I Did It – I Took a Long-Distance Break

DSC_0272I’m always terrified that something is going to happen. A car accident. A kidnapping. A freak choking episode.

Anxiety and stress keep me on my toes and I worry about my kids from sun up to sun down.

Most of the time it’s simple things like: Are they getting along with their friends at recess? Are they eating their school lunch? Are they learning to share?

But sometimes I worry about big, major things. Are-they-going-to-make-it-through-the-day? type things. Talk about posttraumatic stress.

It’s irrational and illogical but I can’t shake the worry that plagues me.

This worry makes it terribly hard for me to leave my kids. My husband tries to get me to do it a couple times a year. My mom and mother-in-law offer to babysit. But my nerves cripple me and I just can’t do it.

Until now.

I did it. I was gone for five days last week and my kids survived just fine without me. I’m pretty sure they were better off.

I feel a little guilty about having a good time without them. I also feel bad about pawning them off on their grandparents (because I know how crazy life with them can be) but it was totally worth it.

It gave me a much needed break from the 24-hours a day, 365 days a year job I call mothering.

I didn’t cook. I didn’t clean. I didn’t fold any laundry or sweep any floors.

I didn’t have to say things like, “Eat your food,” or “come on, we’re in a hurry.” I left those phrases and others like “Leave your brother alone,” at home.

I didn’t have to argue with my oldest on what he wanted to wear to school. I didn’t catch my 7-year-old making any type of “potions.” And I didn’t have to clean up any “accidents” left by my 3-year-old.

I’ve been a mom for more than 9 years and this is by far the longest I have had a break. (We did have to take our 11-month-old baby with but she is NOTHING compared to her brothers.)

It was liberating.

My husband and I flew across the country to Boston, MA.

We rode around on mass trans while we took in bits and pieces of the freedom trail. We toured the JFK Presidential Library and Harvard. We bought cheap, fresh fruit at the Haymarket. We watched the Red Sox crush the Phillies at Fenway Park.

We hung out with family we hardly ever get to see.

We ate where we wanted to eat, when we wanted to eat and I didn’t have to search on my phone for places with kids-eat-cheap discounts.

We didn’t argue with anyone about what souvenirs they could buy and no one complained that we had walked too far.

It was awesome.

I’m not going to lie I was a nervous wreck when we left. My stomach was in knots and I hardly slept the night before our trip. But I talked to my boys a couple of times a day and their rushed, I’m-having-a-great-time conversations reassured me that they were fine – probably too fine to be honest. I think they could have gone without me for twice as along. (They were more excited to see their little sister again than they were to see me.)

I don’t know when my husband and I do something like this again but for the time being it rejuvenated me.

If any of you get a chance to take a trip without your little ones, just do it. Don’t worry. I can’t promise you that nothing will happen while you’re gone because sometimes things do happen. But I can promise you that you will be a mom forever. If you wait to do things when you are “done” you will not do things.

Take the trip you’ve been planning for a long time. Read the book that’s collecting dust on your bookshelf and wear out the soles on your pair of running shoes.

I know I’m going to.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jessica
    Sep 10, 2015 @ 12:25:39

    I love it and soooo need to do this! I would love to head out east, so I will have to get some advice from you when I do.


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