Leaving Home…

Some people have some strong reactions when I say I’ve been out of town. Whether it’s a weekend or a two weeks.

Sometimes it’s just lighthearted joking. Sometimes it is envy.

I’m pretty sure that sometimes there is a bit of judgment about me being selfish or not being a very good “stay-at-home” mom.

I don’t miss the irony of being home and wanting to leave.

While I’m proud and grateful to be able to be at home since The Grunter was born, I have also been very vocal about my need to leave and have time away from my husband and family.

Luckily I have Nice Dad who always does an excellent job when I travel.

I started traveling on my own for both business and pleasure when the twins turned one.

Mostly for health reasons.

My mental health.

Though I know my sanity is still in question, I know that leaving home has been my saving grace as a woman.

We wear a lot of hats as women and we are genetically predisposed to take care of everyone else — usually before we take care of ourselves.

One of the reasons PhilBillPaul “gets me” is that he really gets that I need some personal space and he gets that I am a better wife and mother when I come back home!

I’ve encouraged other women friends to make some time for themselves. I have friends who rarely, if ever, have left their husband and/or children to treat themselves to some “me” time.

I’m not necessarily talking about a trip – for some women it can be just a few hours. For others it’s a few days. For me, a few weeks can be nice. 😉

Some of them have actually taken my advice and just seemed to need permission from another adult, i.e. a friend to say it is okay and normal to both need and want to leave home sometimes!

Some of them insist they don’t need any time to themselves.

Some say “their turn will come.”

They worry me – like the perpetually happy, perfect people who make the rest of us look bad.

I learned a long time ago that I have to take care of me.

When a tiny amount of guilt creeps in about my desire to leave home, I remember what I’m trying to teach my kids.

What is important to me is that they see a mother who isn’t afraid to take a break, a mom who isn’t superwoman or even pretending to be! They also need to see that dad is more than capable of taking care of his children.

Maybe I’m a little paranoid about what “some people” think. Then again, maybe not.

I wish I could tell you I cared about what “some people” think or say about me. But I don’t.

I do care deeply about the people I love and who love me. It may be a small number of people and I’m pretty sure the number fluctuates on a daily basis – just check with my family.

It is because I do care that I keep leaving…

…so I can come back home.

Do you leave? Do you want to leave but never do? I’d love to hear how you find time for yourself.

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Comments

  1. 1
    Peggy says:

    The only time I’ve left my family for any extended amount of time was to go to Destin with you! And- I can’t tell you how great that was!! I do regularly go out for a few hours here or there on my own though. It’s not that I wouldn’t enjoy a few more extended breaks, it’s just that with working full time and running the kids everywhere it’s hard to get away for very long, not to mention the financial side of it… when we do have the money to go somewhere I’d like the kids to be able to experience it too. But, as someone first told me in college, “You go girl!”.

  2. 2
    Sherra says:

    Peggy » It’s been almost FIVE years and we need to do something like that again 😉 I know you are a GREAT mom and wanting the kids to “experience it too” is proof of that!! I know my kids would love to experience Phoenix and some of the other places I’ve been fortunate enough to visit but that’s the “mean mom” in me and wanting time away and the financial side makes it tough too. Glad you do regularly get out on your own…you go girl!! (Who told you that in college?)

  3. 3
    Joanne says:

    I leave. Sometimes for business, sometimes for pleasure, sometimes a little of both. The longest I’ve been away is 5 days. Mostly because of money and my full-time job. My husband is fantastic and encourages me to go away. I’m leaving tomorrow for Minneapolis and looking forward to it. Even my kids know I am going and my 5 year old daughter has been “helping” me pack. (I’ve taken 3 stuffed animals out of my suitcase so far!) She also wants to know when we can go away together. I told her after Daddy and I get to go away together. My son wants everyone to go together. I find I don’t snap and growl as much after I’ve been away. Even if it’s for one day.

  4. 4
    Terry says:

    I am also a Mom that knows the importance of getting away. However my situation has changed over the last 3 years. I now get away with my teenage daughter. We have so much fun together and enjoy the same kind of activities. She really has become one of my best friends. We also include other friends and their Moms on our trips. We just recently spent three days in Sheboygan Wi at a resort on Lake Michigan. We used the excuse that we were going to visit colleges in that area. We actually did visit one during that three day get away. This will probably be the one she chooses to go to .I do have to admit I treasure the times with my girlfriends , but have not really gone away for any length of time with them in a few years. So I guess I should get off this site and go plan a trip! Oh hello to Peggy…I really enjoyed Sherras birthday bash in Destin as well. I was sicker than a dog the entire time I was there but still had one of the best times I have ever had. We went as a family two years ago to Europe and I will say right now we would have had more fun if we would have left the husband at home. Men get so tense about things ..they really dont know how to roll with the flow like woman do. Ok enough of that I dont want to start man bashing..I do have a good one , he just doesnt travel well.

  5. 5
    Sherra says:

    Joanne » So glad to hear another husband encourages his wife to go away. 🙂 The “time out” we give ourselves can be just what we need to be better moms and wives! Thanks for sharing and have a fabulous time in Minneapolis!

    Terry » I agree–it has become more fun to do things with my *big* girls. I know we all enjoy different stages of parenthood and everyone travels better at different stages (including the husbands) depending on location, time of year, if stars are aligned, etc. Go plan a trip and let us know where you go!!

  6. 6
    Tammy says:

    Though I never get the opportunity to get away for weekends with the girls, my girlfriends and I commit to lunch at least once a month and we also try to scrapbook or do other crafts fairly regularly. Sometimes we don’t get anything done but it is still a blessing to be with girlfriends! I would love to take a weekend trip with them. Unfortunately the family budget doesn’t allow for that! You know things are sad when you are thrilled to go to the grocery alone! That is always a huge cry for time away!

    I applaud your bravery for standing up against the evil forces (aka “some people”) that tell you that you are wrong to do what you need to refresh and re-energize yourself to be a better wife and mother and friend. Maybe if they had some time to themselves they wouldn’t be so judgmental toward others that are living the life they wish they were! That sounds bitter doesn’t it? I just wish we didn’t live in a world where we were constantly being compared and held to the standards of “some people” instead of living our own best life! Enough, I will climb down off my soap box now!

    Love you and your posts! They are great!

  7. 7
    Wendy says:

    Those “some people” who judge you are just jealous. Sherra, how could you leave your family for so long! You’re a horrible mother! (Wink, wink) Uh, oh, I think i’m turning green!

  8. 8
    Sherra says:

    Tammy » Any store alone including the grocery is, sadly, still a treat!! Glad to hear you make girlfriend time regularly. I think that’s the key no matter what!

    Wendy » Sounds like we need to go somewhere together…soon!! 🙂

  9. 9
    Karen says:

    Sherra,
    I have an encouraging husband who recognizes my improved state of mind when I return home. I encourage him to get away with friends and he is happy to return home. I’ve begun encouraging other women to get away. I have a girlfriend trip that starts in a week – for 3. It will be full of fun and giggles. The three of us are almost insane from waiting for this trip. We even decided to leave another day earlier!!!
    Taking care of ourselves is vital to taking care of others. I always think of the instruction on airlines (put on your oxygen mask before helping children) when I think of going away. The first time I heard it, I thought it was a terrible thing to do but came to realize the sanity of the idea. Ever since then, I became a trip taker with girl friends. I come home feeling whole, refreshed and grateful to be home again. Thank you for encouraging others to go so that being home becomes a good thing again.
    Going, going, almost gone! Karen

  10. 10
    Sherra says:

    Karen » I don’t think I have to tell you to have FUN on your girlfriend trip!! Sounds like you are already having fun just *planning* the trip. It really is restorative to leave home for short (or long breaks). Glad you’re able to go!! 🙂