Being a mother is one of the nicest, most exciting and challenging roles a woman gets to play in her life and I must say, it has been a wonderful time for me ever since Lu was born. BUT – at one point everyone needs a break. A break from waking up in the night, from playing, running around, cleaning, cooking and altogether everyday routine and everything what comes with it. I felt it was time for my first weekend off – without Lu, without Gin. I felt they could use a weekend on their own also. It took me quite long for this to happen actually, as Lu was already 2 years old, but better late than never ;).
I know friends who have this opportunity already when the children are still babies. But since we live far away from all the grandparents and the rest of the family we rarely get the chance to “escape” and we´ve somehow accepted that. But once in a while also a mother needs her time, to feel again like an individual and a woman and not only “the mother of”. There is no point in pretending you are a superwoman / supermom who has unlimited supplies of energy, is always in a good mood and wants to spend every single minute playing with her children, while she makes stupid baby sounds and forgets how it is to actually talk about something intellectual. Okay unless you really ARE one of those. But, I choose to believe they all pretend, so that I feel better about myself ;).
So, I was off. To London! Three days of “freedom“! Friday evening flight from Hanover and Sunday evening back. The first strange feeling came already in the car when I drove to the airport. After I have spent half an hour thinking about all the things I have possibly forgotten to explain to Gin I noticed there were no sounds from the back of the car. Simply silence. It was good to have a silent moment but then I turned on the radio really loud, because silence felt too strange after all ;). Arrived at the airport, parked the car, got out with only 1 small handbag and one small bag with clothes – and nothing else! No extra diaper bag, no water bottle, no baby food, no extra clothes in case someone gets wet, no toys and no children books! My shoulders were free! Checked the bag in and realised I still have much time! That strange unknown feeling took over again . When we travel with Lu we almost always come in the last second (after we break many speeding limits on the Autobahn) and run to the gate already in sweaty shirts. No, no, not this time. This time I actually had time to go for a drink. On my own. Gin tonic it was! I had one book with me, sat down at the bar and read. Here and there I heard children laughter and I smiled instinctively, but kept reading. Boarding the plane I patiently stood in line, a father with 2 small kids + a baby in front of me. Since it was already evening time they all seemed tired and got a few annoyed looks from other passengers. Felt a bit bad for the poor father so I did my best to amuse the two older kids with making funny face expressions which seemed to help. I guess once you have your own kids this just comes automatically. The father was more than thankful and once on the plane they all fell asleep in the first 10 minutes, which also made all the “i-hate-kids-on-planes” passengers happy. I on the other hand, had no intentions of sleeping! I ordered a small bottle of wine and took the book out again. Peanuts included. Gotta love British Airways. Still, it felt strange. No one was climbing over me, searching for the best sleeping position. No one was pulling my hair. There was no toy car under my behind and no tomato sauce stain on my shirt. Kind of liberating actually. But I couldn´t help thinking if Lu is already sleeping by now or is he crying because I´m not there. These thoughts were gone by the time we were descending to Heathrow Airport and were flying over London´s lights. It´s been ages since I´ve been in London the last time and the sight of the whole city beneath us made me feel really excited about the whole idea of this weekend. Needless to describe the first evening, the next day or the last day, it was simply great – also thanks to my dear friends M and A!
During the three days I was away I did have some funny moments a few times where I started to search for Lu halfway in panic because I thought he was lost, only to realise he was not even there in the first place. I also checked my phone often. Too often. Nobody called, no sms, so everything was ok. By the time I flew to Madeira to meet my girlfriends for 6 days 8 months later I still checked my phone here and there – but definitely not too often! To be honest, you can´t completely “forget” that there is a small “mini you” waiting for mummy to come back home and I did buy more stuff for him as presents and sent him a postcard and missed him before falling asleep every evening. But I can´t lie – it felt damn good to stay out longer in the evening and sleep longer in the morning 😉
So, to all the mums out there – use your chances and have fun, because you are not just “the mother of” and to all the dads: it´s never too late to learn how to use the washing machine! At one point you will have to do it all on your own 😉