I have a story that will make lots of mums a little green with envy. One of my very smart friends, who shall remain nameless but could be called The Genius, booked herself in for a “mother’s retreat” last weekend. After a stressful few months adjusting to her husband travelling for work, she decided to take a few days up north, ALL BY HERSELF.
Last week, The Genius was telling our mums’ group about her plans with a dreamy look in her eye. We all went a bit star-eyed I think, as we floated off into our dream weekend away without kids. As she described the pure joy she would feel when she made a ‘reservation for one,’ I was nodding madly and thinking that some mums are just WINNING AT LIFE!
What would you do if you were given a “hall pass” from parenting? I’ve come up with my Top Three and they make me happy just thinking about them:
1. Sleep! Before I had kids, I was a ‘get up and go’ type of person who thought “you can sleep when you’re dead”. I hated the idea of missing part of a potentially awesome day. Now? I could sleep for a whole day and not feel a smidgen of guilt – if only! I have been tired for three years, have set an alarm twice in the whole time I’ve been a parent. Bring on the glorious sleep! That would be day one done.
2. Breakfast! I’ve had a morning routine with two kids for 17 months now, yet it never gets any easier. I’m like an English football coach at a game who’s too stressed to sit down and just paces the sideline. Most days I leave the house in an absolute flap and about 30 minutes later I wonder why I feel ill, only to realise I forgot to have breakfast. If I’m lucky enough to wolf down some Weetbix, I do it standing up, barking orders, repeating orders and biffing half of it in the bin. So second on my list would be a long, leisurely breakfast where I read the paper, sip coffee and appreciate the serenity.
3. Read! I read a small percentage of the books I used to before my babies were born. I used to read books which required a few brain cells, but nowadays they’re all basic, formulaic chick lit. He is ALWAYS cheating on her and she ALWAYS ends up with the nice guy who seemed so unattainable. My weekend retreat would involve many hours of sitting in a pool with a jolly good book or two. And a cocktail. I’d need to have a few cocktails.