No one should feel guilty about doing this but all of us do, writes Beck Vass.
We are leaving our kids for two nights. I have done this in the past and didn't bat an eyelid. Well, maybe I did and can't remember - it's been so long.
My Mum offered to fly up and babysit so we could go to Sydney.
I was ridiculously excited about this. My passport expired years ago and I'd had no need to update it until now.
We've had a few dinners out but no overnighters for a very, very long time.
But this is two nights. In another country.
Even the flight itself sounded exciting when we booked the trip. I can sit in peace with nothing expected of me. Maybe read a book or magazine or watch a movie.
No dishes to wash, meals to cook, complaints to listen to. No guilt over ignoring jobs I should be doing. I was so excited about all these things. A break!
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And now the trip is closing in on me and anxiety has set in.
Sydney might as well be Dunedin, really. It takes almost the same amount of time to get to from Tauranga.
It's the psychological hurdle I'm battling with.
The kids are now just-turned 7, 4 and 1. It's a long time (33 years, actually) since Mum's kids were that age. So that's one stress.
My mum has had the kids lots of times but never all three of them. The last time she came to help was when we had our baby a year ago. The younger two were crazy with the addition to the family and me being out of sorts from the birth.
Will they behave? Will they get sick? Will the baby wake up at night? What if there's some problem and we're stuck in another country fretting and unable to do anything?
I know - I should have thought about this stuff when we booked the trip. It was only excitement factoring back then.
A friend who has had a few bigger trips overseas says she gets this every holiday. The anxiety hits her two days before she goes away and she relaxes once she's on the plane. Then, it comes back two days before she flies home and she just wants to get home.
Another friend simply doesn't go away at all because she worries too much and feels guilty. I don't think she has ever had a whole night away from her kids unless she was giving birth to another one.
This is dirty old Parental Guilt at its finest.
No one should feel guilty about taking some time away from their kids if they are lucky enough to get any.
But all of us do.