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Friday, August 30, 2013

No more kid free vacations

A mother should always vacation with her children. And this is not for the reasons you may be thinking—creating memories, educational experiences, bonding, etc.

No, it is because if you have time off from the mommy job it is really hard to readjust to being the one thing those little people can't live without.

Almost two years ago I went on vacation without my kids. Actually it wasn't really a vacation, although it often felt like one; I was flying solo –literally-- to Massachusetts for my grandfather's funeral. For reasons beyond my control, I could not take my children, who were 3 and 5 years old, at the time. So for five days I was kid-free. For the first time in years I was living free and easy; no crying, no fighting, no meals to get on the table at scheduled times.

The first night I arrived ended up being the first party night I had had in more than 5 years. My cousins and I, many of whom I had not seen in years, went out on the town. We went to a loud, raunchy bar, and then out for late night nachos. It was awesome. I didn't have to worry about getting home for a sitter or worry about dealing with little children while suffering from a pounding hangover the next day.

The rest of the week was a little less carefree. I attended a day's worth of wake for my grandfather, and his funeral the next. Despite that, it still felt like a vacation.

As I sat on the plane returning to Nova Scotia-- my mind was turning over the duality of life. I was looking forward to seeing my children but I did not have the same enthusiasm for returning to the mommy job.

It was a few days after I got back before I felt like I was back in mommy mode but I did learn a valuable lesson; those breaks that I often longed for from my kids were not worth the mental toll it took on me when I had to come back to my mommy world.

This summer I have had lots of vacation time; lots of time exploring new places and things with my kids. While sometimes I might have liked to be alone; it's been good to share these adventures. Right now it is time to make lunch as we spend our last weekend of the summer farm-sitting for some friends. Cows, chickens, a dog and a big barn--the kids are loving it and I am writing. What could be a more perfect vacation.

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