‘Mom guilt’ after time away: Northforker Mom

Evan and Brian Huber watch the sun rise over Peconic Bay. (Credit: Laura Huber)

Evan and Brian Huber watch the sun rise over Peconic Bay. (Credit: Laura Huber)

The Northforker mom has a confession to make. For the month of July, I didn’t spend much time out on the North Fork. Or with my kids.

After Brian’s ninth birthday on July 2, Bill and I went to Napa to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. The rest of the weekends were filled with concerts, bridal showers, and other mom adventures. I missed spending time with my boys. I’d like to say that they missed me terribly, but they got to spend some time with their dad, Grammy, Pop-Pop and Grandpa, having their own North Fork adventures.

Before Bill and I left for our trip, he took the boys to Splish Splash one day and Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center the next. While we were away, my parents took them to the Jamesport Carnival, Peconic River Herb Farm, the Mattituck Movie Theater to see “Minions,” the Long Island Antique Power Authority’s annual summer show and even drove them out to Montauk for a craft fair. Brian also went fishing on the Peconic Star with his grandfather.

They devoured gyro platters from Greek Bites in Mattituck, ate their usual fried clams and clam chowder from Braun’s to-go in Cutchogue and I’m pretty sure they ate ice cream from Magic Fountain every day. My parents wanted to keep them busy while we were gone. It was the first time we had been away from both of them in a few years, and every time we spoke or FaceTimed during the trip, they were having just as much fun as we were.

If you’re a mom reading this, you know about “mom guilt” – that creeping sensation you have when you feel bad for spending time on yourself, when you could have been doing something for your kids. There were times where I felt like I was doing something wrong by taking time for myself.

After seeing U2 in concert for the second time, I was convinced that my boys thought I was insane and wanted to spend more time following Bono around than I did them. I don’t usually go out and do a lot of things alone, so this was new territory for me. I enjoyed getting away, but when I reconnected with my kids, I felt happier, less stressed and able to focus on them more. And we’ve already done some great North Fork things in August, like going back to Splish Splash, more fishing and watching the Perseid meteor shower.

I think as parents, we need to remember to take time for ourselves and spend time doing things we enjoy. Whether it’s giving the kids an early dinner and having a quiet evening with your spouse, getting up early to exercise or going away for a night without the kids, taking time for yourself is an important part of being a family. I don’t regret any of the experiences I had without my kids and I’m looking forward to spending more time with them before they go back to school.

Here are a couple of events coming up that you can do with your kids. Or without them, if you prefer.

• Friday-Sunday, Aug. 21-23, East End Seaport Museum will be hosting public sails on the Soundwaters schooner. Sail times are 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. All children must be age $5. The afternoon sail is geared toward families, while the evening sail would be great for a night out. Visit soundwaters.org to sign up.

• Saturday, Aug. 22, beginning at 8 p.m. Riverhead residents can watch “Surfs Up” at Wading River Beach. The event is hosted by the town recreation department. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Refreshments are available for purchase. In the event of inclement weather, call 727-5744 to see if the movie is still playing.

• Also on Saturday, the Greenport Skate Park will be hosting a festival from noon to 5 p.m. There will be demonstrations, competitions and refreshments. For more information about the skate park, visit villageofgreenport.org.

• The Riverhead Cardboard Boat Race, rescheduled from June 28, will take place this weekend. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the races begin at noon. Also check out the hula-hoop contest, beginning at 11:30 a.m.

• Coming up Aug. 28-29 is the 25th anniversary of the Riverhead Railroad Museum festival. Train aficionados can check out Lionel layouts, ride a World’s Fair train and take the 11:20 “scoot” train to Greenport. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

Laura Huber