My First Spring Break Without Kids Since Becoming A Parent
To many parents, married or single, Spring Break can send a jolt of anxiety through them. Cause for many of us, it doesn’t involve a one-week trip to Jamaica; it involves extra planning and work while we simultaneously tend to our full-time jobs.
Myself being ever-the-organizer, I’ve always started planing well in advance for this holiday in past – play dates, mini-trips, special outings – whatever it would take eliminate the dreaded ’I'm bored’ whine, and keep choas from running rampant.
Well, Spring Break is now over for my kids – two of my three kids went back to school this morning. And I can’t help but notice how it FLEW by this year, with minimal planning, minimal whining, and maximum fun. What was the difference this year? My ex took the kids for five days. This was the first time EVER – all my married life included – that I didn’t have my three young kids solo during this school break.
I can not express enough how recharging it was for me to have five days off to myself. I still spent most of it working. But just knowing I could do whatever I wanted, whever I wanted, was absolutely intoxicating. Oh, you know I love my kids more than anything in this world. But as any full-time mom will say, ‘me-time’ is always the last thing on the list and often not tended to. Consequently I end up feeling stressed out and burnt out more often than I care to admit.
But what five days off also meant was that the mom my kids returned to was totally fired up and ready to maximize the remaining break time we had together. And like I said, those five days FLEW by. It’s not that we did anything extraordinary together like go to Disneyland – but it translated into me being more patient and present with my kids whether we were out and about, or simply hanging around at home. In fact, the memory that stands out most to me was yesterday when I had a bunch of kids playing at my house. Everyone decided to ‘love mommy and show her how much they appreciate her cause she does so much for us.’ (And no – it wasn’t my idea!) I was then ordered to lie down as one child proceeded to brush my hair, and two others scrubbed my feet and massaged them. Another brought me snacks and fed me, while another cracked my back. But the ‘mommy-love’ didn’t end there – they then eagerly did a myriad of chores around the house with big smiles on their faces and their little chests puffed out with pride…
And in my mind, that memory will be emblazoned as sweetly as any future trips to Disneyland.