I finally flew the coop this weekend. One of my very best friends is getting married in a few weeks, and as a bridesmaid, I was ecstatic to participate in the bachelorette party weekend. We stayed in an adorable, fully stocked house, and our only plans were wine tasting, wine tasting, dancing, and more wine tasting. Seriously. The type of weekend dreams are made of.
In between sips of wine and hilarious conversation, I was asked a few times if it was hard for me to pack my stuff and leave my kids for a weekend.
Short answer? Nopeity. Nope. Nope. Nope.
Long answer? I had not yet left the little guy anywhere overnight. Not because I hadn’t wanted to (someone take him, pleeeaaase) but because he’s a total mama’s boy who was attached to me, literally and figuratively, nursing until he was almost a year old and standing at the door and crying when I leave to go get groceries (aka wine). He is now 16 months old, so including his incubation period in my uterus, I had not been alone in over two years — two years since I had been alone longer than a few hours spent at the grocery store or out to dinner with girlfriends.
Two. Freaking. Years.
And let me tell you, it was such an amazing, unforgettable weekend that I didn’t even realize how badly I needed. I drank hot coffee. I laughed so hard I cried. I spent time with girls who knew me before I became a mom and met some amazing ladies who got to know me as more than just a mom. I got to get ready without mentally planning out what outfit to put each kid in while trying not to give someone a third-degree burn as they all pile into my tiny-ass bathroom to watch me straighten my hair (seriously, whyyy?).
I got dressed up to go to a dinner that didn’t involve cutting up chicken tenders and asking for more ranch dressing and playing tic-tac-toe and worrying if our food would arrive before someone had a breakdown. I danced to music that wasn’t Taylor Swift and surprised myself by remembering all the lyrics to the NSYNC and Backstreet Boys songs that were a staple in my teenage years.
I sat and had actual conversations with adults without being interrupted a million times or having to put my phone on mute to threaten someone with a time-out if they didn’t knock that shit off right now. I got to breathe. I got to sit in silence. I got to think. And when the fun was over and it was time to pack up and go, I could not wait to get home to my kids and my amazing husband (who’s the real MVP for taking care of our kids all weekend so I could go) because I actually got a chance to miss them.
Listen, mamas: There is no award for being the most tired, the most stressed, the most busy, or the most likely to lose her shit (if there was I would’ve gotten that one by now). Take the vacation. Go on the girls’ weekend. Plan the weekend or evening getaway with your husband or partner. If the opportunity arises for you to get out for a day or a night or an hour, run, don’t walk, your amazing ass out the door. Screw the mommy guilt that tries to bubble up in your brain as you pull out of the driveway. Your kids will be fine, you will all survive, and everyone will be better for it.
And just know that if your kids are anything like mine, they will run to greet you when you get home, smother you in hugs and kisses, word vomit all the things they did while you were away in under three minutes, and be back to whining, arguing, and driving you nuts within an hour, giving you all the more reason to start planning and fantasizing about your next great escape.