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Husband's cousin is getting married next weekend in Buffalo, New York. The whole family is getting very excited about the festivities. When I learned that I was pregnant last summer and that I would be due in March, I was thrilled with the timing because I realized that I would indeed be able to attend the wedding. I love weddings. And I love Husband's family.

But here we are. A week-plus from the wedding. And, as of this moment, I do not plan to go. Husband booked his airline tickets just last week and when I was forced to decide because it is getting so late, I said: I don't think I should go. Ah, the should word. That terrible word.

Many months ago, I think I assumed that we would all go - all five of us Rowleys - and that we would bring someone (our nanny or baby nurse or both) to help out with the kiddos. I didn't think about the practicalities that now swarm now: That purchasing six or seven plane tickets plus two or three hotel rooms is financially foolish. That bringing our kids is logistically silly because with a packed weekend of events we won't even see them much while we are there.

So. Until last week, Husband and I decided that we would go solo. Just the two of us. Just for one night. I would bring my breast pump and our little one would be given bottles while we were gone. I made arrangements to leave the babes here with both our nanny and our baby nurse. I felt good about the plan. Empowered that I could go and would go.

But then. It came time to finally decide and I felt something go soft within me. I felt the rising of the shoulds, the ripple of motherly guilt. I talked it over with Husband and the following things came from my mouth. I'm just not sure I should leave our baby when she's not even three months. I'm just not sure I will be able to enjoy myself when I'm there because I will feel guilty for leaving. I'm just worried that people will judge me for leaving my newborn home.

Should. Guilt. Judgment. These are familiar things. For me. (For all of us?)

And today. On this Friday morning, I feel that this is worth thinking about, and asking you. I want very much to see my cousin walk down the aisle. I want very much to be there with the extended family I love celebrating this happy occasion. But I feel as if I shouldn't go. But I want to. I really do.

And so. I'm asking you. What you think. Whether this breed of dilemma is at all familiar to you?

I'm not sure whether I can change my mind this late in the game, but it's possible. And so I want to figure this out. And soon.

Should I go? Help me decide! (Pretty please.)

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Do you think I should get over my qualms and go to Buffalo? Would you judge me if I left my tiny creature in trusted hands for twenty-four hours? Do you think I am overthinking things? Do you think we women (and mothers) are somehow wired to worry, or built for guilt?

Before Words

Sometimes There Are No Words