During this journey, there has been extreme amounts of guilt. Guilt that I wasn't spending more time with Maddy, guilt that I wasn't hanging out with Ted, guilt that I wasn't walking the dog, guilt that I wasn't going to the gym, guilt that I wasn't staying connected with friends and family, and of course, guilt that I wasn't writing or reading as much as I probably should for school. So that being said, guilt is nothing new for me, until last night.
Yesterday I left work about an hour early because I thought that it would be really nice if Maddy and I could do something fun together after work. I picked her up early and we went and got frozen yogurt.
We had a great time, just the two of us, which was much needed.
Then Ted and I tag teamed dinner prep, played with Maddy, and did the bedtime routine. At about 7:45pm, I said goodnight to Maddy and Ted began the process of reading stories while I went to work on my dissertation.
At about 8:15pm there was a lot of crying coming from upstairs and a lot of yelling for Mommy coming from Maddy. It seemed like a good idea to go check it out.
As soon as I walked into Maddy's room she looked up at me and said, please don't do homework anymore, please just snuggle with me. Those 10 words were all it took to set off the guilt meter higher than ever before.
I know that it's important that Maddy see both Ted and I accomplishing our goals and achieving success personally and professionally. It's especially important for me to show Maddy that as a woman, you can be and do anything you want. Which is why I climbed into her bed and snuggled her and told her a story, because in that moment I wanted to be her mom more than I wanted to have a doctorate. After a few minutes, we talked about why I have to do homework and I taught her to say PhD. She told me I could go back downstairs because she was tired, so I kissed her goodnight and proceeded to work on my dissertation for 2 more hours.
I know the next 2 months are not going to be easy and that probably won't be the last time I feel guilty, but I also know that Ted, Maddy and I have come too far on this journey to give up now. We can do it!