Two weeks from today I will be in the middle of a three-day conference learning lots of cool things about blogging and social media. If I wasn’t feeling so crappy I would be excited beyond belief. As it is, I can barely contemplate packing and have only vaguely thought about what I will feel like being away from my family for almost three whole days!
I have never been away from my Little Man for more than a few hours. Big Boy had to deal with my absence when I was in the hospital after his brother was born (by all accounts, he didn’t deal well but that was three years ago so things should be better this time!) but it’s different this time because I’m choosing to leave them to focus on myself.
I know, it’s a foreign concept to me but the absolute norm for a lot of others.
When I first heard about the Blissdom Canada conference I could almost taste how badly I wanted to attend. The problem was that, like any conference, there’s a pretty hefty price tag attached. It took me almost two weeks to work up the courage to even talk to my husband about it! Part of that was likely because I feel that since I’m not bringing any real money into the household right now I have no right to spend his hard-earned money in such a frivolous way. (He would never say that, it’s just how I see things.)
I finally got my “permission” to get my ticket which made me pretty happy, at the time I was still nursing Little Man so knew that I would be driving back and forth every day but, other than having to get up really early to miss traffic, it wasn’t going to be so bad. A few weeks later I made the decision to discontinue nursing an almost 3-year-old (mostly because he bit me so hard that I still have a slight ache in my left nipple!) and I started to think about the benefits of staying at the hotel for the conference.
I went back-and-forth about it for the longest time! I could tell from the Facebook group that there was going to be a lot of activities going on into the wee hours (Parties! People with wine! Waterslide!) and I really didn’t want to miss out on the sanctioned (and not-so-sanctioned) fun but at the same time I felt really guilty for wanting to do something that would take me away from my family. I know that the kids will be fine, between Daddy, GranNan and Papa they will be well cared for and busy enough that they’ll hardly miss me, but would I be fine without them? It’s uncharted territory for me.
We had my sister over for dinner on the weekend, she was picking up her daughter who had spent the weekend at the farm with us. Our little Princess is a pro at adjusting to whatever situation she finds herself in. I think she was about 5 days old the first time her parents left her with GranNan so they could go out for breakfast. I’ve always been a little in awe of how my sister is able to entrust her baby to other people. I’m not talking strangers, mind you, Princess has stayed overnight with all of her grandparents, my cousin and her brood of four, and with us. She also stays home with her dad while my sister visits friends out west and takes her annual girls weekend up at the cottage. (I’m totally envious of her having “girls” to get away with, I don’t have that and never have.)
It just shows how differently two women who were raised by the same mom can choose to parent their children. Neither way is right or wrong, just very different. I end up having huge anxiety when I think about leaving my kids to go out to dinner with my husband because I never know how they’re going to act without me! Now I’m thinking about leaving them for two nights and three days for something that’s not medically necessary, or even necessary in any way! It’s just something that I want to do!
So how did I come to my decision to actually book a hotel room? The only way I know how to make these decisions…the coward’s way. I first mentioned the possibility when my husband and I were with my parents, that meant that whatever disparaging comment that could be made probably wouldn’t be since witnesses were present!
Then I let it go for a few days, when we were at dinner the other night I brought it up again. The first thing that my sister said was, “Hell, yeah! Go away, it’ll be good for you! I do it all the time!” Something was then said about being a poor mother for wanting to leave my children and my sister came back with, “Well you guys must think that I’m a terrible mother then!” (We do sweetie, we just don’t say it to your face! 🙂 )
The thing is, I knew that I could count on her to back me up. She could do for me what I couldn’t which is give me the courage to choose to better myself for the sake of my children (which sounds really dramatic and noble) while at the same time having fun. Parties! Wine! Waterslide! (Which is probably a lot more realistic!)
So now I just have to get over this crummy cold, pack my bags and gas up the truck. Then, spend the next two weeks changing my mind a dozen times about what clothes to take (shouldn’t be difficult since half my wardrobe is still packed away), whether my iPad or computer is more important to haul around, and how many bottles of wine can be packed into my luggage!
Blissdom here I come!