As I write this, I have been alone in my house for the past three days and it has been glorious.
How does a mother of three young children get three whole days alone in her home? Well, we are in the challenging time period where camp is over, but school hasn’t yet started. My husband and I both work from home (thanks to the pandemic) and having three kids around the house while we try to work translates to massive amounts of screen time (not ideal).
So, I took the girls away for a long weekend to a friend’s house at the Poconos in Pennsylvania last week. And this weekend my husband has taken our daughters to a hotel in Columbus. The last time I was alone in my house like this was when my husband would go on a business trip before we had kids. It’s been almost 10 years.
Over the past three days, I have learned, while I truly enjoy being a mother, I thoroughly enjoy my alone time too. This weekend has given me the opportunity to focus solely on my needs.
I have taken a break from refereeing arguments, navigating others’ emotions or hurt feelings, telling my kids to brush their teeth (something they should know to do every morning and night), asking what they want for breakfast, lunch, dinner, preparing snacks for outings, and prepping their dinner plates before I even get a chance to think about sitting down to my own meal.
So, what does one plan when they are on their own? Well, I went to a girls’ night on Friday, planned a long Saturday afternoon hike in the Metro Park with a friend, and a Sunday morning bike ride with one of my besties who is also my cycling partner.
Additionally, I am using my time with extravagance and my decisions are based on exactly my desires without needing to take into account anyone else’s needs or preferences.
Eggs and toast for dinner? Sure! Organize my old journals and diaries without interruption? Yep! Take a long soak in my tub while watching make-up tutorials and doing a face mask? Absolutely!
My plans are not unusual in the sense I couldn’t do these things with my family home. The absolute truth is I could (and have) scheduled these activities for myself. The luxurious part now is I made plans without thinking about being away from the girls too long during the weekend (aka family time) and putting too much of a parenting burden on my husband on his day off, too. This time is all about me (while my husband graciously takes on all the caretaking while away).
Parents do not often get the opportunity to think only of themselves.
My final lesson is how I didn’t know just how badly I needed this time until I embarked on this solo long weekend at home. I imagine I am not the only parent who needs this, so I think every parent deserves a solo staycation. If you can find a way to carve out a day or two just for you, go for it.