My First Weekend Away…Alone

This weekend I did something that I haven’t done in years. I went away for a weekend by myself.

I can’t actually even remember the last time I did it. I know my son was born in March 2014 so it was definitely before that. My daughter was born in July 2015.

Because I live abroad, between the jigs and the reels, I have only ever left them overnight once.

This isn’t something I’m proud of. It’s just how things happened because when you’ve no family near you to babysit it doesn’t occur to you to organise weekends away. I had been toying with this idea of going to Dublin. A lot of my friends live there but because I’m not from there anytime I go home to visit my family I never manage to see my friends. I haven't seen some of them since I had my first baby! When I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd I thought: “Lonely Mom, it’s now or never! If you don’t go now, it will be another 2.5 years before you manage it!”

So I decided I’d go to Dublin for a weekend….alone…no children…no husband…just me.

How exciting! I couldn't believe I had finally taken the leap. Made the decision! And then I proceeded to do absolutely nothing about it. I just couldn't book that flight! I kept finding excuses and delaying…I just couldn’t push the button, it was never a good time…maybe later when things are a bit calmer…but soon…definitely soon…but not now. So when my birthday rolled around and my husband just booked the flight for me part of me wanted to yell “ OMG what have you done! Now the world is going to end!!!”

But it didn't end.

Instead the weekend got closer and closer and as it did I was more and more convinced that it would be just easier if I didn’t go. If I didn’t go then I wouldn't have to pre-prepare dinners, or get playschool uniforms ready, or torment myself wondering why my daughter who has been sleeping through the night for months was suddenly waking up twice a night again (she knew I was leaving see, so it would be better to just stay..obviously no?). By Thursday evening I was at the end of my tether. Why had I done this? Why had I made my life so incredibly difficult? Why couldn't I just stay at home and never go anywhere ever again and everything would be fine?

And then Friday morning came and my last thought before going out the door was “Damn this handbag is too small to fit a packet of baby wipes” …before realising I didn't need baby wipes! I DIDN'T NEED BABY WIPES!!

And then I left.

And before I even got to the airport I had already exited ‘Mom-mode’.

That sounds mean, like I couldn’t wait to get away from my children. But it wasn’t like that. It’s like there was this sudden switch in my brain, once I’d finally left, that they’d be grand. Sure they were with their father all weekend. He’d feed them pizza and pasta interspersed with cream, let them watch cartoons whenever they wanted, take them to the bouncy castle…they’d love every minute of it.

I remember my mother once telling me a story of when we were young and she went through a small spell of doing relief work as a nurse. She was technically a full time stay at home mother but the odd time she’d pick up some shifts. The very odd time. One evening as she was going out my brother fell and loosened a tooth. She said if she’d been staying at home that evening she’d have worried the whole evening, checking and double checking that the tooth hadn’t fallen out and that maybe he’d swallowed. But instead she went to work and said she just completely switched off from the tooth drama and focused on the work at hand. And of course the tooth was grand in the end. So that’s what I was like.

I’m telling you, I saw the airport in a whole new light! Look how I can cruise through the cafe tables with no buggy, check me out just going to the loo whenever I want and on the plane I even ordered a boiling hot cup of tea just for the pleasure of knowing it wouldn't get knocked over in 5 seconds.

And the weekend…it was amazing. I thought I’d be kind of distracted looking for wifi to facetime the children and check they were ok, or half listening to conversations over dinner wondering were my own two currently choking on a piece of bread. But I wasn’t. Not at all! I facetimed for about 30 seconds on Friday evening and again on Saturday and I was home by Sunday evening so there wasnt even any need to call. And I wasn't tired at all. I’m always tired! I crash into bed despite all sorts of intentions at 9pm every evening.

My friends were asking me at midnight was I wrecked and all I could think was amazingly I’m not. Not at all!

I ate Thai food in a restaurant where a buggy would definitely not have fit. I drank a non-alcoholic fruity cocktail in the bar of a gorgeous hotel and even though it tasted awful I still loved every minute.

I ate chips and didn't have to share any.

I wandered around Brown Thomas trying on various testers and sprays of perfume. I even bought a coat!

And then I came back to Italy and it was brilliant to see them all again. Like a novelty or something. So will I do it again?? Absolutely!!! But I doubt I’ll manage it before the next baby arrives….But after that definitely. Well, as long as someone else actually books the flight and manhandles me out the door when the time comes I suppose…