I started to think of this unfair expectation that moms put on themselves in the context of our children. Would we ever belittle the accomplishment of one of our kids if they hadn't achieved it in the "typical" way? Would we ever tell them that there was only one "appropriate" or "acceptable" method to reach one of their goals and that, if they received any outside assistance in attaining that goal, it wouldn't count and they should be ashamed of themselves?
Maybe subconsciously I was feeling a bit guilty about leaving my son to have some time to myself, but I don't think that it's fair for moms to have to feel this way. Being a mom brings me incredible joy, but it's important for me to remember that, while it's a part of my identity, it's not the only thing that defines me. I'm allowed to do things for myself and have time alone; it helps me to appreciate the time that I do spend with my son and not take those moments for granted.