Mom on the Loose: Ready to Pack My Bag and Leave

Posted May 26, 2010 by

By the time this blog is posted, I will be 2000 miles away from my family.  I bought a ticket to the West coast and off I am going.  No more negotiating with my children, struggling with homework, or shuttling to and from activities and appointments.  I am free.  Free, for three and half whole days.  I am meeting my best girl friends in California.  Four out of the five are moms and we are collectively leaving nine children behind, ages six months to twelve years.  We are fortunate to have husbands, family, and friends to provide the childcare.

I asked my friend with the new baby if she was going to miss her.  She said she would, but she really just needed some time to be without someone beside her or needing something from her.  For me, I love going away, with kids or without.  I love leaving the dishes, laundry, pets, projects, and bills for awhile.  Skedaddle To Do Lists.  The first time this group went away was nine years ago, when there were only two babies at home.  Then, we didn’t go again for eight years.  I think we felt it was too selfish, too expensive, or just too impossible to plan.

We would still get together, but always with children.  In addition to my husband, they are my greatest strength of support in raising my children.  They know my trials, tribulations, and triumphs with my boys.  They have watched me weep and say “I just don’t think I can do it.”  They will say “Yes you can.”  One of them even volunteered to “Life Swap” with me for a week a few years back.  At that time, I turned her down, but her spirit helped pull me through.

Last year, we decided to make this trip a priority.  It is a chance to reconnect with our twenty-something selves.  It provides ample time for uninterrupted conversations. I have come to realize that everyone needs a break and an opportunity to recharge our stores of patience, love, and hope.  (Including my husband, who will leave the next weekend for a fishing trip with his long time buddies.)

What do you do to recharge? When was the last time you took a break?


Kim Stricker is a mom to two boys, an elementary school teacher, and freelance writer. She also writes a blog called lifeslikethis about the daily experiences of raising a child with Asperger’s and ADHD.

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  1. Kim Stricker (Edit) Report

    It sounds like you have a very full plate. We are the sandwich generation between our kids and our parents. Super overwhelming. Maybe you know other parents dealing with the same situation. Or if you don’t don’t, you need to put yourself more out there and start conversations about how hard it is to be in this place…I guarantee, many others are also there. Bottom line, take ten minutes for yourself, 30 if you are lucky, read a bad magazine, paint your toes, call your friend. it has been my experience people want to help, they just don’t know how. Ask. Reciprocate.-Kim

  2. Tired (Edit) Report

    Hello my name is Tired Lisa Griffin. I’m a single mother raising 2 daughters. I work 2 jobs and never have time for myself. I have been divorced for 4 years now. I’m also a full-time student trying to better myself. My whole entire life revolves around my girls and mother. I never can take time out for myself and have a Me Day. I wish I could go somewhere and relax and enjoy myself.

  3. Joanna (Edit) Report

    Yeah- well done and hope you felt refreshed. It’s like making an investment into the family as everyone benefits from a break every now and then. We just went away for our wedding anniversary without the kids. Hard in some respects, but worth it!

  4. Susan Engel (Edit) Report

    Bravo, Kim! I think it’s not only a nice idea, I’ll stick my neck out and say that it’s VITAL for us to recharge once in a while! Time away gives us precious time to ourselves and reinforces how much our children — our family — mean to us.

    So, again I say: Bravo, Kim! I hope that you had a fantastic trip. You deserve it! 🙂

  5. Kim Stricker (Edit) Report

    I love hearing about moms and dads who were able to get away and recharge. It really is so important when raising these challenging children. We love our kids so much, but we also need “to put the air mask on ourselves first.” If we are not in top form…neither are our kids. Single parenting is even more demanding. For some people, it is an unorthodox way of vacationing. I like to remind myself, parenting these type of children is also off the beaten path, so it is ok to be different and alone on your vacation!

  6. Melody (Edit) Report

    OMG, I’m soooo jealous! It would be nothing short of miraculous if I could get away by myself for a day, let alone a weekend. Getting together with other women to share our joys and struggles would be heavenly! Maybe the fact that I’m NEVER alone explains why I always feel like I can’t breath…

  7. Valiente Valerie (Edit) Report

    Dear Kim,
    Thanks for sharing your story. I am a single mom of a 17 year old young man. I had made arrangements to have my son stay with his girlfriends family for the week-end so that I could get away to the mountains with my college girlfriends for Memorial Day weekend. One day before I was to leave, he broke up with his girlfriend. I was crushed when my friends left Sat. morning without me. He made up with his girlfriend on Sat. evening so I decided to drive up on Sunday morning by myself. Fortunately, someone else took my spot at the spa for one night only. We sat in the hot springs pools and laughed and giggled and remembered old times together. I got to relax and recharge my batteries so I could look with new eyes at my son finishing high school this year and possibly going off on his own. I look forward to the freedom but I have to admit, its a little frightening to be on my own again too. My friends have teenagers too and they are single moms. I guess I need someone who understands to be there for me so I can let go of my trials and tribulations. They are always there for me. It was great to be with them again and I know I am a good mother and it will all turn out just right. The weekend turned out to be a lot of fun and I took one friend back for the ride home because she lived in the town closest to my own. My son had a great time being away for a while too.

  8. momathome (Edit) Report

    you go girl! I believe in vacationing occasionally sans children and husbands. I have spent two weekends at the beach by myself and it was so many things, lonely, pleasant, full of sleep, enjoyable and quiet. Most of all these trips restored my soul and filled me up. Everyone needs to reconnect with someone special in their lives, whether that person is a friend, parent, sibling or themself. We don’t live in a vacuum. Our spirits needs to be nurtured. THis is why they say put your own airmask on first, ya know. Sometimes you have got to fill up your soul for the sake of your loved ones.

  9. Kim Stricker (Edit) Report

    Becca, You are so great from being the super fun auntie! I always babysat and played with my friends kids…made me laugh, have fun, and appreciate my single life! You are a special friend for sure. Your friends are lucky to have you.

  10. Becca Cait (Edit) Report

    I am so glad you’re so honest about this. My friends who have children are so worried that they won’t be invited to “girls’ weekend” anymore, simply because they have a family at home. They always confide in me about how intrinsically important that weekend away with the girls is to their sanity, and their sensibility.

    I’ve started doing an “Auntie Becca Takes Over” day for my friends. Not having kids myself, it’s actually a great way for me to recharge: I love playing with toys and laughing about random bugs and other silly stuff. For the moms, it lets them get away to get their nails done, go to the movies, or just take a nap.



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