Going Solo

Posted on Nov 5, 2010 in Featured, Parenting | 2 comments

In a few hours, Aaron is going to drop me off at the shuttle that will take me to 30 hours away from my children. I’m going to the City to visit my sister, a couple of girl friends and to get some much needed maternity clothes. I will be gone two nights. This is BIG.

Rain is five years old. He co-slept with us until he was three when we started the slow process of transitioning him to to his own room: first in his own bed beside ours, then by having him nap in his new room, and then by switching him to sleeping nights in his room too. By this time, we were co-sleeping with his little sister Noa. This summer we transitioned Noa into her own bed in a room she shares with Rain. The process was surprisingly easy. Nevertheless, we wake up every morning with both of them in our bed.

I breastfed Rain until he was a little over two. He weaned when I got pregnant with Noa. Noa has also just recently weaned after two years of nursing. For the last six years, I’ve been non-stop pregnant or nursing and co-sleeping.

When Rain was two, Aaron and I went away overnight to celebrate our 5th anniversary. Rain stayed with my sister and I think we were actually gone less than 24 hours. Rain was a little sad but it went well and we probably would have done it again except that we got pregnant the next month so we started the whole process over again. Other than a few hours here and there when I’ve gone out with a friend, or Aaron and I have gone out and gotten a babysitter, or Rain went to preschool, or I worked part-time, that night away is the longest I’ve been away from my kids and they’ve been away from me.

And now I’m 24 weeks pregnant. In February, I will begin what will likely be another two years of nursing and co-sleeping. It’s high time Mama had a bit of an extended break.

I’m beyond excited about this trip. I will be able to:

  • Read a book or knit on the ferry (rather than chase active toddlers round and round the boat, or sequester ourselves in the car with a DVD on the laptop)
  • Go for dinner with a friend and stay for dessert (rather than rush to gobble the last of my meal and pay the bill before the toddler has a total melt down)
  • Leave a restaurant without having to pick up food off the seats and floor first.
  • Take transit and zone out listening to my own music on the ipod (rather than listen to non-stop child chatter or fighting)
  • Do whatever I want all day
  • Have uninterrupted conversations
  • SLEEP BY MYSELF. ALL NIGHT. TWICE.

I’m also incredibly nervous about this trip. I know in my heart that they will be fine. They will be with their dad who they adore and they have lots of fun things planned to do while I am gone. I will have a cell phone so they can call me whenever they need to. It will be ok. But it’s also a first and firsts are always a bit scary. I know there will be at least a few tears (on both sides) when I leave and over the weekend. I worry that two nights is too ambitious for a first separation. I worry that it’s unfair to leave Aaron with the full-time parenting over the weekend (hello irrational mother-guilt!).

But I know that this will be good for all of us. I know it’s important to get space for yourself every now and then. I know it’ll be good for the kids to have both the uninterrupted time with Aaron and the opportunity to see that they are capable of surviving  time away from me occasionally. I feel immeasurably grateful (and loved!)  that Aaron encouraged me to do this trip. Plus, when I get home, I will have more than 1 pair of pants that fit me. And more importantly, I will miss my kids insanely and when I see them again on Sunday morning, the best part of the whole trip will be holding them in my arms again and smelling their hair and hearing their non-stop chatter—as a refreshed and renewed Mama.

Tell me: What is your favourite thing to do when you get some time without your kids? And what is the thing you love most about seeing your kids again after being apart?

2 Comments

  1. That’s wonderful that you are getting a little getaway break. I had one of those when I was pregnant with my second child. It was only 24 hours and I so could have used one more night so I am glad to hear you are getting just that. As much as I loved my time I was so happy to see my daughter’s smile and get a big hug from her when I got back. It was nice to know I was missed. Enjoy!!
    .-= Melodie´s last blog ..Vegetarian Foodie Fridays 25 =-.
    Twitter: bfmom

  2. My 5-year-old LOVES sleepovers with her grandparents, but my 2-year-old is still nursing, so I haven’t had a night without at least one of them since he was born.

    But really, if I did? It would be ALL about the sleeping in, baby. That is what I miss most from my pre-kid days. I’d probably still get up at like 8:15, but it would be later than I normally sleep, and it would be my choice, and that’s the bit that matters.
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..I Have no Sister Wives =-.
    Twitter: AmberStrocel

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