Saturday, June 29, 2013

Repost: Taking a vacation from parenting

I've contributed to the Orlando Sentinel's Moms at Work blog since 2010. The blog is changing content management systems and my old posts will no longer be available to the public, so I'm reposting them here, in the order that they were originally posted.

July 25, 2012

I thought I needed a little holiday from parenting, but it turns out that I'm a little puzzled about what to do with myself when I'm not Mom.

For the past several days, my daughter has been vacationing 70 miles away from home, on a week-long visit with my mother.

My husband and I had big plans for this time. We were going to spend tons of childfree time together. We'd hit the movies, go to a restaurant or two, and generally just revel in a less stressed, fully grownup life for six glorious days.

That's not what's actually happened.

Oh, kiddo's having all the fun we imagined for her: lots of play, trips to parks, grandparent-sponsored treats I'd never buy and the joy of being endlessly fascinating to somebody other than Mommy and Daddy for a change.

We, while delighted to have more uninterrupted time with each other, have found that parenting consumes our thoughts even when there's no child in the house. I get out of bed in the morning and have to stop myself from bounding to kiddo's room to wake her for school. My husband doesn't know what to do with himself during the time we usually devote to her bedtime. Earlier this week, I left work at the end of the day and drove nearly to her school as if to pick her up before remembering that she wasn't there. We made it to a movie theater, but more of our time has been spent at home -- and an embarrassing amount of that time has revolved around discussions about how much we miss her.

As hectic as our lives are when we're operating normally, we'll be so delighted to retrieve her at the end of this week.

Our lives just don't feel right without her here.

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