After a fun, relaxing overnight stay at a nearby resort with friends last weekend, I’ve come away with two overall lessons: vacations look good on me. And more is better.
Before I left for my weekend, I had the following conversation with Ava (9) and Rhys (4):
Ava: “Mom, why are you going away?”
Me: “So I can be a better mom.”
Ava: “How will going away for a night make you a better mom?”
Me: “When I spend time with my friends, I come back feeling relaxed and grateful for you and Rhys and Daddy. I want to model for you that moms get to do all kinds of fun things, with our kids, with our husbands, with our friends. When you have kids, I hope you’ll know it’s good to get away every now and then.
Rhys (looking up from her syrup-soaked waffle long enough to mutter): “I’m staying home with my kids.”
Ava: “I’m not! I’m gonna have play dates! Even mamas need play dates!”
Me: “Exactly! Mamas need play dates too!”
Have I mentioned my kid is a genius?!
I loved my time away last weekend. Loved it so much I was afraid to come home, unwilling to let that vacation feeling evaporate so soon. One night is not enough – two may have been perfect. (I may even be willing to try for three in the near future, but don’t tell my kids or husband.)
My weekend vacay almost didn’t happen. Our babysitter cancelled on Friday evening. The giddy feeling I’d carried for days tanked immediately. I was pissed. And devastated to have my weekend plans in jeopardy.
True to form, I started going into martyr mode, saying to myself: It’s fine, I’ll go another weekend. If I stay home, I can get stuff done around the house. I’ll relax here at home. I don’t mind. I’ll get a pedicure and it will be almost the same as going away to a spa for a night with friends.
Thankfully, my sanity kicked in within a few minutes – likely because I recently wrote about my martyrdom tendencies and wasn’t willing to confess a relapse to you all. (You saved my soon-to-be-massaged ass!)
When my husband and my parents offered to change their plans and take care of the kids so I could go away, I thanked them and didn’t look back.
I felt really taken care of the entire time I was away. One of my friends chauffeured me around all day. Other than being a decent roommate, I had no responsibilities, no drinks/meals/snacks to fetch, no toys to clean up, no fighting bouts to referee. Bliss.
After a heaven-sent massage, giggle-rich meals and a soul-satisfying sleep, my friend drove me home. I sat in the car in front of my house staring at the door, unwilling to transition into mom and wife mode.
“Don’t send me back in there,” I said. “I’m not ready. I don’t want any responsibilities for a few more weeks hours. I want to see my family, give them hugs and come back out.”
Is that wrong?
My friend offered to drive away and go to lunch instead. Tempting. But I knew I needed to go inside, face my family and re-enter my life. As I was pulling my suitcase out of the trunk, Ava ran out the front door and threw her arms around me, welcoming me home.
When I saw my husband and daughters, my heart melted. While I can’t say I really missed them while I was gone, I was happy and excited to see them, to be welcomed into the warm, inviting bosom of my family, my life.
Reality has its perks. And there are always more play dates.