If I hadn’t already booked and paid for the trip I’m sure I would’ve backed out of it. At the time of booking I really needed to go right then; my tolerance was stretched to breaking point and just needed some time out.
By the time my departure date rolled around I was indifferent about the whole thing and was riddled with guilt about leaving my big boys behind. I took a deep breath when I kissed them good-bye at the airport I steeled myself against the crying protests, briefly kissed and hugged Mr MF and quickly got myself inside so I didn’t watch them drive away. Mr MF and I both felt the unsaid acutely; I was in danger of ‘losing it’ and sorely needed a change. I knew I had to go.
Now, having been away and come home again I am so thankful I listened to myself. I know that a break, albeit with baby, was just what I needed. Our children are very young so I called each night to talk to them; I wasn’t totally disconnected. But I was still able to catch up with an old friend, see a show, introduce our baby son to his great-grandfather and great-aunt, walk in botanic gardens, wander around shops, linger over a quality coffee and eat a cooked breakfast without having to share it. I was an adult for a week, not just a mum and wife; I was just me.
When I arrived home it was so nice to have my family excited to see me and for my husband to appreciate first-hand how difficult the juggling act of family-food-work can be; they all missed me. He also had a chance to solidify his already good relationship with the boys. I think I will be doing trips away again because it makes me a better mum and a better person. The trick will be how often I can do it and avoiding the guilt.
I have been home now for five days. In that time we have celebrated our middle son’s second and my thirty-seventh birthday. I have melded back into a mundane week of organising meals, wiping snotty noses, playing games, breaking up fights and trying to answer endless questions.
How often do you get away? Do you feel bad about leaving your family behind?