135 weeks and 5 days | On leaving my children

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Last week I did something I’ve not done in years.

Something that, as a single girl — or even a married woman without children — I wouldn’t have thought twice about.

I went on holiday for a few days.

Without my children. Without my husband.

I had been invited away by one of my best friends; with some of her other close friends and family members. And a couple of Fridays ago eight women — who’d all been let off the parental leash — skipped off to various airports; and boarded flights to Portugal.

The Great Escape

Now, as a married woman with two small children, this is something that takes an inordinate amount of planning. And a lot of generosity on the part of your partner. Our twins are now two and a half and this is the first time I’ve ever left them for any length of time; without my husband in tow.

Any occasion I’ve left them over the last couple of years, I’ve been with their daddy (generally because we’ve managed to wrangle some childcare and gone to a festival) but the most I’ve been away for, by myself, since the boys were born is one night.

Four nights, away from motherly duties.

Three days of adult conversation (apart from the Karaoke and cocktail night — there wasn’t much adult conversation to be had that evening).

Being able to get up (or go for a nap) whenever I wanted; go to the toilet without an audience.

It was a blast from the past, not to have anyone to answer to and I’d *almost* forgotten what it was like. It was lovely to be able to read a magazine from cover to cover, drink a hot cup of tea. Eat my breakfast without any distractions (Mama, I’ve dropped my spoon/more toast mama/JUICE MAMA!!).

Laze about. Who does that these days?

The weather was a bit mixed; grey skies and a little bit of rain but, even so, it was heavenly.

Portugal_Grid2a

5 thoughts on leaving my children.

1/ It’s important to do this every once in a while.

Just to rediscover yourself again. Although you’re a wife and mother, you’re also an individual. No labels. It’s lovely to just be yourself —even if it’s just for 24 hours.

2/ Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

I missed my three boys SO much. As they did me.

I Face-Timed them, a couple of times whilst I was away, so I did see them but it’s not the same as being in the same room. Or even in the same country. Coming home was as exciting as going away in the first place. Genuinely.

3/ The joy of a hot, uninterrupted drink should never be underestimated.

This is something you wholly take for granted, pre children. As a mother of twin toddlers I can tell you that it’s something to be treasured.

4/ It’s just as important for your partner to have some one-on-one (or in our case, one-on-two) time with their children.

My boy had such a lovely time with our sons. They went in little outings, did ‘boy-stuff’  together. And, upon my return, the Twinkles daddy actually said — and I quote —

‘What’s all the fuss about? This parenting malarkey is a doddle.

Ahem. That’s a pink ticket for another weekend away, if ever there was one ;)

5/ Finally — and this is perhaps the most important point — if you want a fully relaxing time away from your children and wish to come back feeling fresh and rejuvenated, never — I repeat NEVER — go away with seven other mothers.

A combination of freedom, late nights and too much alcohol does not a rested woman make.

The following week I felt totally and utterly broken.

Portugal_Grid1a

Regaining a Sense of Perspective

For most of us ‘normal’ people, who don’t employ the services of a full time au pair or nanny — or have willing grandparents who’ll step in at a moment’s notice — leaving our children is a real luxury.

It’s not often easy to sort out childcare for more than one night but, another thing I’ve learned is that, whilst it’s a luxury it’s also pretty important to get away every once in a while.

It gives you a real sense of perspective. Sometimes when we’re getting bogged down by the minutiae of life — dealing with toddler tantrums and trying to juggle a million and one things without dropping the metaphorical balls — we forget to be kind to ourselves.

It’s all too easy to give ourselves a hard time for the things we’re not doing and not appreciate the all things we do manage to cram in.

Having a break from my little family has given me a renewed sense of purpose and made me appreciate everything just that little bit more.

It also made me realise that looking after twin toddlers is much, much easier than trying to keep up with a group of mothers who’ve been let off the leash for a few days.

Now that is exhausting ;)

Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

62 Comments

    • 12th Oct 2015 / 7:36 pm

      Carie, it was such a treat. And you’re right, totally and utterly worth the exhaustion that followed ;) xx

  1. 13th Oct 2015 / 6:16 am

    sounds like you had a ball! I’ve yet to sample the delights of a childfree break, we talked about going away on a second honeymoon when we hit 10 years whilst honey mooning with out toddler. it never happened, instead we went on the most amazing family holiday but we do still talk of our city breaks we’ll have one day. #twinklytuesdays

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:36 pm

      It’s definitely worth doing. Even if it’s just overnight in the UK with a couple of girlfriends — really makes you appreciate everything (and be appreciated) just that little bit more!! :) xx

  2. 13th Oct 2015 / 6:28 am

    Wow that sounds amazing. Your husband is a real champ. I’d love the chance to finish a cup of tea when it was still hot….or, even better a cocktail before the ice melted…on a beach….a child free beach…
    #twinklytuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:32 pm

      He’s a real darling for letting me go. And even better — the morning that I went and I was stressing out a little bit, he said ‘go and enjoy yourself — you deserve it’. Awww. Just hearing that made it feel OK to go and let my hair down.

      PS — Can I come with you to the child free beach???? ;) xx

  3. Mackenzie Glanville
    13th Oct 2015 / 6:54 am

    I had a night away with girlfriends a couple of years ago, it was loads of fun, but we spent all night talking and I came home shattered! Think I needed a few extra days! #TwinklyTuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:30 pm

      That’s EXACTLY what happened Mac!!! We stayed up til past 2 most nights, talking and unwinding. I was absolutely punished last week as a result!! Totally ruined and went to bed at 9pm, as a result!! xx

  4. 13th Oct 2015 / 7:05 am

    Well by the looks of your photos it seems you had a fab time, mummy guilt always steps in at times doesn’t it but like you say absence makes the heart grow fonder, I’d be happy to get away from the hubby’s snoring ;) #twinklytuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:27 pm

      Haha!! I got away from my husband’s snoring and shared a room with one of my bests who snores even LOUDER!!! LOL! C’est la vie!! ;) xx

  5. 13th Oct 2015 / 7:10 am

    Well done you Caro. Dome friends and I had an annuals girly weekend and I managed to keep going despite children. The others have none.. I am so glad I went each year. It really does one good to get away now and again.

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:24 pm

      I think it’s so important to get away — even if it’s in the same country!! Just to have a bit of distance so everyone can remember how much they love each other and how much we do, in our day to day lives xx

  6. 13th Oct 2015 / 7:23 am

    Wild women!! Looks awesome. You are SO lucky having Europe on your doorstep; Australia is amazing, but no OS jaunts here any time in the near future. Geeze, we totally need and deserve it! Working 24/7, for YEARS straight, is exhausting. Good on you. I shall toast you later on. Anna #TwinklyTuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:21 pm

      Aaah thanks so much Anna!! Yep — we’re SO lucky to have Europe on the doorstep. Cheap flights too, made it a very affordable long weekend. Although I felt absolutely punished at the end of it!! I need another break to get over it all!!!! ;) x

  7. 13th Oct 2015 / 7:24 am

    Sounds like absolute bliss! Am reading this as I contemplate my first night away on my own since miss was born. Sure, it’s for work, but it still feels pretty huge. You’ve made me think it might be a good idea, if only to make me remember myself before children! #twinklytuesdsy

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:20 pm

      Aah it will be fine lovely!! Good for you — and your little one — to get away for a little while. If only to see the big smiles when you get home again!! That was the best bit!! :) xx

  8. Mrs C
    13th Oct 2015 / 7:27 am

    This is all SO true. I’m rubbish at doing it myself but it should somehow be mandatory!x #twinklytuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:18 pm

      It SHOULD be shouldn’t it?! A new government initiative!! Mandatory weekends away for every mother in the UK!! ;)

  9. Kerry
    13th Oct 2015 / 7:52 am

    This looks blissful and I’m really rather jealous. I could really do with this right now xxx #TwinklyTuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:17 pm

      Aah it was lovely. Long overdue too — although it was just as lovely to be back!! First time I’ve ever felt like that!! :)

  10. Jen @ 4,128 miles
    13th Oct 2015 / 7:53 am

    How wonderful! I am very jealous – looks like a fab trip! #twinklytuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:16 pm

      Aaah it was SO lovely :) Was absolutely broken when I got home though!! Needed another break to get over it!!

  11. Helen
    13th Oct 2015 / 8:10 am

    Looks like you had a lovely time! We’re about to leave our daughter for the first time with my mother in law and I’m feeling really nervous about it! I keep telling myself, like you say, it is important for everyone that we have some time apart :) #TwinklyTuesday

    Helen x

    http://treasureeverymoment01.blogspot.co.uk/

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:14 pm

      Helen — it will do you both good — I promise!! Honestly it will :) Your mother in law will probably love hanging out with her granddaughter for a little while too. Winning all round :) xx

  12. 13th Oct 2015 / 8:15 am

    This made me really jealous! I have a night away with my hubby booked next week (Grandma is stepping into the breach) and I can’t wait!!!!!!! Nice hotel, film premiere, pretty clothes and London nightlife – real grown up stuff……… just need to get this pile of work and laundry done before I go :-( #TwinklyTuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:13 pm

      Aaah Anita — that sounds LOVELY!!! That will be a gorgeous treat. Enjoy every second! x

  13. 13th Oct 2015 / 8:40 am

    Totally agree with all of your points. You need time for yourself and to be yourself. I would just add that you need to be able to also do this financially too. #twinklytuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:12 pm

      Yep. Agree. It’s not something we could afford to do regularly, that’s for sure. Having said that, I’ve not been abroad for 6 years so it was long overdue!! xx

      • 13th Oct 2015 / 3:19 pm

        Yes definitely well deserved! X

        • 13th Oct 2015 / 4:56 pm

          Thanks so much lovely :) One of the other girls left a comment to say that it should be mandatory for all mums to be given the weekend away, every once in a while. I think I may start lobbying for it ;) xx

  14. 13th Oct 2015 / 8:40 am

    Wow I want one now! Although it sounds hectic ha ha! Hope you’re over it now. Your photo’s are superb. I went to Dublin for 2 days recently (alone) and it was lovely but I did miss them so much! I have another little holiday planned in the Spring and although I can’t wait I know I will feel the same! As the twins get older I relax more and feel better at having some time away :) Jess xx

    #TwinklyTuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:09 pm

      I could *definitely* do it more often ;) Although next time, I’ll take heed of my own advice and go to bed a little earlier each night!! A 2am finish doesn’t suit me anymore!! xx

  15. 13th Oct 2015 / 8:49 am

    Sounds like pure bliss and well deserved too. Id be a wreck leaving Jack but then he is only 8mths old and im sure that will be different when he is mobile and destroying the house :) Hope you had a great break xx #TwinklyTuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:08 pm

      Thanks so much lovely! It was SO nice to get away. Lovely to see their little faces when I got home though too :) x

  16. Maria Noell
    13th Oct 2015 / 9:19 am

    Well done for being brave and getting away!I know I should take my own advice but more mama’s need to do this, to remember that they are still a person in their own right and that they are still important xoxo

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:08 pm

      Thanks so much sweetie :) And yes, I agree. Worth remembering xx

  17. Tracey Abrahams (The Anxious Dragon)
    13th Oct 2015 / 9:23 am

    Sounds like you had a fabulous time. They say a change is a good as a rest, so I bet you felt mentally refreshed even if you came back physically knackered #TwinklyTuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 12:39 pm

      I can’t believe HOW knackered I felt!!! I think switching off for a few days is more tiring to be honest!! The adrenalin had all gone!!! :) x

  18. 13th Oct 2015 / 9:25 am

    I went to visit my sister in the US for a week in May – the most relaxing flights ever! So good to watch so many films uninterrupted. It definitely needs to happen every now and again #twinklytuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 12:31 pm

      Aaah I bet that was heavenly!! A long haul flight would mean you could catch up with films, books and sleep!!! :)

  19. Gemma @ Confessions of a Nagging Mother
    13th Oct 2015 / 10:13 am

    Awww that is lovely! It is so nice to get away sometimes and just be you for a bit, instead of a mum 24/7. I’m so glad you had a lovely time away and I agree, absence does make the heart grow fonder.

    #twinklytuesday

    Gemma xx

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 12:29 pm

      Totally!! I’d almost forgotten what it was like to be ‘just me’. Not mama!! SO nice to get back into it again though :) xx

  20. 13th Oct 2015 / 10:31 am

    I’ve done it before and I’d do it again, as you say it’s all in the organisation but really worth it. Glad you had a wonderful time and of course you missed your loved ones, but being a away a few days you appreciate the ordinary day to day life so much more. #TwinklyTuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 12:27 pm

      Aah it was SO worth it Fiona. Lovely to hang out with the girls for a few days — so grateful to my lovely boy for holding the fort and looking after our twins :) x

  21. 13th Oct 2015 / 10:35 am

    Oh wow it does sound wonderful, even though you were exhausted after! I bet there were lots of hugs when you got back too! #TwinklyTuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 12:27 pm

      Aah it was SO lovely to get back and see those little faces!! I picked them up from nursery and they were SO happy to see me!!! :)

  22. 13th Oct 2015 / 10:47 am

    What a fab thing to do! Just to have that change of life style for a few days focusing on yourself and then I can imagine how great it was to be home again too. Done :) Thanks for hosting #TwinklyTuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 12:26 pm

      Thanks so much Sara! It was so fabulous — although just as lovely to be home again :) x

  23. 13th Oct 2015 / 11:54 am

    Glad it went well. I can’t imagine a time when I would be able to do this #TwinklyTuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 12:25 pm

      Stick with it lovely — it will come eventually. If you’d have told me a couple of years ago that I’d be going away and leaving the boys I’d have laughed!! ;) xx

  24. Backs n Bumps
    13th Oct 2015 / 11:57 am

    Glad you had a lovely and well deserved few days away. I think all parents can benefit from this and remembering that we’re individual people too. It’s nice to know you you have another name other than ‘mummy’. #twinklytuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 2:39 pm

      Thanks pet! You’re so right — sometimes you forget you have another name!! ;)

  25. 13th Oct 2015 / 12:02 pm

    Sounds lovely if not restful! I knew a mum who, after a tough 12 months, checked in to a hotel half an hour away from home to have a weekend away and 2 full nights sleep! Found you on #TwinklyTuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 12:24 pm

      Haha!! I can totally see why someone would do that!! And it would be MUCH more restful than going away with a gaggle of women, that’s for sure! ;)

  26. Jodie Allen at Budget Beauty and Babies
    13th Oct 2015 / 7:19 pm

    I so agree with you that time away is necessary for your sanity as a mother. I wrote all about it not long ago! I always struggle to follow through with our plans for baby free time even though I know it helps so much. When i do get time away i definitely feel more energised and ready to throw myself into anything once more! #twinklytuesday

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 10:37 pm

      100% agree!! It’s a shame that we can’t do it that often as logistically and financially it;s just too hard to organise. The benefits of getting away are fab though. Really gives you a bit of perspective on life doesn’t it? xx

  27. 13th Oct 2015 / 9:40 pm

    I’m so glad you got to a have a ‘rest’ lovely. Sometimes its good for us mummies to remember who we are… and that we like wine!!
    :-) xx

    • 13th Oct 2015 / 10:22 pm

      Thanks so much lovely. It was SO nice to switch off. Although trying to get back into the swing of ‘real life’ has proves very tiring!!! ;) xx

  28. 14th Oct 2015 / 9:09 pm

    What an absolutely wonderful few days, you definitely deserved this. Love the food and booze and broken woman comments! Well needed. x

    • 15th Oct 2015 / 7:26 pm

      Aaah thanks SO much pet. I really, really enjoyed it. But I was absolutely broken when I got home!!! LOL!! Such a lightweight — I can’t keep up these days ;)

  29. 19th Oct 2015 / 11:07 pm

    That sounds amazing huni! Well done Dickie for giving you a pass. So glad you had a lovely time huni and thanks for linking up to #TheList x

    • 22nd Oct 2015 / 1:31 pm

      Thanks pet :) It was MUCH needed — although I felt utterly knackered when I came home again!!

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