…and it was FREAKING FANTASTIC.
For those who don’t know, I’m just back from almost a whole week away from my husband and boys in Nashville, Tennessee. If you had told me a year ago I’d be able to leave my three tiny boys (ages 17 months, 4 and 5) for a whole week I think I would have told you to shut the front door.
I had pretty intense PP anxiety when my oldest, Henry, was born. It was still there with both Johann and Wil, but to a lesser degree. The first time I left Henry was when Johann was born (in my defence they’re only 14 months apart). I had surgery when Johann was 3 months old. My surgeon wanted me to stay overnight to rest but I checked myself out of the hospital basically from PAR. With Wil, my third, I distinctly remember shortly after we brought him home from the hospital I could barely take a shower or nap without him by my side.
So how did I go from being a crazy anxious Mama Bear barely able to leave my babes for a shower to being able to take a whole week away from them? A supportive, enabling partner; encouraging friends; insight into burnout and helping hands at home.
I’ll admit…I was a tad anxious leading up to the day of departure. I think it was likely a blessing that I had to leave for the airport the same time of the usual chaos of getting the kids organized and out the door as there wasn’t time for long drawn out good-byes. Though I was missing my family, the airport was a lot smoother then it is travelling with three kids. No strollers. No car seats. Just me and my carry-on luggage.
I brought lots to keep me distracted and busy and the flights were a breeze compared to all our recent travel that involves wrangling and entertaining busy toddler brains. Despite enjoying a peaceful flight and the opportunity to watch a movie uninterrupted I was still feeling a bit lonely…until I saw my pink-haired BFFs waiting for me at the Toronto airport.
We hadn’t seen each other in person since my wedding almost 6 years ago!!! It was a long overdue reunion and we fell back into conversation as if we had seen each other last week.
From then on, though I missed my family but I was truly able to embrace my time away. We spent the week catching up, making plans for the future (three words: National Marketing Director), getting inspired by the Neora Get Real conference, exploring Nashville and generally getting stoked on life. When I got back to Victoria I was soooo excited to see my guys. I felt like I had my batteries re-charged and able to be a more patient mother, supportive partner and inspired to make positive change to incorporate to maintain self-care and balance each and every day.
The funny thing about the timing of this vacation too is that literally a bunch of news articles just came out about how mom-cations are recommended. Apparently there is an amazingly awesome researcher, Dr. Nava R. Silton, who has recently been speaking about the importance of mom-cations.
She talks about how stressful motherhood can be (yep), overwhelming (agree) and full of demands (100%). She also talks about Mom Guilt (which I feel needs a whole blog post on its own…) and has been cited saying “it’s very important for kids to see that balance that ideally needs to be achieved in a family situation”.
Preach, Dr. Silton. Preach.
So Mamas….get out your planner and book yourself a little mom-cation today. I’ve already got my next one in the books…who wants to join me?