Do We Ever Really Get Away?

The idea of a vacation sans kids seems like an amazing scenario; one that provides a vision of absolute freedom. It is a beautiful thought filled with sleeping in and quiet mornings, adult nap time and late nights, as well as long showers and time to apply actual makeup. Do we really want this dream like escape or is it just a mere craving when days of motherhood and parenting get tough?

As I said my farewells and headed out on my two week foreign adventure in celebration of my ten year wedding anniversary, I was excited for what was ahead, but soon felt the expected tears started rolling down my cheeks. Family and friends told me this trip would be good for everyone and we would all benefit from the absence of everyday normalcy filled with lunch boxes, school car lines and potty training. I would be a better, more patient and relaxed mother, while the kids would be more independent. Off I went and had the trip of a lifetime with my husband, laughing at old times, reconnecting, and creating new memories we would laugh about in another ten years. Still, every day on my trip, in the back of my mind were my boys and how much my heart ached for them.
Technology has allowed us to stay connected, even when we promise ourselves we will take a break, shut down and disconnect. One sunny day on my trip, while relaxing by the pool and surrounded by breathtaking views, I looked around and realized that every single person had some form of communication device that was in use, some who even had two. Is this a good thing to be able to stay in touch while away from our children and do we ever really get to escape? I was in another part of the world, yet able to see my boy’s smiles, witness their laughter and let them share in the view from my balcony as I was experiencing it. However, did my ten minute Skype affair create happiness or invite sadness into my vacation? As I looked out over the Mediterranean Sea, looked down at my champagne glass and looked over at my decadent cheese platter, I quickly realized that I was where I should be and guilt would not be allowed. Over the next two weeks, every time my heart hurt from seeing little kids playing and missing mine, I would be brought back to reality by a screaming baby, a whining toddler and parents who told us how they wished they had left their offspring at home.
The recent poll I created on the Mommy Masters Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/mommymasters) showed that most people would check in everyday with their children on a kidless vacation. I wasn’t too surprised at the results, but have to wonder why we moms feel the need to know what is going on at all times when we are not there. What are we afraid of? Are we worried our children will miss us? Do we want them to know we are thinking about them? Could it be that we just can’t let go? So what if naps are off schedule and so what if there might be a few veggieless days…SO WHAT? As moms, we take pride in what we do, and believe that no one does it better, right? The thought that someone else might be able to run our households, love and care for our kids, and be the supermoms we are, is a scary one.
The truth is that no one can replace you and even though life goes on while you are away, your life continues on as well, so you should enjoy every minute of your kidless journey. In the end, my vacation was amazing, my kids were well taken care of, and they ended up having tons of fun on their parentless vacation. Relax, let go, and enjoy your trip…you deserve it!