In the first half of the Easter holidays I went on holiday to New York with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and Amy.
Noticed anything in that above sentence?
That’s right – no children!
My girls-only trip was a bit of a treat for me after having Olivia at home for 7 months, and dealing with all of the rubbish that comes with your spouse being deployed for so long.
At the end of that period of time last year, it’s obvious that I was GASPING for a break, and so our little break to the US was booked!
But, actually, I missed my little girl like CRAZY.
She’s been going through these super cute phases recently, and her personality is really shining through. She comes out with adorable little sayings, and she is changing by the day. She’s also been all over mummy recently (in a really sweet and loving way), which made leaving her so much harder! I almost wish she could have been really badly behaved at least for a day or two before I went so that I wouldn’t have felt so guilty about leaving… but, to be honest, we all know that the “mum guilt” would have hit me sooner or later anyway.
This was the first time I’d left Olivia and gone abroad without her, but she has spent plenty of time away from me before! She’s spent a week or more with her nanny down in Kent without me there, which is longer than the amount of time I was away for my New York trip! For some reason, this got to me more than those times. Honestly, I think it’s because I was doing something for me…
It’s kind of inevitable isn’t it? The mummy guilt eats away at you WHENEVER you treat yourself to anything. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. We live in a world of amazing technology, and your child isn’t going to remember that for a period of 5 days when they were 2 you were on holiday and only speaking to them on FaceTime.
It doesn’t make it any easier, and it is rough leaving them. You worry about EVERY SINGLE THING that they are doing without you. I know my husband is perfectly capable, but with Olivia’s time being split between daddy and granddad while I was away, it made me feel better to set out a week’s worth of outfits for her so that I at least knew she’d be dressed every day! She probably subsisted on pasta and cheese for the entire time, breakfast, lunch and dinner alike, but she was eating – I knew there was food in the cupboard! I planned a little day out for her and granddad when he took over babysitting duties, again making me feel better that she had something to do while I was away.
And when I got back? I had such big cuddles from her and was given so much love! She had clearly missed me (I was worried both that she wouldn’t miss me at all and that she would miss me too much and wouldn’t handle it well, both of which did not happen), and the cuddles were the best thing to come home to. I felt refreshed, I felt more like ME, and Olivia had a break from me too. After all, she must get tired of the same old routine as well.
Although she hadn’t gone away anywhere, it was as much an exciting break for her as it was for me (or so I keep telling myself!)
No major disaster happened while I was away, and, yes, things may go wrong, but probably very rarely! If you know they’re well looked after, there’s really nothing to worry about.
I hope this post is reassuring someone who was feeling as awful as I was the couple of days before I flew out!
Have you been abroad on your own (no kids in tow)? What did you find helpful to push that mum guilt to the side?