For the first time in thirteen years, I left my children with my White Knight husband for more than a 2-hour trip to the store. I went away this summer without my children for a girls’ week getaway to Scotland. In the process, I learned quite a bit about myself, my White Knight, our children and our lives together on the whole. And on the whole, it was a very positive experience.
We moms always worry just a bit when leaving our littles behind, so many of us don’t take that time away on our own. Sure, we’re advised to, but how often do you really see a mom just up and leave for even a weekend, much less an entire week? I knew the White Knight was taking the week off work, so “childcare” was covered, but how would their meals go? What would he do with them? He reassured me time and again that he had activities planned for them, but… we moms worry! I tried not to; intellectually, I knew they would be fine, but, but, but…
I packed my bag and as we left to go through the security checkpoint for the International Gates at the airport… my two- and four-year-olds began to wail piteously. That was a heartbreaking moment for this Mama, for sure! After some hasty texting at the gate, I was reassured by The White Knight that all were happily eating donuts before they left for the car. (As an aside: Am I so easy to replace??)
While I had a complete blast with my two long-standing girl friends, I also had some time to examine some things. As my friends worried off and on about me overexerting my then 5-month-pregnant self from all the up and down hill walking we were doing, I realized that I am stronger than I thought, but walking with kids (and all their “gear”) is much more difficult than even climbing a steep hill unencumbered. And a few strange things – like when I was startlingly and unexpectedly moved by the music, pride, and events at the end of the Bagpipe Competition that we stumbled upon in one town.
And for a lot of our trip my “mommy-brain” diminished. I could think and remember what I wanted to remember! And I had a prayer bracelet that I wore, and fiddled with constantly. As I fiddled with it, I determined that I would bring prayer back into my life in a serious and earnest way. Sad as it sounds, it is easy to “forget” to do meaningful prayer when dealing with five every day, all day. So I prayed for the people in my life whom I know need help with various issues.
And on rare occasion, I considered what The White Knight and my crew were doing – was he actually taking them out while I was gone? What were they eating? For the most part, we only really “talked” (virtually, of course!) to discuss finances so neither of us found ourselves short of funds.
Well, when I returned home, The White Knight recounted that Monday had been pretty rough for our crew, as they readjusted to Pop’s standards of cleanliness. Pop tends to be a little more thorough on an every-day level than Mom is. But after that initial adjustment, Pop took advantage of the local historical sights – the children saw Williamsburg, and Yorktown and Jamestown; they went to Busch Gardens; they saw a new movie.
The White Knight really came through, and the kids were closer to Pop than they were before I left. They interacted differently, and were calmer and happier than before. And Pop was too. Though it was no surprise that he took great care of the kids, I was surprised by how well it had gone, and how good it had been for my kids to be without me – and with him – for that week.
I love my kids, and have always stayed home with them. They are homeschooled, and so with me almost all the time. And after this trip, though I may not take another week, I do think that not only is it good for me to get away for even just a night or so, but I’m going to start encouraging my husband to do that too, and maybe down the line we’ll get away together and give the kids time to bond with The Grands for a few days. Right now, our youngest is still a little too young for that (due in December), but I have to say that the benefits were so unexpectedly great on all fronts that I am looking forward to the next trip!
Tillie is mom to six homeschooled wonders. With each day, her goal is increasingly to find ways to feed her family in Mind, Body, and Soul and to spread that effect to those around her. She feeds their bodies with Young Living Essential Oils, mostly-homemade pesci-vegetarian foods, and plenty of outdoor exercise; Minds are fed with good books and out-loud reading and time to explore outside personal interests; and Souls are fed through active involvement in their local Orthodox church. When not galavanting around she recharges her own soul through writing, building her Essential Oil business (her goal is to make it so her husband can retire without worry in a year), cooking and reading good books. Live Life, Love Life, No Regrets. You can find her at Little Connections Add Up to a Lotta Life.