I have this fantasy that runs through my head in the middle of the night when things get particularly fraught with the kids’ sleep.
Imagine if I got up, left the house unannounced and just checked into a hotel?
Imagine knowing exactly how much sleep I was going to get. Imagine being in control of when I wake up. Imagine, FOR ONCE, me not being the end of the line between the kids and sleep.
There is nothing quite like the unspoken laws of Sam being able to remove himself to the sofa to get an undisturbed sleep, and a child rather reliant on breastfeeding at night to say without saying anything that the responsibility always ends with me.
It’s tough, having children that wake frequently. It’s tough, sharing a double bed between three. It’s tough, never having enough space in bed, being forced into sleeping positions at the will of my toddler, night on night. It’s tough, dealing with this alone whilst Sam is away. Having no respite in the day or at night.
And so, whilst Sam was away at the beginning of the month, I kept focussing on my upcoming weekend away. My first ever time away on my own, without Sam, and the first time I would be away from the children for not one, but TWO nights.
I get to escape. I actually get to live out my fantasy.
I can choose to focus on the daunting aspects of this. (Will Sam be OK? He’s never done a whole night with the kids by himself, let lone two. What if they get ill? What if I feel lost? What if I can’t keep up with the drinking and the late nights?)
Or I can choose to be excited and focus on all the things I used to take for granted pre-kids, embrace a one-off two days of only being responsible for myself.
I almost cracked when Rory was very poorly in they days leading up (Is this the right thing to do??), but the spirit of my Year of Me is pretty far ingrained now, and I knew there was only one way to play this.
I decided there was no room for responsibility, worry, and guilt in my suitcase. I needed to leave all of that behind. Because this weekend was for me.
(Well, actually it was for my friend’s 30th birthday, but let’s just bring the focus back round to me again.)
Things I learned during my first post-children weekend away with friends:
I am pretty well-equipped to keep up with late nights. A solid sleep between 5am-10.30am two nights in a row is not dissimilar sleep to my average night at home. I am well-trained at sleep deprivation.
I just can’t muster up the same level of enthusiasm for farm animals and zoos as my friends can. I see this stuff all the time. ALL THE TIME.
Lazy mornings and just lounging around for the half a day will never NOT feel weird.
19 month Rory must be gradually taking less milk, even though his habits seem little different to half a year ago when he was 13 months. 6 months ago when we were away for one night I was needing to pump in the evening before bed and straight away again in the morning. This time, I made it to half way through Day 2 before needing to pump, and even then I got by OK for another day after a pump/voltage incompatibility.
Having a bed to myself will never NOT be AMAZING.
Nothing screams “30 YEAR OLDS” more than a room full of people dancing to the entire Spice Girls album.