Three years into this motherhood gig and I feel I have finally mastered the art of “me time”. I get my nails done religiously. I have fairly regular nights out with friends. I even find moments to sip my Starbucks alone, uninterrupted.
I do all of these indulgent things with a clear conscience. I feel zero guilt. It has become crystal clear to me that in order to be the best mom I can be, in order to sustain my sanity, I’ve got to set aside moments in the week to prioritize myself.
But when the idea of an entire weekend away with my best friends came up, this possibility felt ridiculously over-indulgent. It’s a bit pathetic to admit, but I had never spent one night away from my son since he emerged from my belly three years ago! It’s not that I hadn’t thought about it; trust me, I had dreams of real, honest-to-goodness sleeping-in, not the fake sleeping in that happens every weekend as I lay in bed, thinking of the million things that have to get done while I hear my son screaming and shrieking downstairs. I guess it was that pesky mommy-guilt that was holding me back, once again.
So after a little convincing from my husband who assured me he could totally handle things and that I really, truly deserved this break, I decided to swallow that big lump of guilt in my throat, throw caution to the wind and take an adventure to the exotic city of Toronto!
My three day weekend of debauchery included the following:
lots of wine without the usual worry of a potential hangover, staying out until 2am without that dreaded feeling of knowing I would have to be up at 6am, sleeping-in until…..whenever, eating at several fabulous restaurants without having to cut up and blow on my son’s food while scoffing down my own food in fear that a tantrum could ensue at any moment, attending an adult party where I was the only parent and topics like potty-training and picky eating simply didn’t come up in conversation.
The notion that for three whole days, the only person I really had to think about was me, was intoxicating. I felt so carefree, which was very odd, but familiar and reminiscent at the same time. Yet, although I was living-it-up and basking in my freedom, I simultaneously longed for my son; my little boy was constantly at the back of my mind. And despite the fact that the fantasies of freedom and sleep-ins I often had at 5:30am were finally coming true, it dawned on me……I am a mom, it’s who I am.
And as much as I needed a little break from the perils of motherhood, I missed my boy.
Don’t get me wrong, I had the time of my life. And I am not ashamed to say that my time away was pure bliss. But by the end of that blissful weekend, I was itching to get back home to my family and re-assume my role as Mommy.
I’m so happy that I did this for myself, that I made the choice NOT to succumb to the guilt. I came back rejuvenated, refreshed and feeling incredibly greatful for what I have. I learned that you may be able to take the girl out of “mommy-mode” for a weekend, but you simply can’t take the mommy out of the girl.