Through my work, I travel. The positive trade off to my travel is I am otherwise home with my family. There is nothing glamourous about business travel. It involves long days, the grind of making flight connections, driving and a daily schedule like fruit basket upset. With my travel comes self-induced mommy guilt.
Mommy guilt is the feeling of a 45 lb. weight on my chest that I put on myself when I have to be away from my family. My family whole-heartedly supports me in my tight rope balancing act of my roles as a mother and wife while maintaining a career. But you just can’t escape the feeling as a mother that you shouldn’t leave.
This week, I felt particularly mommy guilt ridden as I was missing out on cherished family time including my favorite teaching of pre-school Sunday school and music. Then my mommy guilt tripled when my husband texted me on Sunday to say two of our three were stricken by stomach flu and vomiting.
But upon my destination arrival in Yuba City, California, I had a reprieve of mommy guilt.
What caused the reprieve?
There were two special finds in Yuba City truly made my thankful for a combination of the work I do and the relationships I have made through social media that gave me great reprieve from my mommy guilt. These two special finds made my early travel, fruit basket upset schedule worth it all.
My friend, Nancy Grossi “The Wife of A Dairyman” and I had never met in person until our meeting in Yuba City. She drove a couple hours on Sunday so we could visit and chat and then attended the Know A California Farmer training session I was a part of on Monday. Nancy and I email. We comment on one another’s blogs. We are Facebook and Twitter friends. There are only a few mommy blogs I read that I ever expect to actually meet the woman behind the blog. But Nancy was one of the women I just had to meet. I love her stories as a mom, cook, wife, her photos, getting up to work out at 5AM, living on her family’s ranch just outside the San Francisco Bay area and so much more. She was my friend long before our meeting but the power of social media relationships was highlighted to me again by meeting Nancy. The experienced eased my mommy guilt and truly made me grateful for the rich relationships in my life, online and offline.
Another special find in Yuba City was meeting Colleen. I first “met” Colleen when she commented on this blog. I didn’t know we both worked in agriculture or shared similar interests. All I knew from her blog is that she was a young mom to a boy, a wife and a woman who wanted to raise her son in a rural setting. Through social media outlets we developed a friendship. She also attended the same training session on Monday. While we didn’t get to visit for hours over coffee or share stories of raising kids, we connected offline which is such a powerful and fun friendship experience. There is certainly a California road trip in my future to visit Colleen so we can chat more.
What I loved the most about meeting both of these women was that there was no surprises. They were just who I expected then to be. They are true to who they are and share their stories in social media in a transparent and authentic manner.
They are moms like me who share and connect on common interests. And while I didn’t get to go home to my kids and husband last night, I had mommy guilt reprieve in having the opportunity to connect with like-minded moms in person. Nancy and Colleen would be my friends if they lived on the prairie. But since they don’t, I am so thankful to have social media to connect me to moms like me.
What’s your favorite aspect of social media connections and friendships?