Sometimes the delay in me writing my own blogs is because I lose time reading other’s. So many amazing mama’s, some I know, most I don’t, sharing their messy beautiful lives. One in particular caught my eye today, it’s title “Take the Trip”. One mom’s advice to push past the crazy of planning, financing, packing, etc… to make it happen, because you’ll never regret it. I couldn’t agree more, I’ve never regretted a single trip I’ve taken. People’s priorities are different, I get that. If you’re a homebody, taking a trip is likely the LAST thing you would want to do. For me, if money weren’t an issue, I doubt I would even claim a home address. Different strokes for different folks.
The sticky point for me is when people say they CAN’T take the trip, usually quoting finances, childcare, or time as the issue. All valid issues. All have influenced my ability to say yes to particular trips at a particular times, and yet. In the last 5 years, starting with two littles and increasing up to four, with a very tight budget living in one of the most expensive areas on the planet, I’ve managed to eek out 5-10 days out of the year sans kiddos, sometimes with Kevin, sometimes without. My favorite comment of all time is when someone said, “I just love my kids too much to leave them.” True story. The best part was they didn’t even realize how that sounded coming out. They just continued looking at me with these doe eyes that conveyed equal parts pity we didn’t share the same immobilizing love for children, and judgment at how could I not. Thankfully I’m secure in the depth of my love for my children, so I don’t have to engage in fabricated mom competitions, whether waged consciously or subconsciously.
The truth is a LOT of people love my children. I work my BUTT off 355-360 days a year shaping them into human beings that will remain enjoyable to be around, but the fact of the matter is I was before them, will be after them, and there are parts of myself and my marriage that require at least 5-10 days a year of intentionality. Not only is the time away restorative, but I feel like its a healthy milestone for the kids development as well, a reminder that I am not the end all/be all for them. Is it scary being so far away from the kids, do I worry about something going horribly wrong and not being able to get back to them? Absolutely. Will I ever let fear dictate my life? Absolutely not. Modeling the choice of faith over fear, that the One that loves them infinitely more than I ever could can and will protect and provide for them, knowing I’ve done everything within my power to set them up for success and trusting in that truth makes it possible.
You know when you need it. You know when your spouse needs it. If you’re desperate for it, but can’t figure out how to make it happen, reach out and ask for help. If the first few options for help don’t pan out, keep asking. If you need to bring your kids to me (even if you’re worried I don’t actually love children ;), bring them. There will be no looks of judgment or pity, just a high-five for putting all the pieces together and making it happen! I can’t promise what I’ll look like when you come back to pick up your kids, but me and God will do our best to keep ’em alive. If you can put faith in one of us, it should work in your favor.
There is a disclaimer to be made however, re-entry to parenting, it’s a thing. I’ve taken to explaining it using the analogy of a space craft re-entering Earth’s atmosphere after its tour in space, the similarities are staggering. There is a reason you literally have to be a rocket scientist to go into space, the dynamics of re-entry are steeped in so much peril that your craft could actually explode upon re-entry if not managed properly. First, no one has sympathy for you. You just went on the trip of a life time, if you struggle with the return to reality, no one cares so you either struggle silently or you find some one that has gone on a similar trip and you discuss what a ‘thing’ this re-entry actually is. The heat and pressure of re-entry…. Off the charts. It will completely destroy you if not adequately prepared. So let me prepare you. Your kids will seem insane. It’s not your kids. It’s the fact that for a few days your brain processed full and complete thoughts, and you experienced peace you forgot existed. There is no ‘gradual’ re-entry. You were out of the atmosphere, and now your back. It’s jarring when everyone wants to tell you all about their week at once, and to be sure THEY are heard want to shout over everyone else, who is already shouting. The under four crowd won’t want to let go of you, for a solid week. They regress slightly and want to be carried everywhere JUST to be sure you’re not actually going anywhere without them. Everything you did before you left, house cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, needs to be done with an urgency that CAN. NOT. WAIT. So to recap, it’s actually exactly the life you left a week or so prior, but now with the nagging reminder that people all over the world are living in that quiet, peaceful, complete thought luxuriousness daily. Re-entry is a thing not to be trifled with…. but let’s be honest, would you choose not to experience space travel just because there were some risks to the re-entry process? No. Take the trip.
To make my point abundantly clear…. we’ll end with pics from the last few days of our trip!The water…. Most beautiful clear blue EVER!
So clear, we could see all the sea creatures under our boat as we sailed over.
Kevin loved snorkeling…. I thought it was fun, till we saw a shark. Then… not so much 🙂
Didn’t stop me from swinging into the water though!
Anegada Lobster’s for dinner… Yumm!!! They were HUGE!
Something about rainbow’s in paradise… I just love them!
The Bath’s were INCREDIBLE! Amazing exploring through these HUGE boulders!
The sunrise over Anegada…. SO pretty!
Travels home were un-eventful, thank goodness, and we’ve weathered our re-entry period successfully. It doesn’t hurt that two weeks from today, we’ll be back out to the beach for a family trip to Hilton Head using our Marriott points. One of the other bonuses of making travel a priority, when you experience the fun for yourself, you’re that much more motivated to make it a priority for your kids as well. Just important to remember the difference: Traveling without kids is a ‘vacation’ (A departure from reality), traveling WITH kids is a ‘trip’, (bringing your reality to a new destination)…. Both totally worth the sacrifice to make it happen!
Every time I read your blog I miss you that much more! This was a terrific post and so full of truth.
Love you friend!