I Worry About BlogHer

by Marinka on August 2, 2010

Last year, BlogHer in Chicago transformed me.  I wasn’t prepared for the enormity of it. I wasn’t prepared for the non-stop-edness of it. I wasn’t prepared for there being drama all around me (naked blogger! People shut out of parties! Breastfeeding baby! Male bloggers are flirts! Or maybe not!)  and being totally oblivious about it.   I was even less prepared for the friendship, for the warmth, for the staying up forever, late into the night, sitting on someone else’s bed, and just laughing, and laughing and knowing that the times that I thought were behind me forever were here again. That was the biggest surprise for me, and it changed me, profoundly.  It made me hopeful that I wasn’t quite done with this whole making-friends thing.

On Sunday morning, as BlogHer wrapped up, I woke up in terror and cried for an hour straight.  I was to fly back to NYC that afternoon, and I convinced myself that my plane would crash and that my children would be orphaned.  Unfortunately, Husbandrinka was flying back from Europe that same day so I had our planes collide mid-air, for extra impact, and my pre-geriatric parents were saddled with not only burying their beautiful daughter, their only child, but having to raise two kids in their twilight years.  I’m getting misty eyed now just thinking about it.

You don’t have to be a Dr. Phil regular viewer to figure out that I felt incredibly guilty for my time away from my family, the time that I stole away, the time that meant so, so much to me. (And as Husbandrinka later pointed out, our flights had totally different paths, so a mid-air collision was unlikely. Stupid logic.)

Amid all the pre-BlogHer excitement, I hear the fear.  We joke about it, we say that we look forward to a few days of freedom, of being in NYC and spending time with friends, but it’s there.  We are afraid to leave our families, however briefly, we’re not sure that amid our good fortune, we deserve the joy of being the hell away from the people we love most.

But it’s important.

And I’m reminding myself that stealing time away from my family to go to meetings and Rooms of Your Own and the Keynote and the fabulous parties and the breakfast meetings when we tweet at each other from across the table, is part of my life and if I don’t respect it, then I can’t expect anyone else to, either.

I can’t wait.

One year ago ...

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Scary Mommy
August 2, 2010 at 7:48 am

I do the same thing whenever I’m away from my children– I envision my whole damn funeral. It’s awful.

BUT, yes, it’s so important and I can’t freaking wait to give you a huge, monster hug. WATCH OUT!


christy August 2, 2010 at 7:55 am

So well said Marinka. I’m afraid to even verbalize my fears at all…but of course they’re there – closer to the front of my brain than I’d like. Ugh. Last year I missed out on the late night shenanigans because Matt and the Foo were with me, and we didn’t stay in the conference hotel. This year, I’m going solo and Jill from the Perlman update is my roomie. Can NOT wait! But scared too! Loved this post.


Miss Welcome August 2, 2010 at 8:08 am

oooooooh – I’m jealous! Have fun. And to think we almost planned our biannual trip to the States in the month of August (flying into JFK), but the tickets got too expensive.


August 2, 2010 at 8:34 am

Hmmm….for me, the fear is real. You forgot to mention the bedbugs.


August 2, 2010 at 8:35 am

This is fabulous. Best pre-BlogHer post yet.


August 2, 2010 at 8:37 am

I always imagine the worst happening – it’s terrible. Apparently it doesn’t get any easier as we age. If I don’t talk to my mom in 2 days she calls and asks me if my marriage is fine. Am I getting a divorce. Etc. Haaaa… what a crazy lady.


the mama bird diaries
August 2, 2010 at 9:45 am

I am so glad I’m not the only one who imagines my own funeral and the aftermath. Thank you for taking a way just a little of my guilt.


August 2, 2010 at 9:52 am

Wow – I do the same thing. Imagine the worst – all the time. And here I thought I was the only one. I’ve also inherited this from my very Greek mother who requires several phone calls a day – just because. It’s nice to know that we moms all have the same fears, only to varying degrees. I think every mother deserves to do something like this for themselves, and often.


August 2, 2010 at 10:07 am

I always feel anxious when traveling for the same reason, but yes it is important to nurture ourselves professionally and personally speaking. Maybe we’ll finally get to meet in person? Silly we haven’t yet considering we live across the bridge from each other!


Metrowestmama August 2, 2010 at 10:12 am

So great to know that others share my fears too! I am leaving my 9 month old overnight for the first time to go to BlogHer. So that just is adding to the train crash, taxi bomb, central park mugging, hotel fire and all the other crazy dreams that, like you said, it based in guilt. For needing and wanting some time away to reconnect with ones own self as well as make new connections with others. Sigh. We’ll all be better for it, but if anyone is wide awake at 4am because of one of these stupid nightmares, give me a tweet. We’ll meet for coffee. 🙂


Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]
August 2, 2010 at 10:19 am

so so so so so so so so super duper excited!

Last year was my first BlogHer, and of course I was more nervous than excited. But this year, I’m PUUUMPED to go!

Maybe you’ll get lucky and I’ll tackle you.


Brilliant Sulk
August 2, 2010 at 10:25 am

Me too! Me too! The anxiety and guilt about leaving my kids as well as my excitement about getting to sleep past 6am has already set in.

Except I’ve never been to BlogHer and now I’m wondering how I’ll cope with meeting a bunch of my closest internet friends. Will they like me? Will I look okay? The bedbugs! Yes, the bedbugs.

Someone pass the champagne please…


Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things) August 2, 2010 at 10:49 am

Thanks so much for writing this! I have been feeling exactly this way the past few days. Down to the plane crash and everything! I am not nervous about the conference at all, even though it’s my first of the blogging variety. I just keep feeling selfish for leaving the family. But I keep telling myself that a healthy mom is one who has balance. Time for the fam and time for mom.


August 2, 2010 at 10:58 am

Thank you for this. All of my blogher anxiety involves leaving my son, and I’m normally not that kind of mom. But my husband is also away that weekend and it just feels wrong to abandon him to go to blogher. I’m not sure why. If I was leaving him with my husband I would feel no guilt, but somehow leaving him with my sister makes me feel really guilty.


amber August 2, 2010 at 11:01 am

This is the first time I’ll be away from my daughter for more than an eight-hour work day, and it’s killing me a little bit. You nailed it! But it’ll be worth it. It’ll be awesome. I’m excited! When not busy feeling guilt ridden and scared.


August 2, 2010 at 11:20 am

I feel like I’m double whammied here … I’m solo parenting for the year as my husband is in Iraq AND I’m leaving my 3 kids with my parents in San Francisco as I fly out to NYC alone.

I’m excited as heck to go – and meet my roomie Christy (A Lil Welsh Rarebit), yet, I too have the silly fears about how all this would pan out if something happened to me… But I know that this break is desperately needed. For all of us.


Rachel @ Busy Mommy Media
August 2, 2010 at 11:43 am

So, so true. I’ll be glad to break out with you on Sunday morning.


Dawn @ Coming to a Nursery Near YOu August 2, 2010 at 11:51 am

I am SO glad I am not the only one who does this whole “I just know I’m gonna die thing” every time I leave the family behind – which is NOT very often. But even when I’ve gone into the hospital for something, I’ve written out everything my husband needs to know if I die.

My thing this time, though, for BlogHer is the spending of the money guilt – so I made sure that the money I’m spending is the money I’ve made on my own – so that’s HELPED ALOT.

and I’m only a few hours away, really.

and I can’t wait.


Pseudo August 2, 2010 at 11:57 am

Wishing you many, many moments of laughter and friendship and sitting on beds in hotel rooms while you are there. Have a great time.


Awesome dude August 2, 2010 at 1:48 pm

…..then, how many friends does one person need and can deal with?

Unless most of them are dead….


magpie August 2, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I can’t believe I have to see you in the Hilton, instead of Mari Vanna, but I’m happy that I will be seeing you!


anymommy August 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Perfectly expressed. I’m mostly worried I won’t get to see you enough, since I don’t have the ability to corner you as you try to sleep this year.


August 2, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Yes. Just…yes.


A Mom on Spin August 2, 2010 at 5:36 pm

What’s wrong with you people???

I imagine my husband’s funeral. Never my own!!!!

But then, I’m not going to Blogher. . .


Rene Foran August 2, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Be yourself



Maria @ Mom et al
August 2, 2010 at 5:56 pm

I have the same scary feelings about leaving this week, but not because I am afraid something will happen to me. I am afraid something will happen to the ones I’m leaving behind. This is a completely ridiculous fear, because I am leaving my children in perfectly capable hands (Daddy, Daycare, and Grandparents sharing the load) but what if something did happen? What if something happened and I wasn’t there because Mommy had to go on a holiday for a conference about something ELSE she loves, although no where near as much. That’s what keeps me awake at night…but only a little.


tracey August 2, 2010 at 6:02 pm

🙁 Ah… admit it. You’re worried that it just won’t be the same without ME, right? It’s ok, Marinka. I know, I know… you’ll be just fine. I promise.


reiven August 2, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Is it just me and A Mom On Spin that think of other people dying? It terrifies me that I won’t be there to stop any catastrophe. Because I am the only one who will be able to save the day or prevent an emergency! But if I’m dead, well, then I really don’t have anything to stress about do I?


Happy Hour Sue August 2, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I know, I know, but we have just as much chance of being crushed by a mack truck on our way to the grocery store. That being siad, Lisalicious and I will be spending all of our time in the safety of the Hilton bar.

Cant wait!!!!!


August 2, 2010 at 9:23 pm

I am so so sad that I am not going to be there. And I’m also pretty sure that I will find myself irresistibly drawn to texting you over the weekend.

“Where are you?”


holly August 2, 2010 at 10:19 pm

You are so right, we do deserve to be away from the people we love and care for. I can’t wait, too.


dusty earth mother August 2, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Wow, now I’m really glad that I’m not flying–sure hope the PATH train doesn’t collide with something on my way back to Joisey.


Yeah, I know that was enthusiastic, but heck, it’s true.


mosey August 3, 2010 at 12:22 am

I’m worried too, although not about leaving my family, more that I won’t get to meet half the folks I’m dying to meet because social terror sends me gasping back to my hotel room. calm blue ocean… calm blue ocean…


Lisa Rae @ smacksy August 3, 2010 at 12:32 am

Can we do the talking on YOUR bed because my husband and kid will be in mine.
And I will be worried about subway terrorism and “Speed” style run-away buses when they are without me during the day even though we will be in the same city.
And I will replay in my head, the plot of every SVU/Without a Trace/CSI episode I’ve ever seen involving a child.
And then I’ll drink more coffee and hang out and be grateful that I’m with you guys instead of touring yet another effing Museum of Natural History.


vodkamom August 3, 2010 at 6:55 am

Just don’t schedule your funeral on the same day as me. I would hate to be the one who has the funeral where NO ONE SHOWED UP.



Jeanne August 8, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Stacy’s right. It IS sweet.


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