As a mother, my time is divided between my husband, my children, my job and what’s left over is trying to maintain a chaotic household. Some days I pat myself on the back because I helped my kids with their homework, cooked dinner and even managed to do a load or two of laundry. Other days, I thank God I didn’t lose a child, that I managed to feed them and yeah, OK…however, the homework. We can’t win them all.
So when Eric was invited to attend the Knights of Columbus convention on Mackinac Island, I of course said “YES!” Oh, I guess Eric should have been the one to answer but I figured I would help him. We had the option of bringing our kids, but I jumped at the chance of having a couple getaway minus the children. We had not both, at the same time, been overnight without them since our youngest was born…5 years ago! My husband does have his annual ‘mancation’ and he always encouraged me to do the same with my friends. He’s always supported me, especially when it came to finding time for me. I’ve always felt guilty spending time away and couldn’t even bring myself to having an overnight trip.
This time around though, I felt ready. I felt no guilt in wanting to spend time away from my kids. I felt excited to spend time with my husband. My parents said they would watch the kids, did I sense hesitancy? Oh well. I jumped at the chance to go to Mackinac Island. My kids would survive 2 days. Now the question is, would my parents?! But it’s not about them.
We dropped the kids off and Eric and I made our way to the big island! No bickering siblings. No “Are we almost there?” No frequent rest room stops. This trip was looking fabulous already. Eric and I had dinner at the Grand Hotel. We actually had a grown up meal. We had an actual conversation. We enjoyed our meal. Can I tell you how nice it was to really savor your food?
When Eric went to his workshops during the day, I was able to sleep in as long as I wanted. I would have coffee on the porch overlooking the water, while reading my book.
I would walk around the island taking in all the sights and sounds. I didn’t have to constantly count 1,2,3,4,5. Ok they’re all here. I didn’t have to say, “no fighting, be quiet, no running, stay with us.”
I took pleasure in the beautiful views Mackinac Island had to offer. I smiled when I saw other parents trying to manage their kids. I leisurely window shopped while eating ice cream.
I enjoyed being me. Not a mother of 5. Not a nurse. Eric and I found ourselves as a couple again. We found out why we fell in love in the first place.
I encourage other moms to get away. Get away with your partner. Renew your love for each other. Find yourself again. That young girl who laughed, who enjoyed life, who laughed uncontrollably. You need to be you without your kids if only for a night. You come back to motherhood feeling refreshed, alive and rejuvenated. It is needed so our kids can see us, can see their parents in love. It is needed to make our family more whole and complete. When you feel ready, go find yourself again. You won’t regret it.
Kristine Walton ,RN, BSN
Wife/Mother of 5/Registered Nurse
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