Sleeping in Seattle

I’ve never left my kids. Never, not even once, to go away for a weekend, or even a night. My husband was dense enough to suggest that they were, in fact, left when I was in the hospital having another one, but the withering, scalding look he got made him reconsider that idea.

In less than two weeks, I have been invited to go away for the weekend to Seattle. All alone. By myself. No kids. No husband. No one pulling on me, barfing on me, needing crackers or milk or to be changed. No one requiring my adoring gaze while they perform a cool new trick or draw a wobbly crayon heart. No one waking me up in the middle of the night wanting  drink of water, or a kiss or anything at all…

I will get to have dinner with colleagues. I will get uninterrupted adult conversation, meals in restaurants without clowns or large rats as their mascot, a night or two of completely uninterrupted sleep, which I haven’t had in over five years, and the ability to poke around in my free time in bookstores and cafes or wherever my whim takes me.

So why am I unsure of going? Why, when my husband is totally competent and encouraging me to take advantage of the invitation, am I hesitating?

12 thoughts on “Sleeping in Seattle

  1. There are probably several reasons. Some that I can think of off the top of my head:

    One, I seem to remember that every time you leave your husband alone with the kids, it ends up being a fiasco involving toothpaste and poop. You may not want to subject him to that.

    Two, you may not feel sure of yourself in living that life anymore. You may wonder what you are actually going to do, and how fun it will actually be, and maybe even partially wonder if you’re doing it “right.”

    Three, sometimes it’s even harder to come back to kids and sleeplessness and all that fun stuff after such a major difference. The adjustment is hard, and once you’re in a groove, you don’t want to have to adjust again.
    Total breaks like that show you how busy you really are, and the thought of going back to that busy-ness can be hard.

    Of course, it’s your decision as to whether or not you want to go. I think if you can let yourself enjoy it without feeling guilty the whole time, then you should go. You’ll miss your kids and your hubby, but a weekend is not forever. It’s not even close to forever.

    I give you permission to not feel guilty if you decide to go.

  2. I took a weekend trip to Boise for a Time Out for Women about 2 years ago. It was a hard thing for me to do because I’m ALWAYS putting my kids and hubby first. But I went and I laughed with people who didn’t call me mom. We went shopping and to a movie and to my favorite resturant. I felt refreshed and ready to go when I got home. I think I was a better mom because of it. I know that I can’t focus on myself all the time. But, I don’t think it’s wrong to take a weekend every now and then. My vote is for you to GO! :) But, I agree with the Wiz too, if you are going to be miserable, then maybe it wouldn’t be worth it. I think once you got there, and had things to focus on, you’d have a great time. Just my two cents :)

  3. I’ve gone away a few times without the kids. It’s always harder on the mom than on the little ones. They are getting a little vacation, too! A new primary caregiver (even if it’s Dad) means that things are done a bit diiferently, and my kids have always enjoyed it.

    And I’ve found that as much as I love them before I go, I love them even more when I get back.

  4. I can understand your hesitation. I am dealing with the same thing coming up soon. I only have two children 3 and 1, and have never left them since my son was born. My husband and I will be going on a cruise for our 7 year anniversary…so my children will be taken care of various members of our family.

    The feelings that I am fighting with are these. I have always put my kids first. I am the one who does everything for them. I have taken care of them every single day of their little lives. There is a part of me that wants to go, but the other part thinks that I am the only one that can make them happy. The thought that someone else can take care of them, and they will be fine without me…kinda in a way hurts. Letting go of that can sometimes be hard, but I think that it is vital for us as mothers to do just that.

    I think I also have a hard time identifying myself without my children. To think of going somewhere without having to make sure the diaper bag is packed, sippy cups filled, etc, etc.etc. Is such a foreign thing that it is somewhat scary. And maybe we feel guilty that we are actually having a good time, and admitting that we like that betrays our love for our children.

    The funny thing is that none of that is the case. We need to be able to go somewhere to rejuvenate ourselves. We need a break. And you don’t have to feel guilty that you are having fun. If your husband is willing to let you go…jump for it…before he changes his mind! He will probably have a hectic weekend, but hey he will get a little taste of how everyday life is for you…and then he will appreciate what you do even more.

    I hope you decide to go. Have a blast, and then come home and love your babies more and more!

  5. Why are you hesitating? Because it’s hard to leave your babies, that’s why. DH and I took a week long trip to London when J was 12 months old, and we left him with my VERY capable mother, who raised 6 kids for heaven’s sake. When we landed, I literally did not want to get off the plane, and practically had a panic attack because I was AN OCEAN AWAY from my baby! Dh assured me that nothing bad would happen, and I eventually relaxed. Since then, I’ve left him with Dh a handful of times overnight. I am always glad to leave, and even happier to come home. And that means a lot–to see a different life and know that you are still happier with the one you’ve got.

    I can remember times when my parents left for an extended period of time–a week here and there. It was a disruption in our schedules, yes, and I was always glad when Mom and Dad came home and things returned to normal. But we survived just fine, and there were even things about our other caregivers that were different that I really liked. For example, one babysitter always let us have purple Crush and cookies with lunch–wow, mom NEVER did that. And when my aunt stayed with us for a week, she was much more regimented about our morning routines, and even cooked us breakfast in the morning. Of course, she also got us up at least a half an hour earlier than my mom, but at least we were never late for school!

    You should go. You’ll be glad you went, even if you do come home to toothpaste and poop!

  6. What a difficult decision you have to make! I have been in similar situations before, but once I stopped and looked at the real reasons why I was hesitating it was much easier to make my choice.

    For me I had to let go of the fact that the kids’ routines would be a little different and the house would be a little messier, but when push came to shove, did it really matter? As long as their basic needs were being met that was just fine. It didn’t matter how they got to school, just that they got there and felt loved in the process.

    One other thing I had to let go of was my fear. For so long now I have been the stay at home mother. Kids and the DH really are the main focus of my life. Can I handle being on my own again? Will I have anything in common with these people? Will I feel hurt, offended or rejected by these colleagues for the way I have chosen to lead my life?

    All I can say is make this a matter of prayer and go with what you feel is right and what you feel is best for you and your family. But remember, fear of the unknown is not a reason to stay home. Remember to have the opposite of fear .. faith!

    Good luck! I am curious as to what you are going to decide to do. If you do make it to Seattle, I know the area pretty well. Let me know if you need anything :) !!

  7. If I may put forth a slice of practical male philosophy; the truth is
    that you’re being timid and wishy-washy. This is everything you’ve been
    murmuring about for the last four or five years, and if you don’t take this
    opportunity for yourself, I will NEVER let you live it down!

    I don’t even care if you decide to say you’re going ,and then just go fart
    around for two days in the town of your choice. You will take this mini
    vacation or you will hear about it for the next four or five years.

  8. Fear of the unknown remembrance. Kage said it well when she talked of going on the photo shoot to LA. She felt guilty and completely indulged at the same time.
    Have a good time and they’ll appreciate you all the more when you get back!

  9. I have one word for you: Control…. Hard to give it up to D when you are always the one doing everything…just take a deep breath and go!

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