A few weekends ago, I had the rare privilege to go on a trip to Chicago with my husband. Yes, that is correct we went on a trip just the two of us. My children are toddlers and this was not an easy thing to do. However, being a mom of two very high maintenance toddlers (aren’t all toddlers high maintenance) I knew that I needed to go. So, it went like this…
The week of the trip it finally hit me that I was going to leave my children with the grandparents for a long weekend and that I would be losing control over what they were allowed to do during the day. I like to have control of a situation. I like routine, consistency, and I like knowing what is happening at all times when it comes to my children. I am not sure why I am like this. My parents were very relaxed with me and I had a great childhood. My parents were not controlling so I know this did not come from them. But, somehow when I became a mom I became very tense, uptight, and nervous.
The day before we had to leave I started packing. Luckily, we got very busy the week of the trip so my mind was not only focused on leaving. So, when I started packing I started crying. I packed their clothing in different labeled bags, I made a first aid kit to go with them, I packed all necessary sleeping comforts. I made a list of things to tell the grandparents about their schedule, diet, clothing, and insurance cards. I was completely anal and over the top with my instructions. I know I probably offended someone along the line. However, my need for control took over. I somehow totally forgot that they raised me and my husband and they were perfectly capable to taking care of the girls.
We drove to my MIL’s house to drop off my babies for the long weekend and then we were going to the airport. The entire trip was pleasant. We talked and laughed with the kids. They watched movies and my husband and I had great conversation about just about everything.
We finally pulled up to her house and the butterflies started again. As I tell my kids good-bye, I bite my lip and make sure that I do not cry. After I walk out of the house I lose it and immediately start to cry. I was leaving my babies to fly to a city! What if the airplane crashed? What if one of them got sick? What if they fell and got hurt? All the “what ifs” totally filled my head.
The next morning we boarded our flight after having three hours of sleep and I slept the entire flight. I did not want to think about what would happen if the flight went down any longer. I kept all of these feelings from my husband because I knew he would think I was being totally ridiculous. Once we landed, I felt much better and after we got to the hotel I felt even better. We got into our room early and I realized that I could take a nap….a nap….well that sounded so lovely.
We went to sleep and when I woke up I had beautiful pictures of my children on my phone and they were smiling and happy. They had slept through the night, ate breakfast, and had been playing hide and go seek. So, finally I started to relax some and I was now ready to enjoy myself.
My husband and I were able to hold hands when we walked down the street. This is such a simple joy that I had missed so much. I used the bathroom by myself and did not have to worry about someone trying to stick their hands in the toilet before I could flush. I ate when I was hungry. I watched movies instead of cartoons. We went to restaurants and sat by the bar and did not have to wait for a table. We got to enjoy nice dinners without worrying about what time it was and when the babysitter needed to leave. I was so relaxed and felt like myself. I wore dresses and did my make-up. I wore pretty shoes and jewelry. I got to carry a purse. It felt so good to be me and to feel pretty again. However, deep down inside I was always wondering if my babies were eating, sleeping, having fun, and if they missed me.
The morning that we were going to go pick up the girls, I woke up with such excitement. I felt like I was a kid again and it was Christmas morning. Except this Christmas, I knew what I would be getting and it was the best gift in the entire world. When I walked up to my mom’s door, my oldest daughter saw me and came running. She jumped in my arms and squeezed me so hard. She almost cried and my heart grew so much. She missed me as much as I missed her. Suddenly, I was mommy again and I was so happy to be back with my girls.
It was nice to get dressed up, feel like my old self again, but I defiantly prefer the new me. The mom who gets hugs all day long, puts everyone before herself, does not get enough sleep, who hardly gets to eat a warm meal, and who always gets to share her dessert with two beautiful little girls. Being a mom is so much more rewarding. Yes, it can be challenging. Yes, it can be exhausting. But more importantly, I love these two girls more than anything on earth. They are funny and loving. They make every day an adventure. I truly cannot express just how blessed I am. This is what I was meant to be…who I love to be and I love my life.
So, moms out there who never want to leave their children, I understand why. However, sometimes time away helps refresh your soul and really puts things in perspective. It shows you where you need to be and allows your heart to remember what you love the most. I love being a mommy and I would not change it for the world…not even to feel pretty again or to pee alone.