Going It Alone

by farrah on March 1, 2013 · 23 comments

I’m feeling very conflicted as I write this entry. Part of me feels like it’s just part of the ‘mom’ package that we sign up for when we have kids… and the other part of me feels like stamping my foot ala 6-year-old, arms crossed, yelling ‘But it’s not fair!’. Baylee

My husband returned home late last night from a work trip to Japan. I sat on the couch listening to him tell his visiting relatives all about his 12 hour business class flight- where he slept and for the most part had a relaxing trip. He was there for a few days outside of Tokyo with his boss and in addition to a few meetings he was able to see some sights and eat some local fare. Yet again- he came home from a trip bearing thoughtful gifts- and I was resentful that he was able to get away.

He was asked to go on this trip, he didn’t suggest it- nor did he volunteer. He works for a global company and it’s only logical that he would travel from time to time to see different locations. But fact of the matter remains…. I want to be able to go on a trip like that too. I’m being emotional- yes, logical- no.

Now before you jump on me and say ‘Hey there sister- but you HAVE gone on trips. You went to Wyoming last summer, and the summer before that you went to Minnesota. And now you live in Europe and you go places quite a bit!’. I know. I know it and I appreciate that fact. But I don’t go anywhere alone. I am not a me. I am a ‘we’. I am filled with logistics of getting a double stroller on a tram, wondering if I packed enough diapers and where the nearest restroom might be for my 4-year-old.

I just want to be able to go.

You know. Not walk to school, from school, make lunch, do laundry, empty the garbage or strip the beds. I want to have something that I can say ‘Hey! Whelp. Gotta pack my bags and get ready for a flight… the boys need this, this and this so see ya in a few days!!!’.

But life doesn’t work like that when the husband is the main breadwinner.

What irks me is that prior to this (really blessed) life that I have with the boys is that I traveled quite a bit. Be by car, plane or boat I was up for going anywhere, anytime, with anyone or by myself. I went on several solo trips in my 20s and enjoy my own quiet company. I saw cool stuff. I did cool things. I miss that. My husband told me that he was a traveler before we were married and had kids. That’s correct. But what was I? Someone waiting to make babies? I don’t think so.

The age-old question that I see plague mom blog after mom blog is ‘can we have it all?’ And not even so much when it comes to being SAHM/working mom related. But can we hold onto that small part of who we used to be prior to children? Isn’t it better (and healthier) in the long run if we are able to do that for everyone involved????

I’ve come to a conclusion- and I know that my husband will support it. I am going to make it a priority that I travel at least once a month by myself.

He may have to start using a vacation day here or there to cover a Friday- and yes, that will take away from family vacations time together- but there are going to be some sacrifices along the way.

I refuse to leave Europe without exploring as much as I can- and let’s be honest… little kids can’t exactly go everywhere. Travel here is much more affordable- and I don’t mind sleeping in a tiny one room hotel– but my kids? Not so much.

One thing that is a positive in all of this is that air travel here from country to country is much more affordable than flying within the US. Sure they aren’t going to be fancy airplanes (a friend told me one airline is outfitted with benches and seatbelts) but they are going to get me from point A to point B.

I am going to travel for work too. My work is my kids.

It’s just that my office is what I am going to be leaving.

 

What do you think? Am I being selfish? What is the balance?

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 CK March 1, 2013 at 12:30 pm

You’re not being selfish.

I don’t know if there is a true balance and I think everyone feels differently.

BC (before children), my job took me (almost every two weeks) to somewhere in North America or Europe (my husband still travels at least once a month for 6+ days at a time). I saw many different counties and cities throughout the years, often traveling myself and sometimes meeting a co-worker once in the city. Do I miss it, sometimes…. but after children, I did purposely take a different job, at a different company, so I would not have to travel. I personally can’t stand being away!! Don’t get me wrong, I crave and seek alone time.

I DO dislike being the logistical planner for ALL family outings, even those just down the street… absolutely hate it

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2 CK March 1, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I must add…. I really hate it when my husband comes home from a work trip and complains how tired he is! I’ve done those trips and they might be go-go-go the entire week, but almost every night of the trip includes a nice and relaxed dinner, a full night’s sleep in a bed made by someone else, and a 7+ hour flight to decompress and do whatever he wants to do! 🙂

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3 farrah March 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm

I still love traveling with my kids- but yeah- I miss the alone travel too. Lucky you to have had such a job with an experience like that 🙂 Logistical planning stinks. I wish I had an assistant for that- big time.

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4 Shannon March 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm

I love love love this! Yea for you — I think we moms so rarely take the time for ourselves (which I believe actually makes us better moms) to refresh and rejuvenate. Plus, think of all of the amazing stories and lessons you will be able to tell your kids about the new places you visit. Enjoy!

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5 farrah March 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Thanks Shannon. Same goes for you- what will YOU do to refresh??? You deserve it just as much too 🙂

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6 Jen March 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm

I feel you, my husband used to come to the US for weeks before we moved here, then there was the two weeks in Japan, the week in Dubai, all the trips around Europe, even now he gets to go all over the place. And before we met, I traveled a lot for work too, except I left that job when we got married because it impacted on our free time too much. The furthest I got to travel after that was to the Makro for office supplies! Considering how much we used to travel, by ourselves and as a couple/family, its a real shame that we don’t do it anymore. In fact, I haven’t even left the US since we arrived 6 years ago. It almost makes me want to move back to Europe…

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7 farrah March 2, 2013 at 8:46 am

I worry about this exact thing once we come back. I don’t want it to stop- and most of all it’s so much more expensive to travel in the US. The flights alone will do us in, not to mention the expense of the hotels. I am about to investigate hostels in Germany- and if they’re a win- that might be how we travel going forward. As for you— you know I have a guest room open and waiting 🙂

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8 Stephanie March 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm

No. I want to go, too. I don’t love traveling alone, though. If I have to for a conference or something, I will, but I prefer going with other people. Sometimes I even try to bring other people to the conferences. But, yes, if you want to go somewhere alone, you should totally have that option.

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9 farrah March 2, 2013 at 8:47 am

Fortunately my husband is on board. The issue is going to be with the logistics of it all. I am disappointed that any blogging conferences will be out of the question for me in the states while we are here- but I hope to catch up to you at one.. someday at least!

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10 Cynthia March 1, 2013 at 3:35 pm

I so understand this. Anytime I go on a “trip” I usually have the kids with me because my hubby works. What happens is I am super exhausted and my hubby gets a real vacation at home. Peace and quiet and not worrying about meals etc. I do wish I could get away for a break but right now I settle for alone time while running errands for my hubby and maybe soon I will take a weekend to renew myself.

Thinking that a “free” Friday for you will be good. It might be a good amount of time and you will definitely look forward to it. Look forward to hearing about those adventures too!

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11 farrah March 2, 2013 at 8:48 am

🙂 Thanks Cynthia! I am hoping that it works out. I am still not 100% confident in myself that I can navigate here solo- but I am willing to give it a shot!

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12 April G March 2, 2013 at 12:39 am

I think that’s a fabulous idea! Funny for me to read this today, because my three are driving me absolutely mad this afternoon. I’ve already spoken to my sister who lives nearby and planned a girls day tomorrow. Hubby is going to Buffalo Wild Wings with coworkers after he gets off work today and plans on being home right before the twin toddlers go to bed, and I don’t begrudge him that, but oh man, do I want to just pick up and go without lugging three kids and a giant diaper bag tomorrow!!!

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13 farrah March 2, 2013 at 8:49 am

Isn’t it funny when you actually do get a chance to go out alone- and you’re like- um, I’m missing something. I have to be! No big bag, no snacks, no little people to wrangle.. it is such a change. I hope you have a GREAT girls day today!!!

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14 Greta @gfunkified March 2, 2013 at 2:06 am

I think that’s a great idea! I hope you can make it happen. I would LOVE to do that, but my husband wouldn’t support it. He hates taking vacation days. SIGH.

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15 farrah March 2, 2013 at 8:50 am

I’m sure he does.. but you know-if there’s an incentive in there for him (happy, relaxed wife) then maybe he just might be a little easier to convince. Gosh I know you deserve some solo time too!

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16 Danielle March 2, 2013 at 4:40 am

I think it’s fantastic for you to have time for yourself. SAHM is a hard job! Most wouldn’t be able to handle it, never mind 3 kids in a new country. I always say motherhood plays a cruel joke on us. You love your kids to pieces but sometimes need a break. When you get one you feel guilty you are not with them and when you are with them too much you need one. I haven’t quite found a balance, but hopefully you did now. I look forward to reading about your alone trips.

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17 farrah March 2, 2013 at 8:52 am

Motherhood is SO funny like that. When the boys go to bed, I miss them. I feel like I’m a crazy person! The balance is elusive as I don’t know if/how I will manage it either- but something’s gotta give here, so we will give this a shot.

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18 Danielle March 2, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Whatever works! It’s worth a try.. It’s always fun trying to get the right formula to make it all work and once it does something changes.

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19 Nerdmommathfun March 2, 2013 at 5:54 am

That sounds A-MA-ZING. I think you’re exceptionally insightful & brave for coming to this conclusion – but you hafta promise to post about these adventures so I can live vicariously through you!!

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20 farrah March 2, 2013 at 8:53 am

You got it. And there’s no ‘Fakebooking’ here. I’ll be sure to share all of the not-so-great moments which I am absolutely sure to have 🙂

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21 Robbie March 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm

That sounds like a FABULOUS idea! You MUST take advantage of all the travel options while you are there. Traveling alone/with friends is completely different than traveling with young kids/family. One of them is MUCH more relaxing!! I can’t read all about your adventures and travel vicariously through you!

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22 Kerstin @ Auer Life March 6, 2013 at 10:57 pm

I think you can have it all, just not at once… My kids are 11 and 15 now and it is getting a lot easier in many ways. I still have a problem with my husband being the main bread winner (which I used to be when we still lived in Germany) and I feel like I don’t have the right anymore to d stuff for myself because of that. Funny that he never had that problem when I made more money than him…
I think it’s great that you are planning on going solo!!! That will be my goal as well.
(P.S. I miss you on the ippp link-up!)

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