Mommy Holiday

Monday, 14 November, 2011

Back in May (?) after going away on our first family holiday with Astrid, Ben and I sat down and blocked out a couple of weeks during the rest of the year when we could do something similar without going away—a staycation in which we would neglect the housework, use disposable nappies, go out for meals (or get takeaway), spend the days doing fun and slightly touristy things and generally take a break from everyday life. As I wrote in a previous post, holidaying with kids isn't the same as the way we used to holiday. I started to think that perhaps the way to actually get a decent break (the kind in which you feel recharged and regenerated) was to do something slightly different.

However, around the time that one of those blocked-out weeks came up, Ben had to take on work because he had been low on work in the months previous. At first we thought we could just change the week to another week (since it's all arbitrary, really). But then Ben decided to take on other work, and recently he's been working insane hours—six days a week plus evenings too for freelance stuff. This means we've been going and going for quite a long time now—almost six months without stopping—and at the moment, I'm not getting some of my normal non-Astrid periods. I'm starting to go a little nuts. Even if you're not doing a lot together, full-time childcare really takes its toll. I'm pretty much in mommy mode (um … you know what I mean) 10-11 hours a day seven days a week (six if I can wrangle a day off with Ben's agreement). It's exhausting. (And if you think I'm a wuss, I invite you to try it while your spouse works as much as Ben has been and feels as tired as he does.)

At first, I scheduled in another week during which I thought I could have a break, even if Ben couldn't. But then I realised that I needed to be more strategic about it. Hence the idea of the “Mommy Holiday”. (NB: The “Mommy” in “Mommy Holiday” is an oblique reference to Mommy Wars by Leslie Morgan Steiner, which is about stay-at-home mums and working mums and mums who do both. I haven't read it but I intend to. Okay, the connection probably only makes sense in my head. Anyway.) The idea behind the Mommy Holiday is to find ways to rest and recharge so that I can still continue the marathon of parenting. Here are my made-up rules:

Mommy Holiday starts tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes.


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