I love my boys. They are my world but anyone who has met them will know how full on they are and sometimes you need space. Three years ago I spent October half term in the sun in Ibiza and left them in the UK with their grandparents. Three years later, not as exotic, but once again I have spent most of half term away from them.
Three years ago I was the lowest I have ever been; I was at breaking point. My week in the sun was as much for personal survival as it was a holiday. Fast forward three years I am in a much more stable place. I am no longer taking mediation for depression and anxiety. Although there are days when I can feel both trying to take over I am able to manage them more.
This time my child see half term came about after my boys chose to ditch me for a trip to Grandad and Granny’s house. A visit to their Godfathers and a prebooked day on holiday club meant I haven’t seen them properly for 6 days. I feel really guilty saying it but I have loved it. I have loved not being woken up at 6am. I have loved being able to watch what I want on the TV. Being able to go away for a few days with my husband and what’s more go out for a meal and drinks too without having to arrange a babysitter or deal with hangover and children has been bliss. We went to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Leeds, are at the fabulous Tharavadu (the Adu Cheera Mappas is delicious if you need a recommendation) and made an enjoyable trip to Harrogate Turkish Baths and Spa. None of this would have been possible if we hadn’t been able to go childfree.
Loving our children does not mean forgetting about yourself or your relationship with partner. My hubby and I very rarely get to spend much time together. We have no family in the North East so it isn’t possible to ask them to “have the boys for a couple of hours”; it requires advanced planning if we want to go out. It might be a rare opportunity but I will grab it with both hands the next time the chance to be childfree for a few days occurs. So remember whether it is 6 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days make the most of every childfree moment you get. It doesn’t mean you love your children any less than you should, it just means you can acknowledge we all need some me and us time too.