For my 40th birthday, my husband and I went to Paris. It had to be Paris and it had to fall into place the way it did, otherwise we would not have left the children. If it had been a trip to Florida or even across the country to the West Coast, we would have packed up the kids and taken a road trip as a family.
It had to be Paris. It had easily fall into place the way it did.
As the buildup for the trip grew, with it my anxiety. Were we ready for 14 days away from the kids? Were Grandma and Grandpa ready to handle three children? Would the kids survive without the routine (or lack thereof) that they were accustomed to with us? The excitement of the awaiting adventure distracted us and we made it through good-bye.
The vacation was amazing. It was Paris, after all. It was in the return that we received the greatest gift of all, overwhelming appreciation, love and confirmation – my family completes me.
Shortly after, I was contacted by a friend. She wanted to know tips on being able to cope while away on vacation.
Tips on surviving a much deserved mommy time out..
It is NOT about YOUR luxury –
You’ve been thinking that this trip, YOU getting to go on a vacation is about YOU … it’s about you “getting to have this experience”
What if you leaving was FOR YOUR CHILDREN -all for them, as if they’re the solo beneficiaries?
Our children had their own adventures, a snowstorm in Michigan at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, making apple sauce, baking a cake for my birthday (they celebrated for me), having their first haircuts and many other fun activities.
I NEVER predicted how AMAZING my absence would be for ALL involved.
My children were spoiled while I was away. They went shopping like it was a hobby. I feared that they would not want to return to me – my rules, my “no” to buying whatever they asked for, limits on sugar and all of the gloom and doom Mom Rules (side note, I used to be a lot of fun with children – before I had to be responsible for my own).
What I returned to was beyond beautiful. I had a flooding of emotion and tears (even now), as they told me, “Momma, I missed your hugs.”
“Sweetie, didn’t Grandma hug you while I was away? “
“Yes. She did, but it wasn’t a Momma hug. Your hugs are the BEST.”
Resist the urge to check in, call and chat with them. This only creates a longing for what you can’t have and it makes it harder to enjoy where you are.
ENJOY YOUR TIME AWAY.
Trust the adults who you’ve chosen to care for them in your absence. They’ll contact you if needed. Let go of the need for them to do it the same way you do. Your children will receive different treatment from those who are blessed to be with them and it is OK. Different helps to create appreciation for what they have at home.
The natural way to gratitude is through deprivation. They cannot miss you until you go away.
Be prepared for them to THRIVE.
Although exhausting, my dad and step-mother THANKED me for letting them be the ones – the ones to console, comfort, love and care for their grandchildren. “Star, it was a blessing to be the one up with them in the middle of the night, a blessing to establish that bond, the trust. It was special to see that they knew I could give them comfort. That is PRICELESS.
Enjoy this time and space, you deserve it. Your children deserve their own adventure AND your family deserves the you that’ll return with excitement, joy and a feeling a bit more radiant!