When it comes to parenting, Niagara Daddy and I work as a team. We take turns with bedtime, doing bath time, and even taking a night out for ourselves. It’s a system that works for us.
So, when I went out of town for work a few months ago, I knew it would be harder for him than me and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to It.
That business trip ended up being the vacation from parenthood I needed.
The training itself was great. Useful, informative, and I passed the exams. It was the nights that were of the most value to me, though.
And I didn’t feel the least bit guilty about it.
I stayed in a hotel. The restaurant made me dinner and poured me a glass of wine. The waiter brought me popcorn to nibble on while I watched the news. I took an elevator up to my room. The room was clean. There was not a toy in sight. The bed was made and there was no one in it. It was quiet and comfortable.
It. Was. GLORIOUS.
I’d forgotten how noisy the house could be, and I don’t just mean the actual noise. I mean things like the socks on the stairs and the library books at the door, boots in the hall and mittens on the floor.
A squealing cartoon and a howling toddler, the bang of a sippy cup that’s been thrown on the floor again, picking up this and putting away that, the dishes, the laundry, the garbage…it’s just so much noise.
So, staying in a room that didn’t have to be cleaned, showering without a toddler flushing the toilet on me, and laying in a bed that enveloped me as I drifted off to sleep each night was the recharge I knew I needed.
After I’d accepted that fact, that ever-present mom-guilt just floated away.
As parents, we do whatever we need to make sure our kids are happy and healthy, and we do it almost habitually at the expense of our own well-being.
From kissing boo-boos and chasing away bad dreams, to talking about friendship problems and how to respond to a bully, the parenting never ends. We’re always there for them, helping them with anything and everything.
It’s so rare that we ever get, let alone take time to care for ourselves.
So I dared to leave the mom-guilt behind. I took my trip away from my kids and I decided to enjoy it.
I savoured every sip of wine in the evening and I took my time in the shower in the morning. People called me Vickie, not Mommy. There was no noise, and it let me get back in touch with myself, with who I was before I was a mom.
That in itself was refreshing; the free hotel room and meals was just a vehicle to get there.
And how do you think I felt after I got home? Like a new me, like a new mommy, ready to take on that toddler and read a hundred gazillion books to my five year-old at bedtime. I was refreshed and rested. I was like, “Bring it on, kids. Mommy’s back!”, and it felt great.
Every so often, a chance to take time for you pops up when you least expect it.
Seize it, Mama. You’ll find that the fog will clear enough for you to really see yourself; a genuine, caring, intelligent and wonderful person, with interests and passions, and a personality that still exists beyond all the noise of parenthood.
Struggling with motherhood? Uh, duh!
Come hang out with me and the girls in the Moments for Mommy Club, full of moms like you, just trying to carve out one moment for ourselves.
Thanks so much for reading,