thanks for sharing!

  11. We are actually gearing up to leave our little guy for 2 weeks and I am starting to freak out. (We are going on a vacation to Australia before we try for Baby #2.) And although I’m soooooooooooo excited, I also don’t know what I was thinking when we booked the trip!? Sometimes I miss him so much at the end of the work day, that I just rush home and can’t wait to kiss his cheeks. But then I also think we deserve a break. To see the world. And maybe it will make us better parents when we get home, because we’ll be that much more excited to see him. IDK. Mom guilt is tough. Right there with you Amber!

  12. Love it, how do you send them emails, did you make them both an email account and you write the email to their individual email accounts?
    Such a great idea!

  13. I completely get the mom guilt. As for things that make me feel better when traveling without the kids, I went to Hawaii a year ago and every day would pick out a post card that had amazing pictures of the local scenery and would write out what we had planned for the day and then mail it to them. It just made me feel better putting pen to paper and I knew they would get excited to get the mail.
    I write my kids a letter on their birthday each year and tell them all about what kind of little person they are. I am with you, I bawl every time.
    I get your morbid thoughts too. If my husband and I are both traveling, I write my boys a “just in case” letter. I kind of feel like a nut but it makes me feel better.

  14. I do the email letters to each of my kids too. I think it’s a great idea. I also have another email for myself that I cc all my emails too so I can read them too again one day. I don’t know how to get past the guilt, I feel it too.

  15. I have the same thoughts too. And I’ve felt the same way about it feeling morbid. I don’t have kids yet, but we want them soon and part of me feels like I won’t have a lot of time with them. My whole life, I’ve always been that person who was always sick with something. Last year I was sick with HFMD which is typically only found in children. The doctor asked me if I was immunocompromised or if I was under some kind of chemo treatment that would cause me to be open to a disease that is rarely found in adults. As far as I know, I’m fine, but a part of me wouldn’t be surprised if I got diagnosed with something fatal in the future. The whole reason why I started blogging is because I wanted to leave lessons behind in case I’m not around to teach them all to my kids. I want them to be raised in a eco-friendly, social-good, natural conscious environment, and I want them to be able to read it if I don’t get the chance to show them myself.

    Thanks for this post Amber 🙂

    Tatiana Alexis | thenakednomads.com

  16. Oh it’s so true about the mum guilt!! I read an article somewhere that said a big difference between men and women is that women tend to feel a lot more guilt in general. I find it definitely to be the case when I compare my husband and myself. He travels for work occasionally and doesn’t feel guilty about it at all. He feels sad that he misses out on being with the kids but not guilty. I wish I could be more like that! So I know exactly where you are coming from, even though you’re doing absolutely nothing wrong (and in fact you’re being an amazing role model for the kids).
    Also, YES I worry about not being there for those big life events of my kids. Such a great idea to write something down for them just in case. I love that you write your kids emails regularly. What a brilliant idea! Especially as we always think we will never forget their cute little sayings or the different stages they go through. But of course over time, new memories and events crowd out the old ones in your mind and before you know it, those precious details are lost forever. You are SUCH a great mum (sorry, mom – I just realised it is going to look weird with me writing Mum. I’m from Australia). Can’t wait to see all the great pics from your Europe trip! Xx

  17. I LOVE the idea of the emails. It’s from that one Google/Gmail commercial during the Super Bowl isn’t it? I always imagined doing the same thing with my kids 🙂 xx

    chevrons & éclairs

  18. Being a working mom isn’t easy, especially when it requires lots of travel! Don’t feel bad. At least you can feel better knowing you are providing for them and giving them a fabulous life 🙂 When I have kids one day I totally plan on writing letters for their big days,! You never know what could happen, life can change in a moment, and it would be nice for them to still have little piece of you on their most memorable days in case you can’t be around for them. Hope you have a good trip to Europe!
    xx
    Courtney || https://courtneylivin.com

  19. I totally know the feeling! I work from home and finding the balance of giving my baby enough attention yet still accomplishing my work demands can be tough and I often feel guilty too. But then i remind myself what a blessing it is to be able to have a job that makes it possible to be around my baby most the time and not get caught up in comparing my situation to others. You’re an amazing mom amber and shouldn’t feel guilty for going to Europe. I actually applied to go on this bfb everywhere trip but didn’t get picked. I’m hoping a spot will open up and I can end up going (even if that means paying my way or dying my hair lol) You’re amazing amber and so inspiring, thanks for always making us moms feel so empowered! Loves!
    Jenessa Sheffield
    @jenessa.beauty

  20. I love this! I don’t have my own kids yet but I can only imagine that being so hard! Don’t be too hard on yourself though! You’re a wonderful mommy and you’re doing amazing things! Good luck! I’ll be keeping you in my prayers! ❤️

  21. I never comment on blogs but this is something I think most moms can relate to. Mom guilt is real. Even if it is for work (sometimes or a lot of times I have to say 🤪 working is a mental break for me as a mom).
    Your kids will do just fine. You’ll see. Enjoy the trip and work hard as you usually do 💪 just remember all that work is for them but also for you. You deserve to feel accomplished in all aspects of your life (easier said than done- feeling like you deserve is hard for unselfish moms).
    Thanks for the email idea for the kids. I have two baby books halfway done 😏👌🏻

  22. I write to my kids too! Emails is SUCH a good idea. You can write way more and your hand won’t get sore haha And I constantly fear I’m not going to be there for them in the future. 🙁 I actually wrote my oldest a letter before I went into labour with my next one just in case things went south 🤷🏻‍♀️

  23. YES TO ALL OF THIS! First of all, more mom posts- I think everyone would agree that we love these posts! As for all the other stuff relating to mom guilt… I feel ya sista! About to leave my one year old for 4 days for the first time and I’m sick about it! Here’s to hoping we both handle our distance from our babies ok! ❤️

  24. Girllllll. I feel ya. Working mamas got to stick together! You are giving your kids the BEST life!!

  25. So sweet! I hate leaving my kids (3.5, almost 2 and 6 months) and seriously never do. I also write them emails, I created special accounts when they were all born. My husbands & my parents email them too, it’s the sweetest. One day they’ll sit down and read a world of thoughts from people that love them the most!

    On your morbid note, I totally do. I am currently battling cancer so I hand wrote I love you notes to my kids and video recorded myself (just sitting and talking to future them) on first loves, self respect, college, marriage and their first babies. No one wants to think about but I just know it will be one of their most treasured things if I were to pass away. Hard to do, SO hard. But anything for our kids, right?!

    Loved this post, those pictures of you and Rosie and the sweetest!

  26. Hi Amber. I’ve never commented before but I wanted to offer some mom support. I used to travel for work quite a bit and just came off a similarly long trip to Europe. What has always helped me is to remove guilt from the equation. I let myself miss them when I’m gone and I’m always sad that I will be away from them leading up to a trip, but I never feel guilty for the reasons you state above but also because I know that having a career that I’m invested in makes me a better mom to them in the long run. Oh, and flying solo is almost like a vacation in itself when you’re used to wrangling kids on every flight! In terms of practical tips, I actually don’t FaceTime too much because I find that it can throw my 15 month off sometimes. He has no sense of time anyway so he really doesn’t know how long I’ve been gone. Sometimes FaceTiming seems to remind him that I’m gone and make it worse. It’s a different story with my 8 year old; she and I text and FaceTime here and there when we can. I blog about being a working mom at http://blondeambitchin.blogspot.com/ if you’re ever looking for some solidarity. Good luck with your trip!

  27. I do journal’s for them! It has been hard keeping up with doing one for each though, so I think I am just going to do a family journal from now on!

  28. Amber you are such an amazing mom ❤️ You inspire me everyday!! I love reading about your experiences it makes me so excited to be a mom! The email idea is so original and creative!

  29. I know exactly how you feel! I feel so guilty leaving my daughter in the kids club at the gym for an hour everyday!! It’s so silly but I just miss her so much that I only want to work out for an hour or so. Lol. Maybe you’re feeling guilty because you’re so used to traveling with our kiddos that it just feels so weird not to bring them along?! Whatever it may be, you deserve a little break whether it’s for work or play 😜 💕 Much love Amber!!

  30. I have a two year old and a two month old and I’ve never been away from them for more than twelve hours. I’m also a SAHM and my husband and I share a car so I’m basically trapped at home (nap schedule + work schedule + packing two kids up by myself is a little much for me) I’m having serious mommy burn out and I’m hoping to spend at least one night alone this summer in a hotel in another city, people keep making me feel guilty for wanting some time to myself without changing diapers, drying tears, doing laundry, making meals, etc… ready for a tiny break 😓

  31. When I was younger my mom had to travel a lot for work, she was and is the best mom ever!! When my sisters and I were little she would leave a mini pack of M&Ms for us each day, they were our “miss me pills”. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY, your kids will look up to you for how hard you worked!

  32. I wish I had a remedy for the mom guilt, but so far I haven’t figure it out! My daughter is 18 months and I haven’t even been away for more than 8 hours at a time. I love the email idea! Did you set them up with their own email accounts or just send them to yourself? You can even attach photos and short video clips that way!

  33. Hi Amber! I’m just about to turn 20 and was raised by a single mom, so I hope I still have the perspective of a kid w/ a busy mom to offer up. My mom often worked late since we were little and to this day she feels guilty and talks about the things she missed, but from my point I can’t believe the things my mom did just to make sure us kids had everything, which means the absolute world to me, and still managed to have loads of fun with us. At one point she was finishing her degree and working full time, and still managed to have a lot quality time with us, at least that’s how I felt. Mom guilt sucks and I wish I could take it away from my mom bc she provided two toddlers with everything we could’ve ever wanted, while finishing college, and working full time, which to me is stupid to feel guilty about bc I have the best mom, right? I’m sure your two little ones will grow up to feel the same.

  34. 🙁 I have a trip in September both my husband and I are leaving for 14 days. I have such anxiety about it, and I’m really concerned I won’t make it! I have the most terrible horrible anxiety just envisioning boarding the plane without my baby. I kid with my husband that he is going to have to sedate me to get onboard. I really hope I can get passed it and actually go on the trip. Baby will stay w her grandparents and I know she will have a great time . She will be 2.5.

  35. I started an email account for my daughter for this purpose, but I quickly realized I’m a pen and paper gal. I invested in a nice, leather journal and rationed the pages so my husband and I can use about a page a month writing memories and each write her a letter for each birthday up until she turns 18. And YES I think most of us have those morbid thoughts!

  36. I started writing a birthday letter every year (my oldest is 2, youngest 6 months) about the summary of their year. Ha so o guess I’ve only written two letters so far… I’ve sealed the letters and thought it would be cool to give them to my girls before they go to college or something way off in the future! I like the email idea too. Saw that on Pinterest where you make an email account for your kids and give them the password years later!
    I would say you shouldn’t feel bad about leaving but mom guilt is so real and I don’t think it matters what people say, you still have it. I get it when I leave my kids to get my hair done for crying out loud. I just think how lucky I am to be part of the mom club and to love my kiddos so much that anytime away can feel like agony! Always love reading your posts Amber👌🏼

  37. I leave my kids overnight every other week for work; it’s so hard! But we FaceTime over dinner and because I work in an office full-time, I really only miss 2 times of seeing them.

    I write in one of those 5 year journals every night; both my kids have their own. I’m paranoid of losing it too but love my evening routine of recapping the day!

  38. I never comment on your posts but I will this time since it’s a “mom post” and I know you don’t love those but I LOVE your mom posts. You shouldn’t have any guilt but I completely understand. The longest I left my kids was 3 nights (multiple times) and it was a great break but I was so paranoid about everything the whole time. My husband has traveled for 12 days for work and the kids were fine! We talked about dad and I just tell them “he’s at work and will be home later” and they kind of forget about it (ages 13 months and almost 3). Enjoy yourself and you have FaceTime! You’re an amazing mama with a huge heart so give yourself some grace. I always wanted to write letters but never have! I’ve written them letters for their first birthday but that’s it. I def want to do the graduation/wedding letters too!!! We don’t even have a Will and I’m always yelling at my husband to call our lawyer so they don’t go into the system and get separated. Ugh. Parenting lol. You’re doing great! Please do more mom posts 🙂

  39. I also wrote and write a diary for each of my kids since I know I was pregnant.
    But right now I think E-Mails are so much better 🤔
    You don‘t lose them, nobody destroys them (like my 2-year old did….)
    I‘m thinking about copying everything in E-Mails just to get sure.

    I also totally understand the feeling you have but I think that this really is a mother thing. Men KNOW that everything is going to be okay if mommy is there.
    That is making me crazy 😅 because a mother wants to be there when our kids feel sad for some reason or want to get sure they‘ll be okay if they get angry or whatever.
    And I often feel guilty because I think I HAVE to Show my kids all the great things I see. I just want to share it with them.

    By the way, when are you gonna be in Cologne??? 🤗

  40. I have a boy. He is 2,5 years old. I write all funny things He said to me. Like: Mommy if i will grow up, i will be a mommy, not a daddy. Or He says: one day i will fly to the moon. Kids have the best Ideas and they are so funny.

    And i colected the little things we do together or he does. Like: the first cards of our visit in circus. And the First Time He eat a Chewing gum. Simple things, but means a lot for me. Sorry for the Bad english.

    I will meet you in cologne and will take my son with me. Hope we can See you an have a mommy talk 😉 and Hope too, you will remember this comment. If you need anything here in cologne, let me know 🙂

    Duygu

    Ps:
    When you will be here?

  41. Love the email idea!!! And mom guilt is so real! And I have no idea why. We do so much, it’s ok for a break, and technically you aren’t even going for a break! You’re going for work and that’s important too! I have never been able to leave my kids (mostly because I don’t have alot of help!) But even the few hours I’m away getting hair done or something that darn guilt starts to creep up on me! I always get it at night too “did I feed them enough healthy food today!?” Or the opposite “I should have let him eat that second cupcake, he would have been so happy” lol it just never ends. You are doing an amazing job Amber, and showing your kiddos how hard you work is some thing you should never feel guilty about!

  42. I totally think about that stuff too! (and then feel bad/weird for being so morbid). But I read this quote that was an excerpt from a book and kind of summed it up for me. Basically, it was a mom to young kids who was coming to terms with her terminal cancer diagnosis, and she said that she has really made peace with what was happening to her and could accept all of it, except that she just couldn’t accept or wrap her head around not being her children’s mother anymore – that she couldn’t imagine not being there for them everyday, and for all the important and unimportant parts of their lives. And that just hit me in the chest like a wrecking ball and brought me to tears just thinking about someone being in that situation. And it also made me think about writing them letters and things as well, to make sure there were pieces of me left behind. Annnnnd now I’m crying again writing this which is awkward because I’m at work. 🙂 Anyway, I think it’s a totally normal mom way to feel and just means you’re a good mom who loves your kids more than anything. I love the email idea – so easy to do from anywhere and then you never have to worry about misplacing them or having them get damaged/lost somehow. Your blog is an amazing treasure for them to look back on too though to see all the amazing trips you guys went on, how much fun you had and how loved they are.

    I also have to travel a lot for work and there is nothing harder than leaving, but once I’m on the trip I am normally OK, and nothing is better than coming home to them! They also love it when I bring them something from wherever I’ve been. I love to make it something that ties into where I was, so I can tell them a story about the city/country I was just in and make it a little learning experience for them too. (and generally there’s some chocolate as well ;))

    xx Melisa http://www.atherleylane.com

  43. I made an email for both of my kids as well. I email them how much I love them, and what they are doing at that point in time. I never really did the baby book thing. Have a fun and safe trip to Europe!

    Vanessa
    lifesamazingadventures.com

  44. This is actually a really timely post because I’m about to leave for a work trip too. I know exactly how you feel and feel the same about how unfair the guilt double standard is. I don’t travel a lot for work, but when I do it’s a weird mixed bag of emotions because I love traveling but the guilt is so real. Thank goodness for great, involved daddies who stay with their babies. It makes me have SO much respect for single parents who make it work. And I love the email idea, I am so bad about doing thoughtful things like that but maybe I’ll have to start doing something like it soon. Good luck on your trip and keep rocking it, Girl Boss!

  45. I have a diary since my daughters birth in wich i let her know what has happend,when and how! its mostly to let her know how loved she is since the day she was born. I feel it will some how keep us conected when she is old enouph and starts her own life. By the way ive ben thru the seperation for exacly 12 days , being far away from her was horrifying I would cry my self to sleep at a time or two but then I had those moments I enjoyed my self and knowing her daddy was with her made my days !

  46. You are such a sweet Mom Amber. Reading this post I can tell how much you adore your sweet babies. I’m not a Mom but as a big sister of two MUCH younger siblings (15 and 21 years younger than me) I sometimes feel sister guilt. I want to be such a strong, loving, protecting presence in their lives but sometimes it feels impossible living two states away. You r kids are so lucky to be so loved by you. You shouldn’t feel guilty for providing for your family, if anything that makes you a great Mom not a bad one <3

  47. What lovely pictures of you and the kids! Maybe get them some small gifts that relate to where you are in Europe? That way they can learn about where you are and “help” out with your trip? Just an idea 😀 Good luck getting ready for the trip, it sounds exciting! xAllie http://www.theallthatglittersblog.com