Last week my husband, mother in law and kids went to Disney World. After some debate over missing school, budgets and being close to Christmas, and leaving me behind for a week at 35wks pregnant… I decided that the pros outweighed the cons (my OB said NO-WAY for me to go buy that I should take the time to put my feet up).
Many of you emailed me, tweeted, messaged me, and called me and gave me some fantastic ideas of what I should do with all my “free” time. Topping the list was rest, nap, sleep, watch movies and eat. While I appreciated the suggestions… those were not topping my list. You said: a week to yourself, no kids, no getting up early, no cooking, folding, mountains of laundry, time to rest, shop, organize… the list could go on! Ok, ok… I was a tad excited to have some time to myself. More importantly, I would have a week to lock myself in the office to “get ahead” and prepare for when I temporarily ease out of there when baby #3 arrives.
I did bring things down from the attic, washed all the 0-6 months worth of clothes, completely organized my closet, cooked meals and froze them, went to eat lunch out with a girlfriend, got a pedicure and even a facial! The other thing I should mention is that did not get to sleep in and I put nearly 11 and 12 hour days in the office 4 days in a row, skipped one to attend a funeral, and was back at it the following day. Was it an optimal staycation? Probably not in your yes… but it was great for me! I worked non-stop and I didn’t feel guilty, didn’t have to wait in carpool lines, and did lots little projects.
The house was really quiet. It was nice to have the house clean and stay clean for a week, to only have to pick up after myself, and to not have to plan breakfast, lunch and dinner a week ahead of time. When night time rush-hour never happened, I found myself staring at my phone waiting for my husband to send me pictures that would recap their adventures. I missed my husband and children terribly and at times; and by the end of the week I had enough of being by myself. Seriously, even the cats looked at me funny because I talked to them!
This past week, I was reminded of how much I love being a wife and a mother, enjoy having my kids and their friends at the house in the afternoon, and how cooking meals for my family brings me pleasure. It turns out that I like chaos, loud kids, parenting and nurturing them, correcting them when needed, taking care of their needs, being a friend and a wife to my husband, and pulling out my hair while attempting to manage it all.
Could I live alone? Absolutely. I’ve been there and done that. Would I choose to? Never again. Life is more about creating memories and sharing moments with those you love than living for oneself. When I’m old, family is all I will want around me. I will want to tell them funny stories like when my kids super glued my hair, traveled by myself with the kids, how much I loved food, and most importantly: how being a parent has let me experience the kind of love that people freely die for.
Has your family taken a vacation and left you alone for a significant amount of time? Did you enjoy it?