Friday, August 26, 2011

Mom Takes A Vacation...No, Really.

Ladies, today I’m delivering a special Mom Public Service Announcement. After 46 months of continuous
pregnancy or nursing (or both) I took a vacation from my kids! I ditched them with my husband for a whole weekend and my mom-friend, Lisa, and I hit the road! My husband asked me which of us was Thelma and which was Louise. *Obviously* I’m Louise. Wait, which one got to sleep with Brad Pitt? I wanna be that one. Anyway, I’m here to tell you that a Mom’s Vacation DOES EXIST. I still can’t believe I actually got away with it. I feel like I just saw a Pegasus or a Unicorn or some other fangled thing that you think couldn’t possibly exist. But I did it does! WOOT!

I should back up and clarify that this weekend away was well overdue. I’m a stay-at-home mom whose
husband works insane hours six days/week…so for the last three years I have been on-duty with my two kids from sun-up to the last bedtime story with no relief pitcher. When my husband is around on the weekends he pretty much just follows my lead and relies on me to take the initiative with the kids because I’m the boss, applesauce.

I can’t tell you exactly what set me over the edge. Maybe it was that spring didn’t reach Massachusetts until June and then it was suddenly 95 degrees. Or maybe it was that my adorable, plump baby stood up and ran away from me a week after his birthday in March and I haven’t stopped chasing since. In any case, I realized I was pissy, exhausted, and totally losing my schmidt. There were a couple warning signs that I was becoming unhinged: 1) I poured myself a 10oz glass of white grape juice at 4pm and my mother-in-law just assumed it was white wine and 2) I caught myself regularly pulling into our driveway and just…sitting there with my head on the steering wheel. I couldn’t help it--turning off the engine would mean unbuckling the kids and releasing two honey badgers back into the wild. I honestly didn’t even realize I was doing this until one day my three year-old’s voice reached me from the back seat: “Mommy? Can we go in the house now? I have to pee. Are you OK?”

I was losing it. My husband could see the wild look in my eye. My kids were always all up in my grill. I never had a chance to miss them, which I know is a blessing, but it also means I was taking their awesomeness for granted. My daughter’s hilarious questions became annoying and my son’s needy cries for me sounded like nails on a chalkboard. I started to resent them instead of cherish them. I emailed Lisa and told her to pick a weekend in June and make sure her mom or husband could take her kids for one night…I had to get away.

My friends, you can do this, too! Here are the key components to a successful Mom’s Vacation:

1. You don’t have to pick a fancy location or an expensive hotel. The point is to spend one night outside of your house where you don’t have to share a bed with a sweating toddler or a snoring, flatulent husband. You get to go to sleep when you want and wake up when you want. It is bliss.
2. Do choose a hotel that has a restaurant within walking distance because you must…
3. Go out for a nice dinner and order a bottle of wine. Maaaaaybe one bottle for each mom. Revel
in that fact that you did not shop for the groceries, prepare the meal, beg anyone to finish their
food, and you don’t have to do the freakin’ dishes.
4. Do at least one fun, silly, or frivolous thing that you never get to do with your kids or husband around.

You’ve earned it. Go get a manicure, buy a trashy magazine and sit at Starbucks for three hours, or go see a movie. Lisa and I decided to visit a psychic and have a Tarot Card reading—something I’ve always wanted to do but my husband regularly told me was a waste of time and money. Suck it, hubby! I make the rules on Mom’s Vacation! [Editor's Note: The psychic could see in the cards that I have two kids and then told me, without hesitation, I’m going to have a third in three years. I almost passed out.]

Now that I’m back I can tell you that it may be one of the best ideas I’ve ever had. My daughter came down with the stomach flu about four hours after I left (puke pyrotechnics) and my husband got a true glimpse of how my toughest days can feel. When I walked in the door on Sunday the smiles on those
three faces made me feel like a goddess. My little guy didn’t let go of me for 15 minutes. My daughter detailed the travails of her vomiting with pride before declaring, “Mommy is home now and she always takes care of me!” And my husband, that wonderful, tired man, pulled me aside and told me he was so
glad I was home. I know he has a new appreciation for my job. He actually said, “My God! Taking care of
them with no break is like Chinese water torture! It just.never.stops.”

Ah, but it does. Mom’s Vacation, anyone?

PSA, over and out. Brad's waiting...

xoxo, Guru Louise

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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