My husband and I are taking a mini vacation- without the kids. **The baby is coming because she is still nursing and very spoiled** Since our children were born, we have been away from them no more than five times overnight. The last time we left the kids with their grandparents in order to attend a funeral across the country, and the entire time, I was a nervous wreck. The guilt of leaving my children behind was huge, this was not a small overnight nearby, over a thousand miles separated us. Now, for the second time, we are leaving our children with their grandparents in order to fly several hundred miles away. I am trying to accept this as being alright, but in my heart, I feel the tug of guilt. I am realizing how important it is for them, and for me, to give my children some space from time to time.
A few months ago, I began attending a women's Bible study. They provided excellent child care during the service, as well as a great program for the older kids. On the first day, I went in hopeful, bringing along our toddler in hopes to leave her in the child care to make some friends. It was terrible... beyond terrible. I felt guilt to the point of sobs as I watched my little girl through the one way mirror, screaming inconsolably. My heart was breaking because I knew that she was distressed, but I also knew that I was doing what was right for her by letting her go a little. Unfortunately, I did not make it through the entire service without getting her out.
One of the things that I whine about most in life is the need for alone time, for quiet and peace. Homeschooling is grueling at times; where some days you are so excited and joyful to see what your kids are learning, and knowing that you are part of that experience, other days you want to pull your hair out, want to scream, or DO scream, and DO pull your hair out! This is why taking time for yourself is so crucial, having time away from your children every now and then helps you to stay calm longer, and gives you perspective.
So, while hubby and I are taking a few days to ourselves (ok, he is going to conferences for work, but we will still have plenty of fun times), I know that I am teaching important lessons to both my children and myself.
- I am learning to loosen the reigns and allow my children time away from me, to explore their world without my particular rules and boundaries. By allowing this, I am giving them a sense of freedom, but SAFE freedom because I trust my parents to lead them right while I'm away.
- I am learning to live without guilt while letting my kids grow. One day they will leave my home, and I have to be able to accept that without falling apart!
- I am teaching them that independence is a good thing, and that in my absence, they must choose to do the right things, without my guidance.
There are probably many more things to be learned from this experience, but I am not going to let it drag me down. I am going to enjoy my time, and come back feeling refreshed and even more in love with my husband and my kids than before.