Dad Guilt is a common struggle that is rarely talked about. Working Moms know the feeling all too well. My wife travels internationally for business every month or so and each time she has to say goodbye to our twin girls, it’s harder than the last time.
Dads today are involved in their kids lives day and night. Each and every day I make sure I get the girls ready for school by dressing them, brushing their teeth and making them breakfast. At night, we pray, read a book and put them to sleep. It’s our ritual. One that I treasure and that fulfills my heart. When Mom is on a business trip, Dad “holds it down” as we say and after 4-5 days or so, this Dad of twin pre-schoolers is badly needing a mental break.
But I have a problem. I love to travel. You see, I travel for work only about twice a year so the majority of my travels consist of leisure trips that I organize because it brings me peace and helps me reset the mind. The love for travel has been engrained in me since I was a child and I incorporate it into my daughters lives as much as possible. Literally, my wife has to ask me to stop talking about trips I want to book because each week I have a new deal or destination I’d like to get to with credit card points and miles.
So what’s the problem? Well, you see, I have an obsession with travel that conflicts with my passion for my twin girls. A hectic weekly parenting routine, juggling careers, active social lives and family demands, sometimes travel is my only escape. It’s my oxygen when I need a breather from life.
Booking travel, heading to an airport, boarding a flight, arriving at a hotel, eating at a yummy restaurant, visiting a ballpark, all these things are things I yearn for, day in and day out. And that’s where the Dad guilt comes in. The second I leave to the airport to commence a trip, I immediately start to miss my girls and the Dad Guilt kicks in. I’m not naive to the fact that we all need breaks every now and then. I get it. But I can’t help feeling slight guilt when my compulsive necessity to travel conflicts with my double daddy duties at home. I question my emotions and find solace in my own brain, knowing that it’s fairly normal to miss my children but it doesn’t take away from the fact that I do. A tortured wanderlust soul I tell ya.
We will travel as a family this year to Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Colombia, Aruba, D.C., Atlanta and Seattle. I will enjoy every minute of sharing the gift of travel with my daughters and creating moments that will last a lifetime. I’ll come home after each vacation and after a few weeks of hectic routine, I’ll start plotting the next personal trip. The Dad Guilt will resurface and I’ll embrace it because, without it, I wouldn’t be the Dad I am today.
– Double Duty Daddy