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i feel guilty. all the time.

February 27, 2013

Maya competed in her first triathlon last Saturday.

I wish I could say that I was there, cheering her on, but I wasn’t. I wish I had a good excuse why I wasn’t there but I really don’t.

Here’s a not-very-good-excuse instead: After a week of juggling a sick husband, Maya’s never-ending homework (I learned just how geographically challenged I am), and a bad hair week, I simply didn’t have the energy to get myself across the city by 5:30 am on a chilly Saturday morning.

Maya at the event...that I missed...

Maya at the event…that I missed…

As expected:

  • I felt guilty about this as I ate breakfast.
  • I felt guilty about this as I searched Instagram with keywords like #nyc and #breakfast.
  • I felt guilty about this while I attended a baby shower.
  • I felt especially guilty about this when I saw Maya’s medal and pictures.

Obviously I’ll feel guilty about missing Maya’s triathlon for a long time. No big surprise there.

I didn't make it to the event but I did buy her sub-par pizza to make up for it...

I didn’t make it to the race but I did take Maya out for sub-par pizza to make up for it…

But here’s what’s interesting…Ali didn’t go either. Instead, he woke up, had a leisurely breakfast, and sat in front of the TV for several hours. And I’m 99% certain he doesn’t feel the least bit guilty about missing the event.

How does he do it? How?

105 Comments leave one →
  1. February 27, 2013 1:27 am

    5:30 am?! The universe forgives you. Of this I am sure.

    • February 27, 2013 8:45 pm

      Funny enough, I think I was awake at 5:30 am anyway. It was just the idea of getting in the car that I couldn’t get past…

  2. February 27, 2013 5:23 am

    I’m sure this won’t be the last thing you’ll miss. It happens. And even if she was upset, which it looks like she wasn’t, pizza makes up for most things. You did good. 🙂

    • February 27, 2013 8:45 pm

      She’s not upset at all, which is good. She’s probably too used to her standoff-ish parents. LOL

  3. February 27, 2013 5:50 am

    Maya looks happy in those pictures – that’s all that matters! 🙂

  4. glamorous glutton permalink
    February 27, 2013 6:31 am

    Congratulations to maya for taking part. As to the guilt, we can beat ourselves up for ever there is always something to feel guilty about and after all – it was 5.30!! GG

    • February 27, 2013 8:46 pm

      So true. There is ALWAYS something to feel guilty about…

  5. February 27, 2013 6:34 am

    Congrats to Maya!!! To tell you the truth waking up @ 5:30 am is a bit too much for me. Even I wouldn’t be there to watch my girl perform at that hour..and even if I was I am sure I would have dozed off!!

    • February 27, 2013 8:46 pm

      I can get up at that time with no problem…it was just the idea of driving across town at that time which seemed too painful.

  6. February 27, 2013 6:53 am

    So if you weren’t there, and Ali wasn’t there, how was she there?

    Everyone’s different but as for me I would have been there crying tears of joy, even if my kid came in dead last 🙂 I am a runner who doesn’t race because I don’t feel I should have to pay to do something I do all the time for free.
    That being said if my kids wanted to be in a race I’d totally fork over the money to do it with them.

    I’ve barely gotten to the point this year when I can miss class holiday parties without my heart breaking. Thank goodness I am over it because there are way too many class parties.

    • February 27, 2013 8:47 pm

      My amazing dedicated SIL, her husband, and my FIL accompanied Maya. So lucky to have them.

      And the number of class parties I’ve missed? I can’t even count.

      You are a good mom. Wish I could be more like you!

      • March 4, 2013 9:36 pm

        You’re too kind. I am sure my husband wishes I had your brains so I could bring home some cash. I have no skills that would ever bring in money, Washing dishes doesn’t pay too much you know 🙂

      • March 5, 2013 12:30 pm

        I think you are being really hard on yourself…the most difficult job in the world is being a parent. Truly. And the fact that it’s unpaid? That says volumes about your dedication.

  7. February 27, 2013 7:14 am

    Try not to feel guilty- I’m sure you will make it to the next event Maya is in 🙂
    She looks happy anyway…
    (I used to compete in athletics &cross country and my mother never came to watch & for some reason it didn’t bother me at all!)

    • February 27, 2013 8:55 pm

      The honest truth? I probably won’t make it to all of the events Maya is in. She’s in events almost weekly. She has a ton of energy.

      But glad to know you survived your mom’s non-attendance! Makes me feel a bit better.

  8. February 27, 2013 8:13 am

    Okay so first of all– YAY Maya!!! That is so great! I had no idea there were events like that for kids!
    You can’t be everywhere all the time. Some things you just have to miss. I’ve never missed a sporting event (because I am the taxi) BUT I have never been to an awards day since Evan was in Kindergarten. They happen 4 times a year at obnoxious times of the day, the parking is horrendous, and my kid is up there for like 12 seconds. Pass.
    Remember Maya & Mama beach day? Dwell on that.

    • February 27, 2013 8:56 pm

      Awards day? Not sure why we don’t have that but I’m sort of relieved right now.

      And Beach Day! How could I forget. That was a good day.

      Thanks for the comment Heather. 🙂

  9. February 27, 2013 8:31 am

    Soo proud of Maya !! Way to go!

    Imagine waking up at 4:45, getting her to stretch a bit before she goes, shake up the household on everything you imagine she needs, psych her up on the way about “doing her best” which somehow sounds to her like “Be only the best!!” as you stuff a yucky energy bar into her because “she needs it”……see where this is going? Phew!

    Instead, a happy child with a medal, lovely pictures, rounded up with a Pizza treat sounds heavenly.

    • February 27, 2013 8:58 pm

      Yes, I got the good end of the stick…all of the good, none of the hard work! My SIL is amazing…she took Maya there at the crack of dawn.

      PS: I love this comment!

  10. February 27, 2013 8:53 am

    I am so bitter toward people who can do whatever they want without feeling guilt. I am the same as you. If I make a choice that will make me happy or less stressed but might possible upset someone, I feel so guilty about it that it negates my not doing it.

    • February 27, 2013 8:58 pm

      I feel guilty all the time about everything. So frustrating.

      I am bitter towards Ali for this reason!

  11. February 27, 2013 9:25 am

    Oh man, Maya did a triathlon?!? Just thinking about that makes me tired. But go Maya! Oh, and I am not looking forward to this as Little Man gets older. I’ll be the cranky pants wearing a baseball cap and holding a giant Starbucks at his soccer games.

    • February 27, 2013 8:59 pm

      I purposely steered Maya towards tennis so that I could avoid the Saturday morning soccer games.

      Do you hate me now? 🙂

  12. February 27, 2013 9:28 am

    I think it’s a mom thing. Moms always feel guilty for something. But by the looks of it, Maya wasn’t terribly traumatized by your absence, AND she got pizza. That’s like a double win really.

    • February 27, 2013 9:00 pm

      “Moms always feel guilty about something.” I think my mom said these exact words to me on the day I had Maya!

  13. February 27, 2013 9:57 am

    That is so awesome!! Kids running triathlons? I should have known this exists but for some reason didn’t think about it. There are certain things like going to my hubby’s flag football games that I really don’t want to do but I do it anyways because the guilt I will feel afterwards is worse then the discomfort or inconvenience of going to the game. Why do men get to be guilt free? It’s so not fair. Go to the next one! You will feel glad that you did afterwards. Maya is awesome!!

    • February 27, 2013 9:01 pm

      I had no idea triathlons existed for kids either…until my SIL told me about this one!

      Flag football? You are a great wife. I don’t think I could do that. Although I did go to the Auto Show with Ali and that was maybe as painful?

      • willgoh2 permalink
        March 3, 2013 1:18 pm

        Wait, your SIL introduced kid’s triathlon to you/Maya?

        Well, that automatically takes you off the hook since it was her idea!

        See, no need to fell guilty.

      • March 3, 2013 8:57 pm

        Such a good point but I still feel guilty. 😦

  14. February 27, 2013 10:43 am

    lol..Cute pictures!!! maya is very well rounded! and she looks like Ali more and more every post.

  15. February 27, 2013 10:49 am

    It should be against the law to start anything That early, especially for kids…. It is moms job to feel guilty about everything and for no real reason, honestly you delegated effortlessly by getting someone to take Maya there, take photos and give her kudos at the end. You could have just said no b/c you did not want to get up so early and no “but moms’. This way everyone was happy,almost.

    • February 27, 2013 9:03 pm

      I was so confused about the timing too…I mean, which kids performs optimally at the crack of dawn?

      I love that you understand! I’m guessing you feel guilty about everything for no real reason as well…

  16. February 27, 2013 11:12 am

    You go Maya! and Congratulations! I would feel guilty as well just like you did, but, sometime things just couldn’t be avoided. And it didn’t seem to bother Maya, she looked happy. Not sure what to comment about Ali 🙂
    On another note: you? had a bad hair week? I don’t believe it.

    • February 27, 2013 9:04 pm

      A bad hair WEEK. I swear. I have no idea what was going on? The weather maybe?

      Anyway, I never know what to comment about Ali either…. 🙂

  17. February 27, 2013 1:13 pm

    Men. I’m convinced there’s something having to do with testosterone that makes them less prone to guilt feelings. But maybe that’s my own estrogen-induced bitterness. 😉 Congrats to Maya, that’s really awesome!

    • February 27, 2013 9:04 pm

      I have my own estrogen-induced bitterness…a whole lot of it!

      And on behalf of Maya, thank you. 🙂

  18. February 27, 2013 1:48 pm

    I don’t know how Ali does, I think men are just built different. I wouldn’t feel too bad though, hey, you take care of her homework, cook, clean, work, and take her out. Plus it was 5:30 am. If I ever have a kid, I swear it’ll become like me, a night owl. Have a great weekend!!!

    • February 27, 2013 9:05 pm

      I suddenly feel better about all that I do…thank you for pointing it all out. 🙂

      Have a great weekend too! Wish I was in NYC with you!

  19. February 27, 2013 1:50 pm

    And so impressed Maya did the triathlon. Wow. That is really impressive for a kid. .

    • February 27, 2013 9:06 pm

      Totally agree. I can’t say I’ve ever done / will do one!

  20. Piya permalink
    February 27, 2013 3:42 pm

    5:30am? I don’t think I would have gone either :P. The pictures are adorable, and congratulations to Maya on the triathlon!!! xxx

  21. February 27, 2013 4:14 pm

    It was 5:30am, Maya looks happy in the photos, she took home a medal, you took her out to celebrate. The universe has forgiven you — the only question is how long would you beat yourself about it? 🙂

    • February 27, 2013 9:06 pm

      Forever…unfortunately. Because I do that really well. 😦

  22. February 27, 2013 6:12 pm

    Go Maya!!!

    Why would they ever hold a childs triathlon at 5:30 am?? That is extremely abnormal and ridiculous!

    • February 27, 2013 9:07 pm

      Totally confused myself! The timing was just so odd. Although, the actual triathlon began at 7…it was still so early.

  23. February 27, 2013 7:23 pm

    I’m very good at making myself feel guilty too… If you figure out the cure please let me know… 🙂 because I know we don’t deserve to feel so guilty! 🙂 congratulations to Maya! 5:30 am is just way too early! :-p

    • February 27, 2013 9:08 pm

      I’m sorry that you share in the guilt too Astra! I’m going to look into a cure / therapy. Seriously, I could use some!

  24. February 27, 2013 7:49 pm

    Congrats to Maya! 5:30 AM? Really?

  25. rads permalink
    February 27, 2013 9:29 pm

    Congratulations Maya!!
    Maya goes to a triathlon at 5:30 am itself is a big achievement. Don’t you think?

    • February 28, 2013 6:47 pm

      She’s always been an early riser…she’s like her mom. 🙂

  26. Shauna permalink
    February 27, 2013 11:44 pm

    Wow, good for Maya that is great. I’m with my kids 24/7 due to homeschool. I make most things but some things I miss, it’s life. We try our hardest. Love you Ameena.

    Shauna xo

    • February 28, 2013 6:47 pm

      You have a lot more kids than I do so of course you’ll miss a few things and it makes sense. Me? I really have no good excuse with just one child.

  27. February 28, 2013 2:05 am

    Huge props to Maya for completing the traithlon! I’ve never participated in one myself….

    But leaving that aside, I think, maybe, Ali feels less guilty because he usually gets to be the fun parent, while you have to make Maya do things that need to be done, just because someone in the family has to be the responsible one. Maybe you feel that way because you missed this chance to be the smily, optimistic cheery mum? But I hope you won’t feel guilty for too long, because evidently, you do care SO MUCH about your little girl, and there will still be a million other opportunities in which you will get to be that parent who boasts that her daughter is the best kid in the world 😀

    • February 28, 2013 6:49 pm

      Such a sweet, thoughtful comment. I’m not going to lie…being the bad parent really wears me down. Sometimes I just want to let her eat fries and ice cream and then pretend her homework doesn’t exist. But I am too responsible for that.

      Thanks Asuma…this really is just a great comment.

      • March 1, 2013 12:23 am

        I’m glad I could be of any help 🙂 You’re a great mum!

      • March 1, 2013 7:06 am

        🙂 thank you!

  28. squigglefloey permalink
    February 28, 2013 2:28 am

    Omg Maya has bigger balls than me. Hahaha. I’m too chicken to do something like that. I’m sure she felt very independent being there without her parents 🙂

    • February 28, 2013 6:49 pm

      I could never do a triathlon, not now, not at her age. She really is so much more adventurous and independent than I ever was.

      • squigglefloey permalink
        February 28, 2013 8:16 pm

        see! you’ve raised her splendidly ! 🙂

      • March 1, 2013 10:17 am


  29. February 28, 2013 4:22 am

    You take her on most of your trips. That is one happy, well-adjusted kid. Good job Maman!

    • February 28, 2013 6:50 pm

      “Maman.” I love it. Thanks Jennie…I appreciate the nice words!

  30. Shazzy permalink
    February 28, 2013 7:43 am

    Hi. Wow.Everyone here’s trying to make you feel good about missing a pretty incredible event in your daughter’s life. There’s nothing like having your loved ones there in the stands supporting you when you are competing. The time that you’ve missed, you can never get back. Yes, you can go to another triathlon, or another sports meet, but this one is over. &am is NOT early. You should feel guilty. The Both of you should have been there.
    That doesn’t necessarily make you a bad parent – you do feel guilty about it, after all.
    Don’t fall for it if she says “its ok.”
    It may be ok now, but just wait ’till she’s in her teens…teens analyse things more – even events from their pasts.
    Enjoy the day.

    • February 28, 2013 6:52 pm

      I don’t disagree with you Shazzy….and despite me making light of it, I truly do feel bad that I wasn’t there to support Maya. If nothing else, I now know that next time I just need to find the energy no matter what.

    • willgoh2 permalink
      March 3, 2013 1:23 pm

      When I was in grade school and middle school I played in a fabulous band/orchestra. I didn’t want my parents to go and basically told them that. I didn’t tell them why (I was afraid I’d make a mistake and they’d hear it, and identify me as the offender and get embarrassed. Damn Asian ethic of striving to meet one’s parents’ high expectations!) Anyway, they didn’t go b/c they thought I was embarrassed of them! Talk about a lack of communication.

      All that to say that not every kid wants or cares if their parents are there to watch or support them at events. Just saying I respectfully disagree.

  31. February 28, 2013 10:07 am

    Yea…that’s a tough spot to be in. Not going to lie, I’d feel terrible about it too. That’s the tough thing about being a parent and a person in general. Life pulls you in every direction and you have to make the choice on which way to go.
    I wish that you there to see her. I don’t doubt in my mind that she will hold this against you forever. I do know that when she is old enough and asks you for the keys to your car and you say no, she will bring this up.
    I know…because I’ve done it to my parents.
    You’ve been warned xo

    • February 28, 2013 6:53 pm

      So really, if I just give her the keys to my car when she turns 16 I can redeem myself? 🙂

      PS: I don’t forgive my parents for not allowing me to do 100 different things … but I now have a different understanding of their logic. Evolution I guess?

  32. February 28, 2013 10:22 am

    My Dad never went to anything when I was growing up, I turned out just fine 🙂 I hope the guilt eases soon.

  33. February 28, 2013 11:34 am

    oh my goodness! a triathlete at her age? whoa! energy for daysssssssssss. i’m lucky if i can squeak out 15-20mins of exercise without falling over ha. i’m convinced men are immune to guilt…so basically they must be all sociopaths.

    • February 28, 2013 6:53 pm

      Maya has more energy than anyone I know. Truly. And I have A LOT of energy.

  34. February 28, 2013 2:21 pm

    Ameena, if it helps, my mother was a working mom and she hardly made it to my sports days, annual days or various competitions in all the 12 years I was at school. In fact, she used to drag herself to my parent-teacher meetings, always in a bad mood, because they happened on weekends and were mandatory.
    But. My mother is my best friend right now. I don’t really remember my mother never being there for me when it mattered.
    What I am trying to say is, don’t be so hard on yourself. I know the small stuff matter but they never make an everlasting impression on children 🙂

    • February 28, 2013 6:54 pm

      This is great to hear…that despite my many shortcomings, Maya will eventually become my friend.

      Your mom obviously did a whole lot of things right because I can tell from this comment that you are super well-adjusted.

  35. February 28, 2013 6:37 pm

    Congratulations to Maya on completing the triathlon! She is happy and smiling that is all that matters. She knows her mama loves her, so missing one event is no big deal.

    Men are just wired differently, I think! A few days back Neil had a little fall while trying to stand up and the husband and I both were working on our laptops. I felt so so guilty even hours after the whole thing, and the father and son just moved on like nothing even happened! Mama’s guilt is a horrible thing.

    • February 28, 2013 6:56 pm

      I’m glad that Neil didn’t get hurt…it’s scary when they fall. I remember how hard that age of having to watch them every second was!

      Thanks for the nice comment Priyanka…I always appreciate your kind words!

  36. ittakestime permalink
    March 1, 2013 12:38 am

    I am addicted to your blog. You write so well. Love your style..

    • March 1, 2013 7:09 am

      Thank you my friend! This just made my morning. 🙂

  37. March 1, 2013 9:01 am

    My mom never got up in the morning to see me off to school. Well, at least once I turned 12 or 13 years old. I didn’t mind it that much, because I was never in a good mood in the mornings anyway, so having some alone time really worked well for me.
    I’m not sure if I would get up to be somewhere at 5:30 AM either, but then it looks like such a special occasion. I go running in the morning and if I ever did a triathlon, I would so love my parents to be there to cheer me up… I’m sure you had good reasons not to go though.

    • March 3, 2013 1:57 pm

      It was a special occasion…and all jokes aside, I should have been there! I’ve been feeling bad since.

  38. March 1, 2013 12:39 pm

    Seems a little over the top to make a kid run at 530 am on a weekend, doesn’t that fall under a child abuse category? Definitely parent abuse… Sheesh!

    • March 3, 2013 1:58 pm

      The event started at 7 but competitors had to be there really early. Makes no sense to me.

  39. March 1, 2013 6:59 pm

    What? How did she even get there? I think you had good excuses. But watching TV instead of your daughter’s sporting event? Don’t get me started…

    • March 3, 2013 1:58 pm

      My SIL took Maya there…she was also competing but later, at the adult’s event.

  40. March 1, 2013 7:49 pm

    I was double-whomped with good old Catholic guilt…I SO understand how you feel! I am so jealous of the people who don’t suffer from it. 🙂

    • March 3, 2013 1:59 pm

      I’m not Catholic but the guilt! I swear, I don’t even know what to do with myself sometimes…

  41. March 2, 2013 8:34 am

    Yea guilt…ugh

  42. March 2, 2013 8:36 am

    Wow, I’m so impressed with your daughter! At her age, I actovely resisted anything that resembled sports.

  43. March 2, 2013 12:29 pm

    See but the guilt gets me and then I can’t even enjoy my not being somewhere. So, instead I show up to the boys ski races and school “pow wows” and I’m pissy. It’s probably better not to be there, since I’m not really there even when I’m there. Let Maya prove herself to you, when she’s an iron woman you’ll show up.

    • March 3, 2013 2:03 pm

      I knew I’d not be in the best mood that morning…but I still feel bad that I didn’t go!

  44. March 2, 2013 7:15 pm

    Ok, if you didn’t take her and Ali didn’t take her, how the heck did she get herself to the triathlon? :)~ Don’t feel guilty – we’ve all been there and dang if the bed wouldn’t sound like a much better option to me as well.

    • March 3, 2013 2:03 pm

      My SIL took Maya, as she was also doing the triathlon, at a later time the same day.

      Thanks for the comment Julie!

  45. willgoh2 permalink
    March 2, 2013 10:55 pm

    A triathlon? Seriously? I can’t even get my 8 yr old to put her face in the water to learn how to swim. Nor can I get her to ride her bike b/c she’s afraid of pedaling too fast (yes, it’s true!). The only running she’ll do is to get the coveted swing when it frees up. Congrats Maya!

    Don’t feel too guilty, there’s gonna be those times when you just can’t make it… it happens. She’ll get you back one day like when you are older and need a ride somewhere and she’ll say “I’d love to Mom, but y’know, I have to go get my eyebrows waxed. Sorry!” So see, no need to feel guilty, it always evens out my friend.


    • March 3, 2013 8:55 pm

      “Eyebrows waxed.” Hysterical. She’ll probably say that to me…she’s too Indian/Pakistani not to have that problem, unfortunately.

      Thanks for the comment Will! I always love reading what you have to say.

  46. March 3, 2013 9:18 am

    Here’s what I think.
    Ali should have gone with Maya and given you a damn break…then he should have come home and made you a big lunch and rubbed your feet.
    So there.

    • March 3, 2013 8:57 pm

      I think that you are brilliant. And unbelievably thoughtful! Not sure what else to say. 🙂

  47. March 4, 2013 11:33 pm

    I am NOT a morning person so I can relate..but then who is a 5:30 morning person anyway?
    Way to go Maya..woohoo. I am sure you are forgiven. 5:30 is too early to hold grudges 🙂

  48. March 6, 2013 1:00 pm

    I have often wondered whether there is evolutionary benefit in men not wasting energy on guilt! Maya will understand when she has to get up – or not – to attend her children’s events at unearthly hours. Until then a suitable bribe should make everyone happy 🙂

    • March 10, 2013 8:37 pm

      A suitable bribe – or two – was definitely offered up. 🙂

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