Friday, January 04, 2013

Mommy Time

I recently returned from a 4-day hiatus in Florida, compliments of my sister-in-law who invited me on her trip and my husband who set aside the money to help pay for said trip.

He could tell I needed a break.

It wasn't just the holidays, it was the day-in, day-out grind that was getting me down, the fact that I do not get time away from my kids unless I'm at work, and we all know what a "break" work is.  Happy hour with friends after the kids go to bed don't count because I'm sacrificing sleep to be there.

It became readily apparent when my husband came upon me attempting to workout in the basement, with two little girls at my side. One was trying to lift dumbbells along with me, the other one was asking me to pause the program every two minutes to get her a band aid, a drink, look at her toenail, what have you, she clearly wanted my attention and I was unwilling to give it.

"I need my workout," I stated, "Daddy gets to work out by himself, why don't I?"

Daddy goes for a run to get his workout in -- hard to be interrupted by little ones that way. But I'm not a long-distance runner and never will be, so that's not an option.

Daddy gets to take a shower by himself without a 9-year-old coming in to announce her annoyance that laundry hasn't been done yet and she has nothing to wear to school.

Daddy also gets to spend time alone in the bathroom without someone walking in or, if the door is locked, pounding at the door, needing something. That. Very. Minute.

I can't help the fact that when someone calls "Mommy?" in the middle of the night my eyes instantly open and I'm immediately awake, no matter how deep a sleep or how good a dream I was having. It's not my husband's fault that they don't call "Daddy."

It's not his fault; it's part of being the mom.  And it was time for a break.

When the opportunity for this trip came up, my eldest sobbed herself to sleep that her mom was going away for four whole days without her, thus demonstrating once again how very badly I needed this break.

They dropped me off at the airport and went on their merry way to their grandparents for a little holiday visit. I spent time in an airport by myself, answering to no one but the page calling me to board the plane. 

My layover in Atlanta was extended by a delayed flight out of Atlanta to Panama City Beach, which meant I had time to grab some dinner and a glass of wine. I didn't have to worry about feeding little ones who get cranky if they were too long without nourishment.

I got up the next morning at the crack of whenever I felt like it. I fed myself whenever I got hungry. Or I should say, Laurie's friend, Claudia, fed me whenever I got hungry. One of the perks of this trip was vacationing with a chef whose idea of relaxing was spending 5 hours in the kitchen making gourmet meals for an appreciative audience.

I got a workout in every single day because yes, that is my idea of vacation time. I took a nap when I got tired. No one called for me in the middle of the night. We made grand plans to do things together and then never did them because we didn't feel like it. It was just so relaxing listening to the surf and feeling the warm breeze coming through the always-open patio window.

After four days I started missing my kids and my husband. That was just perfect, because it was time to board a plane and come home.

And now the "grind" isn't really a grind, it's more leisurely and less stressful because I don't feel worn down.

Perfect Mommy Time.


  1. I have long appreciated the effort Mommies put out. Your mother did not have to work when you were little and both of us appreciated that over the years. I still was amazed at how much energy it took just to withstand the questions and demands for attention. I was not very attentive, it was hard for me to handle two little girls and frankly I was grateful to go to work. Still, your time alone is extremely necessary and with you also working you need to fashion some time for yourself.

  2. That sounds wonderful. I so understand this. I had to do one work email this afternoon and there was some sort of magnetic force keeping Penelope whining at my side. Chris is amazing at taking her out and letting me get some me time, but if we are both in the house I'm the light and she's the moth. I never have a phone conversation until she goes to sleep. The funny thing is I remember my mom saying the surest way to get all her kids to want her attention at once was to spend more than 5 minutes on the phone. Ingrained in kids I guess...