I'm single and have three kids ages 5 to 10 - 24/7 365. XH lives 3000 miles away. I have no family here. So I have a full time au pair. I need to make some money and I need to meet people and have a life at least somewhat where I get to spend time with grown-ups. I feel tremendous guilt though when I leave the kids with the au pair. The au pair is wonderful, fun, educative, artistic, happy to be with the kids and speaks her mother tongue with them. My kids speak several languages - I can't speak all of the languages so I like to have someone around who speaks one of them.
I feel no guilt if what I'm doing is grocery shopping or earning money but if I'm actually out having fun I feel like I shouldn't be doing it. And I miss them, worry about them and feel awful guilt. The only time I don't feel it is when their dad is visiting them and they are with him. At those times I know they are with someone they want to be with. But my XH doesn't regularly take all three kids at one shot (I know, I know). To keep the peace I put up witih that - and he's only here 3 or 4 times a year for a couple of weeks at a time and then only a few hours per day with the kids.
Anyway - I'm looking for a book, website or your insight as to how to not feel guilty about having some time to myself. The gym, a date, out with friends - a few hours in the day to myself and no guilt. Today I went out and felt so bad that I came back early.
I try to look at the good things. I went through a hellish divorce including him cheating but managed to get some great help (psychologist) who made me realize the importance of keeping it all together for the kids - not fighting in front of the kids, keeping in a good mood, not falling into depression. And now three years later I have HAPPY kids. And they have two parents who both love them and they feel no guilt if they want to call their dad or go to his house while he's here visiting. We talk openly about him and only positive things and he calls them regularly on Skype - almost every day. And he and I are OK now.
The guilt thing is eating me up though and I need help with it.
Edited by rocky - 2/25/12 at 4:57pm