Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Guilt Trip

The Guilt Trip

There’s a phrase I was introduced to recently that impacted on me so much I can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself any sooner. It’s the ‘guilt bake’. It’s actually part of a bigger process called ‘The Guilt Trip’. This is essentially just a holiday for anyone else, but for Mums who leave husbands and children behind, it is a ‘Guilt Trip.’

I’m heading off on my overseas adventure any day now.
Right now I'm over the Pacific somewhere headed here, to Peru.
So much planning has gone into it I don’t even know if I’m excited or relieved about getting on the plane anymore. Holidays used to be about putting some gear into a suitcase or back pack and double checking documents and then just heading away. But since I’ve been a wife and mother I have to add a few other jobs to my pre-departure pack list.

1.     The guilt bake – where you realise that you are leaving your family behind while you head off to do something insanely exciting and selfish, so you leave behind a freezer full of goodies (biscuits, slice, cake etc.) to appease your own guilt. This guilt bake also extends to meals. I will leave behind lasagne, pies, potato bakes and roast meat (cut and frozen) to be eaten while I am away. The Farmer does not suffer the same pre-departure guilt and has not (up to this point) ever felt the need to do a guilt bake before he leaves to go anywhere.

2.     The guilt clean – this is when you run around like a lunatic for the weeks leading up to your departure getting everything spotless, and then chase everyone around your house to make sure they don’t undo any of your hard work in cleaning until you leave. This includes the fridge, pantry and (this time) I even ransacked most of the cupboards in our house. The sad part is that the house will never be as clean upon your return, but there is still some joy in knowing you got it spotless before you left.

3.     The list – I am probably going a little overboard here, but I have been known to leave crazy lists before I go away. During the school term, the lists may include the morning and evening routines for the children. On school holidays it may include location of medications in the house, times for medicine administration and dates for certain events.

The really silly part about all of this is that even without the guilt bake, guilt clean and list making, the children and Farmer would all survive. It’s part of the pressure cooker I sit myself in before I actually head away. Maybe the guilt trip is more about what I expect from myself, and not how anyone else is making me feel. In any event, the holiday will all be over in two weeks and normality will be restored again; and if I’m lucky, most of what I prepared will still be in the freezer for when I return.


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