No 1 Son was about 18 months old when I was asked to go on a work trip abroad for the first time. There were two reasons I didn’t feel I could turn it down: 1) My boss made it clear it was expected that I would go and 2) It was to New York for two days, with Disney.
So after lots of hand-wringing and reassurance from Man of the House and my mum that No 1 Son would be fine, I set off. And once I was in the air, talking to the other adults on the trip, I started to feel… like a Grown-Up again. That night we went for a fancy dinner in a restaurant in the Big Apple, I had steak and martinis instead of fishfingers, potato waffles and an early night, and it was wonderful.
On that trip I wasn’t with friends, I was working *cough*, but it made me realise how good it is – sometimes, not all the time – to get away with friends and remind yourself who you are in addition to being a mum, even if it’s just for a few days. As No 1 Son was growing up I went away with close friends to Las Vegas, Greece and er… Blackpool, and in the last few years, thanks in part to this blog, I’ve been enjoying Mums Only getaways to places as far-flung as Florida, the Caribbean, Ireland, and… Yorkshire.
You have to ignore the nagging voice in your head (usually your mum). And the guilt, but that soon disappears once the cackling starts, to be honest.
And of course the majority of my leisure time has always been spent with my boy. I’ve always made sure I’m not away for too long and we’ve been on some amazing trips together.
Being a mum is the most important thing in my life. But being with friends, whether there’s two of you or lots of you, laughing and talking about anything you like (sometimes nonsense, sometimes something deeper) is a fantastic feeling. Getting away, even if only for a few days, does wonders for you, your equilibrium and your family. Because of course you miss your offspring – and coming home to them is always something to look forward to.