I actually did it. I packed a suitcase, got on a plane, flew thousands of miles, and left my 15-month-old and my husband home alone on the West coast while I was galavanting around the Midwest. And in a word? It was AWESOME.
I will admit, I was a little nervous going into it. My husband is an amazing dad, and while I have never doubted his abilities as a parent, he’s never really had to be 100% in charge. He works a lot, and most of the time he’s not working we spend together as a family. So his solo time with Cullen has been limited to a few hours here and there – never a whole day, and definitely not a whole weekend.
But the minute my plane touched down in Ohio, all my worries disappeared. Casey was clearly rocking it. On Friday, he took Cullen to a friend’s house while he worked (this was planned in advance), and that night they headed out for a “boys’ night” and got Mexican food. The rest of the weekend he was at museums, some of Cullen’s favorite play spaces, taking him for bike rides, walking the dogs, going out to lunches, and just generally kicking ass as a single dad.
We video chatted a few times, and I could see how much fun they were having. It was so nice to not have to worry a bit, knowing Casey and Cullen were having a great time, and I was free to have a fabulous time of my own. I relaxed, visited with friends, went to a fitness class, went out to eat for almost every meal, got a long foot massage from my mom, slept in until 9:30, and ate an alarming amount of frozen yogurt. Did I miss my boys back home? Of course. Did I think about it and feel sad all weekend? Not for a moment.
I love being a mom, and I love it even more now that I got a chance to get away and get some time to myself. It wasn’t selfish, it was self preservation. As parents, it’s too easy to let your identity disappear between laundry and music class. But I have learned the hard way that it’s so important to take time out for myself, and to nurture the things and relationships that are important to me. That is exactly what I did this weekend.
Knowing it went so well at home was icing on the cake, and leaves me hoping I can do it again. I doubt I’ll make it a regular thing, since travel is expensive, and most of the time I really just want to be home with my family. But it’s nice to know that we’re at a point where I don’t need to be quite as attached as I used to be, and it’s a very freeing feeling.