As I tucked C1 and C2 into bed last night, they both chorused:
“Mum, you have to give us 14 hugs and 14 kisses since you won’t be with us for the next 14 days.”
As I gave them their 14 cuddles and kisses – and one extra each for good luck – I had a lump in my throat.
Hello? Why was I turning to mush? Why did I have this too-tight feeling in my heart?
I’ve been waiting for this day to arrive for a year now.
I’ve even been crooning along to Ol’ Blue Eyes singing: “Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today. I want to be a part of it, New York, New York.”
Yes, I’m off to New York and Boston.
On. My. Own.
No kids. No husband. No work. No worries!
Remember that Personal Space post I wrote about recently? Guess I’ll be having that in spades, starting tonight!
For the next two weeks, I’ll have the FREEDOM TO DO WHATEVER I WANT!!
The freedom to walk the Freedom Trail in Boston – or not – my choice!
The freedom to decide and deliberate over each pretty purchase in the East Village without somebody tugging at my jeans saying, “I’m bored. Can we go now?”
The freedom to sleep in and stay out late. Oh, joy!
So why this sudden emotional tug?
It’s not like I’ve never been apart from my kids before. And this time, they’re older and more self-reliant. They know the drill.
I’ve planned ahead. There’s a list of phone numbers and “emergency contact people”. There’s even a colour-coded time-table with minute instructions for B to follow each day. For instance: “Monday, 17 November: Karate @ 4:30pm. Take PCYC cards and water. Leave house by 4:10pm latest or you won’t get parking!”
My husband is perfectly capable of handling the household for two weeks. Of course he’ll do things differently. Maybe he’ll let them stay up way past their bed-time. Maybe he’ll feed them baked beans for dinner. Maybe he’ll tease them to the point of tears.
I don’t care.
I don’t even want to know!
But… maybe I do??
Maybe, after being a full-time stay-at-home mum for the past seven years it’s hard to let go? Maybe it’s Mummy Guilt? Maybe it’s a tug-of-war most mums face trying to strike a balance between your family and your freedom?
I think it starts the minute you find yourself peeing on a stick and then whooping with delight: “Two lines! I’m pregnant!!”
Freeze that moment in time, because from then on your children will always come first. The husband gets relegated to second spot. And your needs come last.
It happens instinctively. One minute you’re in your 20s, grooving on the dance floor at some hip, happening nightspot, all glammed up, not a care in the world. The next minute, you’re micro managing every itty-bitty decision pertaining to two itty-bitty toddlers (who have not a care in the world!).
So, yes, I’m going to miss my munchkins.
I’ll miss the patter of their feet on our floorboards as they charge into our bedroom for morning “cuddle sandwiches”.
I’ll miss seeing the wheels turn in Caitlyn’s head as she thinks up another thoughtful thought.
Hell, I’ll probably even miss Caleb 101 questions that range from the existential to the exhilarating to the exhausting.
For the next two weeks, I’ll give “Mummy Guilt” the finger and concentrate on ME!
So tell me, have you ever been away from your kids? Did you cope? If you had two weeks of freedom to do whatever you wanted, what would be top priority?