Maybe it's because I'm turning forty this year. Or perhaps I just need a change of scene after spending far too much time potty training triplets and entertaining the never-ending requests of their big brother and sister. Whatever the reason, I've got girls weekends on my mind and every intention of getting away with the gals for more than the 36 hours in Newport I so thoroughly enjoyed this spring.
When I mention my getaway goals, people look at me like I'm crazy. "Really?" they say with a look of utter disbelief. "With ALL of those kids you're REALLY going to go away with the girls." My answer? Yes. Absolutely. Definitively. No doubt in my mind. Where to? I'm not sure yet... there's been talk of Paris with my sister and the Bahamas with some of my best friends from high school. If all else fails, there's always the promise of a weekend in the city... beggars can't be choosers! How will I do it? Well, simply put, I will pack my bag and go. But, since nothing is ever simple when you're the Mom (it doesn't matter if you have one kid or five, it's not simple!), here are a few guidelines.
1. Give yourself permission to go. Think about it. Who contained a human (or two or three) in their belly for nine months? Who fed that tiny human from her breast? Who typically bears the brunt of the care, feeding, shopping and laundry for these little beings? You do. And who do you to turn to to bitch, moan, laugh, commiserate, empathize and ask for help? Your girlfriends. They have always been there for you and you deserve to go have some fun. Giving yourself the permission to do so is the first step.
2. Accept that while your way may be the "right" way, it is not the only way. Put another way, trust that your husband will care for your offspring and have faith that you will return from your brief sojourn to find them all alive. They may be wearing dirty clothes or backward onesies (the children, hopefully not your husband!). They may be overtired or underfed or overwhelmed or watching Underdog. But they will be fine. Letting go of your worries is the next step toward your well-deserved girl time.
3. Know that you will be be a better Mom and wife when you return. It's trite but true, absence really does make the heart grow fonder. While I enjoyed every moment of my brief Girls Weekend in Newport, I was SO happy to get home. I cherished my girl time -- the freedom to get a pedicure, do a bit of shopping, linger over dinner, have that one last drink and gossip for hours over coffee. It was a true gift to reconnect with my girlfriends but it left me with gifts of another sort... a newfound appreciation for my husband (even if the laundry had piled up!), a renewed adoration for my children (boogie kisses and all!) and the comfort in knowing that the challenges we face are universal (money, sex, work-life balance, aging parents and so on!)
Once you've made up your mind to go, you may want to create a mealplan, call in the grandparents and arrange a few playdates. After that, it's officially time to pack your bag and go. Trust me, if I can do it you can too and, I can assure you you'll be glad that you did!