Updated: Aug 24, 2018
I felt a ton of mommy guilt last night. I am leaving for a conference in Mexico sans kids.
Chloe looked at me with tears welling up in her eyes and said, “Mommy, I need you.” My heart broke.
I know they will have a great time with their dad and the solo-parenting will be great for all of them, but it’s freaking hard. A year ago, I would have completely freaked out -- transferring my frenetic energy onto her, leading to more tears and ruining the time we did have to spend together.
Instead, I leaned into it. I named the emotion, which has been shown to decrease its intensity by half. I then held Chloe and created space for us to fully feel it together. She calmed down, and we enjoyed our last bedtime before I left.
Learning to let go takes practice. Start small. Find a less intense feeling to name and move on from. Each rep will strengthen your letting go muscle, so it’s there when you really need it -- like when you see those big brown eyes welling up with tears.
I love you, Chloe.