On my second last night in Hawaii, Stephanie, the beautiful Australian wife of one of my business coaches, asked if I missed the girls and then she said, “it’s ok if you say no.” We both laughed out loud. The permission she gave me was simple but so great.
She, being a mom of 3 totally understood that it was ok to have your time away from the kids. That enjoying myself, didn’t make me appreciate them less or that I was a bad mom. I didn’t feel regretful about my life or them in it. But I was just enjoying my time away from them.
I had permission to just appreciate my “me time.” That I had the opportunity to go away and do something just for me. To enjoy the sun, sand, friends, work, and totally immerse myself in my own needs. That it was okay to let go of taking care of my little people and of taking care of others in my practice just for a little while.
For these 10 days, I could just concentrate on what I wanted in the immediate moments of wanting sleep, snacks, to dance, to swim, to cry, to remember, to laugh.
For these 10 days, I could also concentrate on what I want for the future. Who am I, what do I want? What do I want for the girls? For our life together? For my work and my impact on the world? To “dream big, little pig,” as one of Jillian’s bedtime stories says.
I made the conscious and real decision to use my time away to become refreshed, reenergized and refocused.
3 Tips for Leaving the Kids and Letting Go.
- Remember they are in good but different hands. Grandma, Auntie or Daddy won’t do it the exact same way as you would. They might feed them food you normally wouldn’t or put them to bed later than you would, but your kids will be just fine. And they might even have good memories from it. I remember when my parents went away to New Zealand when my little sister and I were young. My grandparents took us to McDonalds for pancake breakfast. I’d never done that before and now I have a special memory to treasure.
- Give yourself permission to enjoy yourself. You left for a reason. To visit a friend, attend a conference, go on vacation. So be present and enjoy yourself. Your baby won’t have a better time knowing that you’re miserable. They don’t even understand the concept of time and how long you’re going to be away! So, give yourself permission to have fun. And savour each bite of every uninterrupted meal.
- Let go of the Mommy Guilt. It surrounds us in every area of our lives. We feel guilty for working and putting them in daycare. Or if we stay home with them, we feel guilty for not giving them the social experiences of other kids. We feel guilty for not putting them in as many activities as others do or not feeding them all organic food. We’ve gotta put aside the mommy guilt. It’s not worth it. I decided before we left, that I wasn’t going to feel guilty and that I was going to enjoy myself. My family made sacrifices to take care of the kids for me while I was gone, so I chose to honour them and be thankful and really soak up my work-cation.
So, go ahead, book that girls night away, go on a romantic getaway or even an afternoon away as the first “baby step” away from your baby. You deserve it and your kids will be happy when Mommy comes back happy and refreshed.
Whitney is a Naturopathic Doctor and Superbaby Coach. She sees moms and babies in her local practice and via Skype. She also is the creator of the solid food introduction course: The 30 Day Super Baby Program