Major Mom Guilt: I Missed My Daughter's First Day of School for a Business Trip

Let’s face it: Motherhood is a first-class ticket to a major guilt trip. No matter how awesome a mom you are, odds are you've made a mental list -- even longer than your to-do list -- detailing the many ways you’ve "failed" your kids.

And this week, I took a world-class guilt trip, thanks to some ill-timed business travel that had me missing the first (and second) days of school. I lost out on fumbling my way through a fancy French braid, snapping a few photos, and watching the frenetic bounce in her step that she gets when she’s truly excited. The details of her first day -- two (TWO!) recesses, a chocolate treat from her teacher, and did she mention the two (TWO!) recesses? -- were relayed by phone during a short break in the action of my busy business day.

And while I’ll probably remember forever that I spent my daughter’s first day of first grade sipping bad coffee in a conference room in Memphis, it’s pretty clear my daughter isn’t quite ready to give me a guilt trip herself. She reveled in a little extra father-daughter time, enjoyed having pizza with her babysitter (two special treats), and of course, adored the little souvenir I brought her. While she certainly missed me and was thrilled to have me home, she seemed no worse for the wear.

So maybe next time I’m feeling ready to head out on another guilt trip, I’ll try to remember that. That way maybe I can cut myself some slack and pack a little lighter on the guilt. Motherhood doesn’t have to be lived to perfection. We just have to do the best we can and realize that our kids will survive and thrive despite -- or maybe it's because of? -- our shortcomings.

Have you had to miss a major milestone? How did you deal? Chime in below!

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