I'm going away this afternoon for the weekend. Just me. Packing a suitcase for one person feels like bliss because it's so simple. I didn't have to think about anyone's needs but my own. It felt selfish, and foreign, but delicious all the same.
A friend from high school, who is my rubber stamping mentor and a blazing success of a Stampin' Up demonstrator, invited me to a Bed & Breakfast for the weekend to scrapbook and eat home cooked meals. It sounded like fun, but I didn't even consider it because I want to spend all of my free time writing, not scrapbooking. When Jason was gone for seven days for work, he suggested I look into a trip for myself, so the penny dropped and I asked my buddy if I could come and write instead of scrapbook. She said sure.
That was months ago, and now the day has arrived. I've been looking forward to it on and off for weeks, but as it draws near I begin to feel that familiar emotion common to all mothers: guilt. Not because I'm going away, but because my kids would prefer me to be with them at all times with no change to their routine.
Ever since Ava was born, I've always felt like this when it comes to getting away and doing something for myself. I am excited about the break, particularly when the kids are driving me up the wall, but then when it comes I get soft around the edges and think about how sweet they are and I wonder if I really do need to go away from them. The answer, of course, is that I do. If I didn't have this trip planned, I wouldn't feel all mushy toward them, but would instead be tense and frustrated like I normally am when my kids push my buttons.
Going away and investing in ourselves as moms is critical. It's not easy to do, because to survive as mothers we have to give away so much of ourselves to our families, but the process of discovering who we are as individuals apart from our kids and our husbands is a powerful one. A few hours here or a weekend there makes a big difference to our outlook and personality. We are ourselves first, foremost and always, and can't allow ourselves to forget who that woman is.
I'm going away with my packed suitcase, my laptop, my binder and my pen. That's all I really need for a few days to get some of my thoughts down on paper, laugh with girlfriends, eat food that I haven't had to prepare, and savour the lovely responsibility only for myself.
Jason will do different things with the kids, and that's a good thing, for all three of them. They will make their own memories, that I am not a part of, and I will celebrate that for them, and return on Sunday to resume our regular family life. I will not waste my rare weekend away by feeling guilty. I will allow that feeling to pass, and not invite it to return. I will celebrate who I am, separate from my roles as wife and mother, and just be myself for a few short days.
I have been told there is wi fi at the B&B, so hopefully my blog posts won't be interrupted for Saturday and Sunday, but if they are a little late, I apologize, as I'll be rooming with ladies who are known night owls! A big thanks to those of you who have recently created Google accounts and followed my blog. I appreciate the visual increase in readers. I'm constantly amazed at the feedback I get from people who are reading and I had no idea. Thank you for following, and for your support.