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I’m a choir geek. I started singing when I was 5, and managed to find a choir to sing in from then on. When I was pregnant with my twins, though, I just didn’t have the energy to make it through evening rehearsals, so I stopped singing. For the first few years of their lives, I was too busy to even think about singing anything other than nursery rhymes.

Tonight, I attended my first choir rehearsal in 6 years. A college friend told me about auditions, and I figured I’d give it a shot. The chorale will be performing Carmina Burana with the Las Cruces Orchestra this season. Singing again was amazing. There’s something about a group of people creating art simultaneously that is transcendent. Still, I couldn’t help feeling guilty about not being home to tuck M and J into bed. I’m sure they loved having Daddy to themselves and didn’t even think to miss me. It’s hard, though, not to feel selfish pursuing an interest that has nothing at all to do with my family.

Do you pursue any activities without your kids? Do you feel guilty too? Does the guilt pass?

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Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 10-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. They live in the Austin, TX suburbs, where Sadia works full time in information technology. She contributes to a number of parenting websites and magazines and also runs The Mommy Blogging Guide, where she answers mommy bloggers' technical questions.

7 thoughts on “Selfish”

  1. Sadia – it is so nice to see so many postings from you recently. I always love your perspective. Oh the guilt…it can be suffocating at times. There are two things that I enjoyed before having our girls 3.5 years ago – reading and running. Books were always a very solitary experience for me, but after having the girls I craved the interaction and discussion even about the fluffiest of novels. I found a small group of women, and we began a book club that meets about 1x/month. The standards are pretty low, meaning that we all have young kids, and totally understand if someone has barely read the book, and just needs an evening at a coffee shop with friends. We have read some great books though, and have had some discussions and friendly arguments. I always have a moment when I am heading out the door for book club when I think I should just stay home, but then I remember how much I enjoy this time and how much in recharges me.

  2. Very strange – I never used to feel guilty (I just wanted to escape the madness) but recently I’ve started feeling guilty. I think it’s the fact that they can talk and tell me exactly how much they missed me and how they cried, etc…………..

    All that aside… I LOVE that you’re doing this for you and that you enjoyed it so much.

  3. Interesting – I’ve never felt guilty for leaving my babies with their dad or the grandparents to go do my own thing (whether it be grocery shopping with a friend, working out for an hour or having a girls’ weekend). I think it has to do with the fact that their dad and grandparents want even more time with them than they get and the babies definitely prefer them to me :)

    But now that I’ve read this, I’m starting to feel guilty that I don’t feel guilty when I leave them – sigh…

    And I agree with above poster, fantastic that you are singing again and that you love it so much!!!

  4. I don’t think it’s selfish of you to pursue a passion, even if it takes time away from your family. For me, doing things I love without my kids recharges me and puts me in better spirits for the time that I am with my family. My husband and I don’t always see eye to eye on this, but I don’t let him make me feel guilty about taking time for the things I want to do. Even so, I usually try to give him some time on his own to balance things out. I think we’re all happier that way. :o)

  5. The one activity I do without the kids (besides working at my office job! to earn the paycheck…) is leaving them (2 boys, age 4) in the Gym Childcare while I work out. They enjoy going to the gym childcare, and they ask to go. The gym membership is worth every penny. And then we enjoy the pool together at the gym which adds even more value. I love working out- it keeps my sanity, and I only wish I was doing it more often. If it benefits my health (mental as much as physical) I figure the whole family benefits.

  6. Congratulations on getting back to your passion! I too am a former choir geek and hated that I couldn’t breathe my entire pregnancy with two little heads in my lungs. My voice is quite rusty after years of not practicing, but I so want my little ones (now three months) to have memories of Mommy singing to them. Hopefully someday I’ll get back to it.

    For me, since my babes are so young, the only hobby I really have time for is blogging which can be done while I pump or late at night. But my perspective is that a good mommy is an emotionally healthy mommy. To be healthy, you’ve got to keep some identity beyond motherhood, which means taking time for yourself regardless of the guilt. Keep reminding yourself that it’s better for them in the long run!

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