I have often been "advised" to take some time to myself, aka take better care of myself and to better attend to my own needs. I have bristled and objected to these suggestions - who has time to be selfish with two small boys, a marriage, a household to manage and a career?
However, I am back home after 3 days away on a leadership retreat....3 days without diapers, tantrums, dinners to plan and prepare, work to attend to....no real, personal and pressing demands on my time, my moods, my emotions, my being. I had only to shower and dress myself each morning, had only myself to feed - at the hotel breakfast buffet - had only my thoughts crowding into my head and was honestly asked by ADULTS what I thought, what my contributions might be, what my experience might add....in a word, it was amazing.
I thought I would miss my baby, Winston. I had not before been separated from him for a night. Topher, well, my little emotional tsunami I had been away from frequently during the second year of his life, flying back and forth across the country for work. And my spouse, aka Cambridge, well, he'd been gone for a week before I left - and we are well used to, if not liking, frequent times apart because of his career demands. Shockingly, however, I felt just fine. Better than fine. Except for the guilt I felt because I felt so fine.
And now that I am back home, with a weekend of grocery shopping, tidying, ferrying of boys to birthday parties and cookie baking under my belt, I still feel fine. More myself, more in charge, more relaxed....damn it all, I hate it when the advice you were given turns out to be right!!!
So, note to self: getting away from sticky peanut butter encrusted fingers for longer than the working day is a good thing. So is floatng in a salt water pool, laughing with friends over wine in front of a fire, and rolling over to go back to sleep without first having to get up to help a small boy pee, puke, blow his nose, or nurse. And Cambridge is brilliant at handling all of the stuff life, a dog and two small boys can throw at them for 72 hours. Of course, it helps if you return home the same days as the cleaners have been to the house.....