Getting Rid of the Guilt - Week 2 + Binky Update

Binky Update
This past week, Al and I have been on a mission to begin weaning Jakey from his obsessive need for his "bink-bink." We started slowly by asking Jake to please pull his "binky out" in the event that he still had it in his mouth when he woke up in the a.m. Then, we hid it out of plain view until naptime. He was allowed to have it for naptime, car rides, and bedtime over the weekend. Then, while I was gone during the week (awesome conference I will blog about here later...) Alan took it up a notch and eliminated "binky-time" during car rides. So when I picked the kiddos up from the sitter's house yesterday, I expected Jakey to sit still in his car seat while I buckled him in, just like a perfect little angel, without so much as one request for his binky... but no.... I was mistaken. I couldn't even make it INTO the sitter's front door before he was frantically searching in his diaper bag for the stupid thing! ugh. Two steps forward, one step back I suppose. Of course, if Al had picked him up, the turn of events would probably have been different, but oh well. We'll keep working on it, and of course I will post some updates as we try to make some progress!

Getting Rid of the Guilt - Week 2
While I was out of town at the CYFAR (Children Youth and Families at Risk) Conference with colleague and friend Tricia, who is one of the most intuitive people I know by the way, we took a lovely Water Taxi ride across Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Of course, being the mommy that I am, I made the comment to her about how selfish and guilty I sometimes felt doing things without Jake and Marissa. To add insult to injury, this trip was a business trip - Tricia and I were presenting a workshop at the conference and here I was, away from my entire family and enjoying Baltimore without them... and.... gasp..... Having Fun Without Them due to work! Tricia just smiled at me and said "No, you just think that it might be more fun if they were here." So true! And yet, I still feel guilty whenever I have fun without the kiddos. My totally unscientific theory is that this stems from all of us parents wanting our children to experience the things we couldn't experience when we were younger. (Case in point - I never traveled further east of Indianapolis until I was 20 years old.) We want them to see all that there is to see of the world and experience it's many fascinating differences, to revel in all that the world and it's people have to offer. I can not wait until the day Alan and I can pack up the kids in our minivan and drive cross country - out to the Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountains, the great Mississippi and more! Isn't that what it is what it is all about, after all? .... exploring the unknown with your family by your side? But that was not the case on this trip, and I think I've come to terms with that. Our children need to understand that while family time is what binds us all together, the time that we spend apart also plays an important role in shaping us as individuals and enriching our lives. I couldn't help but think after I returned home last night that Marissa would not have been old enough to appreciate the beautiful small-town charm of Baltimore and Jake wouldn't have even remembered a bit of the trip anyway. So after putting everything into perspective - no more travel-apart guilt for me. No, sir. It's honestly okay for me to have fun without the family, they will all have plenty of their own traveling adventures in the years ahead. :)

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