Several friends and bloggers moved this year, including us. And, depending on how our house hunt goes, hopefully we will be in our own home for the holidays next year. But, with moving and the stress of the holiday season, one emotion that never fails to rear its ugly head is guilt.
For those who don’t read Kaya’s blog (you should), she moved across the country away from her two youngest children this year. She has posted a couple times about her feeling pretty guilty. And as much as I wish she didn’t feel that way, it’s part of the job. It’s like empty nest in reverse.
My mother experiences this feeling every year. My brother has been living in a care home for the last eight years. We usually try to get over and see him when we come in for the holiday dinner on my dad’s side of the family (it was last weekend). But on Christmas day he is there with the other residents. My mother feels awful for it every year. It’s weird to say, ‘it is for the best’, but it is. He is happy there, and well taken care of. My parents couldn’t provide the care he needed, not being there for one day doesn’t make them bad parents. Just like Kaya moving for Scott’s job opportunity doesn’t make her a bad mother.
So why does the holiday season bring this rush of guilt. Is it because we have been programmed that these happy days have to be spent with as much family as possible? Because the happy memories of our childhood are surrounded by our parents and the joy of Christmas morning? My parents did everything they could to raise us with happy holiday memories. When is it no longer their responsibility to ensure those jolly times? I wish I knew.
But, to all those parents out there, celebrating with their children or not, I wish you a happy holiday week. All hopes for a guilt-free time may go by the wayside, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed just incase.
Maybe we’ll all get good beatings under our trees as well. I’ll cross my toes for that too.