Here I am sitting in Aspen ALONE for the weekend. My wonderful husband organized a weekend away for me to rest, spa, yoga and fill my cup. When he first surprised me with the gift on my birthday I was speechless. I could not comprehend the idea of going somewhere for two nights alone. I should be bringing my family on this trip, I should be sharing this new place with them and having these adventure together. This weekend away seemed too extravagant just for me to go by myself. But in deep in my heart I knew I needed this. The last time I was away from the kids over night was over a year ago and it was for less than 24 hours. The last year I have been a full-on stay at home mom and I love it, but it means that my schedule is not dictated by me...it is dictated by the kids. Being away this weekend means that I am dictating the schedule:). I can walk into a fancy store and not worry about kids touching things they are not suppose to, or not even wanting to be in the store to begin with. I can wake up slowly and decided where I want coffee and then read a book with that coffee.
This all sounds so wonderful but what about my husband at home alone with the kids??? How will that go? Ahhhh, the guilt starts to creep in again and then I realize...he needs this too. The kids need him all to themselves and he needs the time to make the weekend schedule the way he wants it...not they way I think it should go. He needs to serve them pizza and treats all weekend and I need to be okay with it because he is making memories too. I know that he was so excited to spend the weekend with the kids and this is helping me spend the time just for me. The guilt of him having him solo parent for the weekend is still sitting on my heart but I know when I head home tomorrow with my cup filled I will be able to pour in to his cup.
Why do we as moms feel so guilty when we are taking time to take care of ourselves? Being a mom is like nothing I have experienced in my life...it is the most challenging, amazing, crazy, rewarding thing I have ever done and I would not trade it for anything in the world. I have learned so many things over the the last 5 years of being a mom but I think the most profound learning has come in the last year. Moving has made us a very tight family unit. We are making decisions based only on what is best for all of us. I know many of you do this too. When I apply this lens to this weekend I know going away for a few nights alone is what was best for all of us. If a weekend away is not in your world right now...how about a morning alone having coffee or even just a walk ALONE. Give your self the opportunity to take a deep breath and don't feel guilty about it. We need to stop feeling like our time is worth less than the rest of the members in our family. I will say it again....You cannot fill anyone's cup if yours is empty. Have the conversation with your partner about how you can take time to fill your cup and how they can fill their's. Balance is not always realistic in the short term but should be overall.
Our world is about to change again...Tim has gotten an amazing promotion and will be working away from home for a few nights a week and traveling more. I am not sure yet how this is going to look for our family, but what is best for us right now is not to move again until Ben is done school. I do know that I am making a plan for ensuring there is time for me to fill my cup. For example, planning on a weekly baby sitter for the kids so I can go to yoga. Taking time in the evening to connect with girlfriends at our house. Is it going to be perfect? No, but I have made a promise to myself that I am worth it! No guilt! What can you do to change up how you feel about taking time just for yourself? Mama's, you are strong and amazing in everything you do for your family...it is now time for you.