With my finger poised over the button I felt that lurch in my stomach, that heavy feeling in my heart that accompanies mother guilt.
I was about to book a four day, three night visit to the other side of the country. Without my family. Just me.
How would they cope without me? Would my baby cry night and day without her mummy? Would my three and a half year old lose the plot and act out at Kindy? Would my husband feed them a diet of Burger Rings and chocolate custard? Or would he just farm them out to the grandparents?
I had to tell myself not to be ridiculous. They probably wouldn't even notice. They didn't notice yesterday when I was gone for hours to see a movie. They were quite cranky with me when I returned home, but apparently had been angels while I was away.
I pressed the button and booked my flights.
I also bought travel insurance just in case I need to cancel or reschedule.
Please don't misunderstand, I am very excited about this trip. Not only is Sydney one of my favourite destinations, but I will be staying with one of my favourite friends. There will be food and wine and shopping, not to mention the glorious four hour flight completely alone, with nothing but complimentary wine, airline food and a movie to watch (small pleasures, I know).
But it is hard leaving my babies. Being away from them leaves a gaping hole. I cannot ever fully relax or fully concentrate knowing I am so far away.
I can only dread the anxiety I will experience when my girls are older, and all of a sudden I have to worry about them being far away (and boys and cars and drugs and bullying and body image and wanting to dress like Lady Ga Ga).
But for tonight I am home with my family, and knowing they are safely tucked up in bed fills me with satisfaction and security and a deep sense of sentiment.