I’m taking a giant leap out of my comfort zone next week and doing something I have never done before. I’m going on a trip, to a conference actually, out of town and I’m not bringing my husband or either of my children along with me. I am leaving the three of them to fend for themselves while I hop a flight and spend a few days focusing on something that I am passionate about — something that is separate from my role as a wife and a mother.
If I am being honest, thinking about it makes me panicky, very panicky. Who will make sure that the kids are wearing clean and matching clothes and that their school bags contain everything on the mile long list they need to survive for eight hours away from home? Who will comb out my 2-year-old’s messy curls at night so she doesn’t wake up with a rat’s nest on her head and remind everyone for the eleventh time that day that the stairs are not a place to play? Who will ensure the family eats something besides toaster strudels and Cheez-Its for every meal?
My husband, that’s who, and I’ve been trying to remind myself of that every time I’ve gotten the urge to cancel my flight over the last few days. It is harder than I thought, even when making a conscious effort to do so, to extricate the parts of my personality, the things I am passionate about, that are not related to motherhood. Hard, yes, but not surprising. I have spent the last five years burying parts of me under Nick Jr. and finger painting and nursery rhymes. My handbag, once an accessory to complement my cute outfit, has become more function than fashion.
Still, somewhere beneath the layers of diapers and wipes and extra size 5T pants is a tube of lip gloss way at the bottom. I would like to unearth that lip gloss next week and maybe, if I get really crazy, I’ll even find a little mascara somewhere in the mix.
Though I can’t promise I am going to skip out the door to the airport carefree next week, I am going to try and give my husband a little credit and myself a little break. I’m not going to leave a novella of instructions. I am not going to place repeated frantic calls home to ask how things are going. I am going to enjoy myself.
Hold me to that, folks.
Read more from Amber on her blog The Daily Doty.