On Tuesday, Chloe's school went on a blueberry picking field trip. I signed up to volunteer - excited to spend the morning with her.
On Monday, I looked at my calendar and the panic set in. I had too much work to fit in a 5-hour weekday excursion. The school had enough chaperones without me, so I canceled.
I felt horrible. Guilt created a story about how disappointed Chloe would be. I sat her down in the Living Room for the 'big discussion,' preparing for tears. It turns out Joe told her on the car ride home. She was totally fine. "Can we go berry picking together some other time?"
I still wanted some special time with her. So we planned a date that morning to grab a quick breakfast across the street from the school. It took 30-minutes. We read books and ate too many pastries. It was lovely.
Before you spin yourself into guilt, ask your kids if they care. Second, it's not all or nothing. You can still create memories with your kids in the time you do have. Take them berry picking as a family on the weekend or make mornings special.
Focus on what you can do, not what you can't.