Taking a step


This was the first year, as a mother myself, that I woke up on Mother's Day morning without my children.  For some, that may not be a big deal, but for me, it was huge.  When I became a mother, I felt like the only way to prove to myself, and the masses, that I was a good mother, was to totally and 100% devote myself to my children.  To their needs.  To their every whim.  Its true for most mothers that the needs of their children take precedence over the needs of their own.  But to what degree?  And for how long?

When is it ok to let out some of the rope?

I ask this question because the Hubbs has just booked a mini vacation to Vegas.  I will be gone 4 days and 3 nights from my kids.  Unheard of.  Seriously unheard of.  As soon as he said he booked out flight, I broke out in a sweat and my heart sank.  Could these kids get by without me?  Was that really possible?

Mac and her bubbles on Mother's Day.

I have friends that have been enjoying Adult only vacations for years.  Taking back little pieces of their lives and their marriages.  Trusting that trips away are good for the independence of the kids and the parents.  I know it's true.  I know it's healthy.  We all need a little space, a little time alone.  But what if they cry?

This brings me back to Mother's Day weekend.  I was so worried to book my ticket to Elevate, knowing that I'd be away the morning of Mother's Day.  What kind of mother does that?  Leaves her kids on the one day of the year that they are reserving just for her.  I was worried they would be mad.  They would ask for me and miss me.  None of that happened.  

Caitlin concentrating on the perfect bubble.

Turns out, good mothers, possibly great mothers know when to take a step back.  Possibly a step forward.  To enjoy solace, a little independence, and if they are lucky a lot of reflection.  To take a few days, even a few minutes away from the kids to recharge is quite possibly the greatest gift we can give ourselves.  We appreciate our children more.  We look forward to the little quirks that drive us crazy.  We even look forward to watching Madagascar for the umpteenth time.

This past Mother's Day, I took that step.  The one that told me my kids would obviously survive a few days without me.  They wouldn't cry the entire time I was gone, whine for me at bedtime, even notice I was gone. I took the step that told me it was ok, finally, to do something for me.  Something possibly on the selfish side.  

Reunited and it felt so good!

On Mother's Day I gave myself the gift of a little freedom.

8 comments:

  1. I'm going to BlogHer in July and it will be the first time I've left my husband or child for more than a day in years. As excited as I am about the conference there is still that underlying fear that the world will collapse while I'm gone. Loved the reassurance all will be well while I'm away! Still loving your takeaways from elevate :)

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  2. Love that you took time for yourself. I actually did the same on Mother's Day. It's one thing that I told Matt I wanted.. some time all alone that day to just relax and enjoy myself without feeling guilty! And, how fun will that be for you guys to get away? I'm jealous! Matt & I have only been away together for a weekend (in Vegas actually) a couple of years ago. Mom guilt sucks, until you get over it. Glad you took that step for yourself!

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  3. I absolutely love this post. I too have always wondered how mom could take a vacation away from their kids on Mother's Day weekend. But the way that you put it into perspective totally makes sense.;)

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  4. I went to a retreat in March for a weekend, and that was hard. I missed my littles so much. I'm planning to go to Hope Spoken next year and I know that will be even harder because I'll be leaving a baby behind. I already told my husband I would probably want to take the baby, but he said he would rather I go alone and enjoy myself. Thankfully, I have an awesome husband who encourages me to set aside some "me" time.

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  5. I haven't spent longer than 7 hours away from the baby. Not that I've really tried, but there hasn't been a reason to, not yet. It makes me nervous to just think about it though.

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  6. Have fun in Vegas! I am going next weekend for a work conference, and I have been having that same heart sinking feeling about leaving my little one.

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  7. VEGAS BABY! Can't wait to see you! You are making time for me right? ;P

    I've said it before and I'll say it again dear friend. In order to be a good mom and wife you need to take care of you too! Breaks are good for everyone :) TTYS!

    Kristine -The Foley Fam {unedited}

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  8. EVERY parenting workshop i've been to and every parenting book i've read says you MUST take time for yourself. in my opinion, a happy mama = happy kids. personally, i haven't been away from my younger one except for a one overnight work trip...but i knew he'd be fine.

    hope you enjoyed.

    Sisters Marie
    Start your Child's closet on BTGTF!

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