I am putting the case forward for parents to cut themselves some slack when it comes to a night away from home. Chocolate features strongly. Naturally.
Mams need to get away occasionally. Why? They love their family. Home. Children. Why leave for personal reasons? Are we selfish? Or are we ultra tough on ourselves? Why would we put ourselves through the going away guilt? Is it worth it…
I have put myself through a mental torment for one night away. I don’t know why! I have had lots of time with my friends since my girls were born. I have been to London, Boston and Prague for crying out loud! It doesn’t matter though. The feeling that you are abandoning your precious ones will always stick compass points in your conscience regardless of this.
Having said all that, I am packed and ready to go. It is much needed. I am writing to tell you that you are entitled to this. So parents- here are the reasons we should fight the guilt, get time out alongside a few tips of what to do when you get there. If you need them!
1. The Initial Meet Up Chat.
The Getting on the Road Buzz is nearly as good as the trip itself. Make a plan. Ensure you don’t dawdle too much. Time to get going. The sooner you are on the way the easier leaving is. The chat will cheer you up immediately. Friendship banter is therapy.
2. Choose your Getaway Companions wisely.
If you are an exhausted Mama, you need to make sure the people you are travelling with are on your wavelength. They don’t have to be parents themselves, they just have to be people you can be most comfortable with. You should know if this trip is about partying, spas, sun loungers, sport or shopathons. Walk into the getaway with knowledge. Be armed. No point heading away for a weekend of hiking if you have no love for it! Luckily I get away with my friends a few times per year and we know each other inside out. We know how it rolls. We like much the same thing. A little bit of everything. Food. Talk. Naps. Shopping. In any order. Maybe a little drinkie- but not too much. These are the people I enjoy being with. Maybe you like the active break or an all-night booze up- for me it is all about rest.
3. A Little Bit of Retail Therapy.
I know I mentioned that too much shopping might be more tiring than relaxing. A little browse and buy is a totally different ball game though! I suggest pyjamas and chocolate. For YOU! This is exactly what I bought. Nine euros for fleece pyjamas and a few extra euros for posh truffles. Indulgence.
4. A Yummy Dinner.
My friends are definitely food lovers. We are all about the restaurant. It is important to make good choices! Good meaning delicious. One friend, who loves dessert, always makes the wrong choice- a brownie that is dry or a mousse that is too dense. We choose for her. This can be fatalistic fun. It is always a good talking point however!
5. Cocktail anyone?
I am not the seasoned party animal of my twenties. This does not mean I turn my nose up at a glass of pink bubbles. A cold Corona with lime. A Prosecco cocktail. A couple of shots, throwback in more ways than one! Butterball. Remember those, Celtic Tiger? A few well chosen drinks to enjoy rather than a large quantity to over indulge in.
6. Belly Laughs.
I really hope that you readers out there have people that you can truly laugh with. Let rip with. Chuckles. Giggles. Howls of rapture. This will help your mental state or reduce anxiety levels far quicker and less cheaper than the therapist couch.
7. Call it a Night while you still have a Night.
The difference between this night out and the one in your twenties is knowing when to go to bed. You need to enjoy the hotel and not stay awake half the night yacking! Enjoy being in a bed that you didn’t launder, make or have to make yourself. Bliss. So next…
8. Lie In and Laze at a Classy Hotel.
You need a comfortable bed on a night away. Make sure that you and your friends have chosen wisely. Review check the hotel first! Don’t settle! We picked the Crowne Plaza in Blanchardstown. I was so impressed by the interior design in this hotel. I appreciated every thoughtful detail. Butterflies, Venetian masks and even an ornate, oversized birdcage adorned the purple and silver walls.
The hotel is located in the centre of a shoppers’ paradise. Perfect for this sort of weekend. We slept well. Good room! Seeing as I don’t get a full night often this is a big deal. Mammies need the sleep so they will have energy for parenting so I am fighting the guilt. You should too!
9. Don’t Worry about Home.
This is hard. You are so immersed in home life that sometimes you feel as if it must stop if you are not present. How can you be replaced? Who knows what you do? Who can do what you do? I have learned that children will turn to their next carer naturally. They will have more attention, minding and treats than ever. In short, we need to give ourselves a break. The kiddies are in good hands or you wouldn’t have left them.
10. Appreciate the Time.
You will be on mop duty again soon enough. You may feel horribly guilty but you need to work on leaving that feeling at the doorway. Being away is good for your mind. A healthy mind makes a happy parent. Hopefully that leads to having happy children. Having some cake with your besties doesn’t make you a bad parent. You deserve it.
11. Oh you know me so well. Time for Treats.
Finally, eat some more chocolate! Don’t forget to do that. You can have celery on Monday.
Have a lovely time out. You will be a better parent for it.