The first thing I did when I got home from my last holiday was to book the next one. That’s a pretty common mental health tactic; to know when your next break is coming and to have something to look forward to as the return of day-to-day monotony erodes your holiday glow (or, in my case, fluorescence…as mama don’t tan!).
The big difference between my next holiday, which starts on Sunday at 11.35am, and my last which was in June is that this time I will not be carrying excess baggage. That’s right – mama is flying solo! For the first time in almost ten years I’m not holidaying with my husband or…gasp…my child!
I am the first to acknowledge that this is a massive luxury. Not just having enough space on my credit card for two holidays in a year but leaving my mothering world behind for seven days. It’s not something I ever would have thought I’d need or even desire…but there you have it. I’m throwing off my day-to-day routine where I think about my daughter, our cat, my husband, our home and my job (in that order) all before I think about what I need. It’s a pretty slippery slope to put yourself last. I’ve written about it before and I know that many people who read me can relate. When you think of every other bloody thing first you find yourself starving for oxygen.
So, there I was just off the plane from Denpasar, lining up at baggage collection and logging into Facebook to check back in with the world (who am I kidding?… I’d checked at the airport lounge before we left Bali!) when up popped an invitation to join what I immediately knew would be a group of like-minded mama-weary women in Thailand. I’ve been following the mundane musings of Mrs Woog for a while now. Because a) mundane and b) simple…two things I do very well. By all reports her gathering of readers are a hoot with just the right blend of cocktails, women’s business and time for don’t-talk-to-me-I’m-busy-doing-nothing.
Once I’d decided that I wanted it, even more than that time in 1988 when I wanted tickets to see INXS and wagged school to get them, I figured I needed a partner in crime. And what better partner than a fellow road-weary mama whose defences would be down and in a weakened state and therefore unable to object to my provocative suggestion?
I’ve known this friend since our babies were six weeks old. They were born two days apart and, as neither of us are likely to have any more babies, we kinda raise them like siblings …and we drink a lot of wine together, which is why our kids are together so much. But that’s beside the point. We get each other’s gripes and we relate to each other’s lives. So I knew she’d be bang up for the idea of a big getaway – even if she did need to know some of the fine print. “What if they’re all muppets? Can we escape?” Valid concerns and ones, which I have assured her, can be managed. They’re not and even if they are, we can!
As excited as I am about the prospect of a solo holiday it’s not without serious concern for some heartache. I know the minute I close the front door behind me on Sunday morning I’ll be wanting to rush back and squish my daughter and smell her smell and touch her tiny hands for another moment longer, because that’s how I feel every morning at drop off. She is part of me and I am obsessed with her. That’s normal. I know.
There are many, many things I’m looking forward to about my week away but right now I can’t get past packing a suitcase for just ME, driving just ME to the airport, taking just ME through ticketing, dealing with food, beverage, entertainment and toilet requests for just ME on a long flight. I may even get to watch a movie or two without pausing for anything except the passing drinks cart. Mama always pauses for that!
Even writing that makes me feel selfish. But surely I’ve earned it? Why is it so hard for mother’s to back it up and take a trip down ‘never been to me’ road?
Anyway, this is the first post of what will be a series of Mama’s Escape with Woog. I expect you’ll be reading about how much I miss home, how I wish I could just do a load of laundry or cook my own dinner…or perhaps I’ll post drunken rants about finding my own Eat. Pray. Love. moment…ha ha. You have been warned.