Thoughts on taking time away for myself

time away for myself


*Warning. This post is an insider’s look into the CRAZY that is my brain. Don’t say you haven’t been warned*


So this morning I’m leaving for 4 days of work / play at Wanderlust Sunshine Coast. If you’re like ‘wander- what?!’ – it’s a four day and night event full of yoga, music, inspirational speeches, adventure and more.


I am beyond excited.


I’m also a whole lot apprehensive.


It is the longest time I’ve ever left my kids. The only other time I’ve had more than one night to myself since Eamon was born (almost 5 years ago), I was 5 months pregnant. SOO technically… not time for myself because I took Rory with me, yeah?


I’d like to say that I don’t feel any guilt over it. But the guilt is pouring out of me at the minute.


I try to talk myself out it because I know that taking this time out will make me enjoy it all more when I get back, but I’m just not able to turn it off completely. Trust me I’ve tried. My internal dialogue about taking time away for myself has gone a little like this.


3 months out.
“Ugh! The kids are driving me mental. I really need to a break. This is all too hard. I’m organising a break. He takes breaks. Why can’t I?! Yes let’s do this!”

Books break away. Feels proud of self for not feeling guilty.


2 weeks out.
“Wow that came up fast. I need to start planning ALL the things for when I’m away (because surely no one will survive without me if I don’t?!) Buy extra nappies and wipes. Fill fridge with easy to make food. Pre-make meals. I must do bulk washing before I leave so they don’t run out while I’m away. I must start selling Eamon on the idea that Mummy is going away and he is going to have so much fun without me. Maybe I’m going away for too long? What if they get really upset when I’m not there.”

Starts imagining all the worst case scenarios. Feel a little sick in my stomach. Squash any feeling of guilt with expert level preparing.


1 week out.
“Arrrrggghh. It’s this week. I feel equal parts excited, nervous, sick-in-the-belly and guilty and all the other FEELS! Mostly I just feel stressed because who did I think I was kidding getting ahead of all that stuff two weeks ago? I can barely keep my head above water with the day to day cooking and washing, let alone get to laundry-zero. I don’t think Eamon has bought the idea of me going away as he keeps asking me questions in his little voice about me going away and where and why I’m going. {Guilt level rising} Maybe I shouldn’t be going? Yes I’d love to, but maybe with kids this little, really isn’t the right time. Why am I feeling guilty? Stop it. Stop it right now. You’re going.”


3 days out.
“Maybe I could go and come back in the evenings just to see them? Then I wouldn’t feel so bad about being away all day. STOP IT! The whole point is for you to have a proper break. To unplug from being a Mum and just immerse in what you love for a few days. You’ll be a better Mum when you come back. But if it’s the right thing to do, why do I feel so guilty? I know… I’ll spend every minute with them that I can today to make up for the fact that I won’t see them at the end of the week.”

Swallows extremely large guilt lump in throat and gets on with playing.


1 day out.
Excited level – Christmas morning.
Guilt Level – Just lied to your Mum about where you were.


So there you have it. (Crazy town yes?!) And yes I’m going.


In fact by the time you read this I’ll be kissing those gorgeous boys of mine goodbye and driving up to Twin Waters for the event.


I’m going to feel guilty and sad.


But I think it will also be very good for me. To have a little taste of being just me again. Because in some ways I’ve lost her a little bit.


I’ve lost the ability to go to bed whenever I want, not after doing a complicated mathematical equation of how many hours I can get before they wake.


I’ve lost the ability to only think for myself rather than for 2 (or 3) other people as well.


I’ve lost the ability to just take care of myself and what I want.


So I think taking the time out to reconnect with her, even if it’s just for four days, is a really good thing, despite the guilt.


So I’m decided I’m going to embrace the guilt. She is coming with me and she better have her dancing shoes on.

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