11 Jul

This post is one of a series for KIDsized Living. It’s a bit tardy going up this month but if you’re slow on the uptake too and you’ve come from KIDsized, howdy do.

What’s the maximum amount of time you’ve ever spent away from your precious progeny? I have a friend who’s yet to spend a single night away from her son, almost three, and I’ve had quite a bizarre conversation with a mum who weaned her 5-month-old so she could holiday in St Tropez, sans enfant.

I’m very lucky to have compliant grandparents on hand who have given me and my partner a Saturday night to ourselves every once and a while, but last weekend I got on an airplane all by myself, for a whole 48 hours of freedom. It was kind of, well, weird.

There was this adjustment period after I became a mum where I would arrive at an event and everyone would be surprised. “Oh! I didn’t realize you’d bring your baby along!” “Oh, is this her? Um, well the pram, um, could go, err…”

Now the opposite is true, and it took some explaining to my girlfriend living in Darwin that I was planning a solo adventure to come and visit her. I don’t think she sounded disappointed – at least, I’m pretty sure she didn’t. Not much anyway. And so flights were booked and I was away.

The joy of it all began on the flight and really, I could have got on that plane, watched two movies, eaten dinner I didn’t have to cook, without talking or interacting with anyone, and returned home a happy woman. But I hit all the other big ones too – the sleeping in, leisurely shopping, the long, adult conversations about world issues and boys.

I didn’t long desperately for my daughter, as so many seemed certain I would (it was two nights, for crying out loud). But I did find myself compulsively drawn to random rug-rats, like an ex-smoker following the scent of a cigarette down the street. And I felt a strange sense of something missing, like a lost limb. I was reminded I actually like spending time with her.

Plus all that clever conversation was exhausting.

I came home completely knackered to be honest, and it felt pretty good to slip back into mummy mode. Next time, I’ll make everybody happy and bring my lost limb along for the ride.


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