This is what freedom looks like to me:
I’m sitting in the airport terminal, sipping a hot cup of coffee (a rarity with three kids because my coffee usually becomes iced by the time I drink my last drop), earbuds in listening to my ipod and reading a magazine. I hear something about a 40 minute delay over the loudspeaker and I. DO. NOT. CARE. I have freedom because I don’t have to think about how to entertain my little ones during this delay, restocking my supply of snacks, or worry about how this will impact their sleep schedule and overall demeanor for the flight. I am flying solo.
I am leaving my family for 24 hours to get some girl time with my best friends. This is unprecedented and MUCH needed.
This is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE flying experience compared to my last trip: the time I travelled nearly 12 hours with 3 small children on a plan and no screens.
There a trillion ways to make a mom feel guilty, but I refuse to feel guilt for carving out some serious me time. When the opportunity arose to see my besties for a quick jaunt to my old stomping grounds, the troops mobilized and in record time, we all had childcare figured out, I had a flight booked and my bestie found a great deal on a hotel room, and we had restaurant reservations made for brunch (because, priorities, mama loves her some mimosa).
It wasn’t until I was going through airport security, okay honestly I was breezing through security because it was just me and no little ones to keep track of or explain every single thing to (we are in the “Why?” phase) I really let my freedom sink in. I received a (*free) cup of coffee (*the barista probably saw my crazed look and felt I really needed the java) and I felt the shackles of parenthood being thrown off because I could do whatever I wanted for the next 24 hours. I was drunk with freedom!
Caveat: This was only made possible by having an amazing husband who welcomes and encourages me to take “me time.” He was home with the ladies and rocking the ‘single dad’ thing for the next day or so. Even better, when I called him from the airport and relayed my glee and unbridled joy at travelling solo, he mirrored back my sentiment because he had recently travelled solo for work and totally knew what I was talking about. He said the girls were doing great, go have fun, see you tomorrow night. And I was off!
It’s hard to admit I needed some freedom, but words cannot express how freeing it is to do something for yourself and give yourself permission to enjoy it!
The next 24 hours were filled with easy flowing conversation, nonstop laughter, reminiscing, reflections on life, pop culture (because that’s my current events), walks, getting lost, more walking, delicious food and drink, sharing one giant king sized bed with my bestie, make-up tips, female support and inspiration, and a constant reel of memory-making moments. I didn’t know how badly I needed to be rejuvenated until I was there.
We give so much of ourselves to our work, home life, and children… this was a moment to literally take a time out and focus on filling my cup.
When I spent 24 hours away from my family, I was able to become a better version of myself, and become a better wife, mother and friend.
When my bestie dropped me off at the airport for my flight home, I knew it was only a day, but it felt like time stopped for us a little bit. During our time together we were back in high school, college, and our early 20s… figuring life out now. While I was walking around my old “home city” with my best girlfriends it felt like I was seeing ghosts. I was walking by places I had shared super awkward first (and only) dates, where I used to shop, eat lunch, or read a book on a nice day. I daydreamed in the same park and wondered what my life would be like down the road.
Now I’m there. I live in another state, I married a man I still cannot believe is my forever boyfriend, and I have three little girls I never imagined would be so amazing and fun. I am living my dream life and I needed to take a step back and look at it from the outside to truly appreciate everything I have and feel the awe. I needed the time away, and then 24 hours later, I was ready to go home.