I've learned over time that it's okay to have and sit with conflicted feelings. My most intense recent experience of this was when I went on holiday without my toddler.
It was me who suggested the trip months ago. It was me who booked the flights, decided on the length of our stay and accommodation. Through all of the planning I felt excited- hooray! A trip without having to bring a baby carrier, nappies or worry about bed times! I looked forward to packing less and being at ease more.
Then reality set in as my travel date grew nearer. The excitement was still there, but I also felt a huge wave of mom guilt. My breastfed toddler would be looked after and given my milk by his dad, but he wouldn't be with me. Our night time cuddles and his routine would be disrupted for five days.
This was my first time being away from my youngest son for more than 24 hours. I will admit I really missed him. I often wondered what he was doing, how he was coping and if he was waking at night. I also hoped my husband wasn't having too difficult a time with our 18 month old and his intense four year old brother. The two are an intense pair. I did look forward to returning home.
In the same breath, I still really enjoyed my holiday. It was great to walk around and explore without a 23 lb toddler on my back. It was even more amazing to eat at restaurants without the worry of my kid kicking off. My bed time was decided by me and my adventures were centred around my interests versus what I thought my kids could tolerate at their age.
It's okay to sit with conflicted feelings.
There's no need to change or "fix" how you feel if your emotions don't always run parallel with each other. In my case, I still allowed myself to enjoy my holiday and also checked in at home regularly. My husband sent me pictures, we talked on the phone and he took an interest in my travels.
My holiday went well and the little people in my life were well looked after at home. I celebrated this win-win and made some great memories in the process.