Karolien – There's Life After Kids

#Mauritius - Doing The Expat Thing

Bring it on Bridget Jones! …….by Kay

If having mommy me time is so essential to us as moms, why on earth do we feel like we have committed a murder when we do take some time out for ourselves?

Why do we chastise ourselves so much when taking a break without the brats? Why do we feel so guilty and keep glancing over our shoulder as if the law is on our tracks?

Being a mom of two teenagers, the X-man is nearly 15 and the girl-child will be 17 on the 1st of December and having had my kids fairly young at age 23 I was whether right or wrong and looking back now quite a ‘selfish’ mom. Oops, now I will probably get slagged or will lose some readers because one is probably NOT allowed to admit to your faults or mistakes as a mom! But if needing some time alone without my kids makes me a bad mom so be it.

Having said that and with hindsight as well as a wonderful hubby that unfortunately worked offshore sometimes away for months at a time I often struggled with coping on my own with a very colicky baby at first and then with a toddler and another baby soon after. I made many ‘first’ mom mistakes if I look back. I would not hesitate to leave the baby with my mother in law to take some much needed time off to go visit hubby for a week or so to regain a bit of sanity. Keeping in mind it wasn’t always possible to take them along due to the accommodations….did I not mention hubby is a Commercial Longline Skipper on a fishing vessel? Oftentimes going out to sea for a week on his boat was my only chance of spending some quality time with him. I bet you are now thinking wth?? Believe you me if I told you some of those trips are some of my best memories of spending time with J as we would have access to each other 24/7 with time to talk and reminisce and just time to be together. I would stay awake throughout the night while he had to take the watch, (yes me the exhausted mom!) but somehow staying up all night with your beloved hubby is so much different and more fun than staying up with a cranky baby. I wonder why? 😉

Believe me if I told you when I was a teenager there were 4 types of men I vowed I would never marry (living in a small fishing town please accept my apologies as what did I know at that tender age! ;)), 1. a policeman, 2. a farmer (cannot abide the quietness and vastness for more that a much needed week or two’s holiday, a lawyer as I also want to have a chance at winning an argument at times and lastly no 4, a fisherman! Well, don’t you ever present a dare like that to fate as I won the lotto. I married my fisherman…..and yes he is a wonderful man but NO please don’t come up to me as some people do saying that must be such a romantic life!! What is romantic about a man that loves you and you love him but due to the nature of his very unpredictable job he is very rarely by your side? None of his fault nor mine but such is life!

So being mom 24/7/mostdaysoutofthe365 in a year I need a break from time to time. If I don’t make an active decision to do so I would never have any time for myself at all. It started with leaving the kids with the grandparents every now and then to go to sea with dad, then progressed to leaving them with their aunt for that well deserved break, or sometimes bartering sleepovers with the mothers of their friends so I can just breath and be me for a while.

After spending a whole week with the brats spring cleaning and chucking out stuff the kids had their night with friends over on Friday night with me relegated  to my bedroom with my computer, my book and a glass of wine. Well, I got my own back as in return for their friends’ mom and dad having some alone time on Friday night with their offspring safely ensconced at mine I bartered for my own time out sending my kids their way last night. Clever huh! You should consider a kid exchange in your friendship circle, if everyone takes a turn it works a charm.

It meant that I finally got to go to the movies on my own, first time in a long while. I won’t mention that I was actually exhausted beyond comparison after preparing wedding stuff for a friend the whole of yesterday. You don’t admit tired if you have some time on you hands!! So last night it was all systems go… me, myself and I! I wasn’t going to let this one slip through my fingers….Bring it on Bridget Jones!

So after my bath and getting dressed in my proper clothes not the ones I wear slouching around at home chaffing at the quietness in the house all the time waiting to hear the kids yelling something over the sound of MY music, yes mine, not theirs! I do have the run of the house and the cd player now! I very briefly considered rather staying home and making do with whatever is in the fridge, not much at all and on tv, no dstv, no current book to read, mmmmm that option was not appealing to me at all. So, nice jeans, nice top, ditch the heels, don’t want to look like I am looking for a man! 🙂

Kicked out the cats, sorted the dogs, locked up and left. What a feeling of freedom! As a mom you don’t experience that too often! Windows down, music blaring and off I went to the mall although I would much rather have preferred somewhere quieter like the Labia in Orange street as the craziness of a Saturday night in the mall doesn’t really appeal to this mom but the time slots didn’t work for my tiredness so the mall it was!

All the while getting little ‘how are you doing?’,’ are you ok?’, ‘missing you and love you’ whatsapps from the girlchild obviously worried about her mom being all by herself. Little do they know! I made it to the mall, I had a whole pizza to myself! No sharing, no glass of wine either as I had to drive back and no hubby meant no one to drive me…nevertheless I was going to enjoy this! And I did! Not even standing in the queue for one measly box of popcorn (who watches a movie without popcorn?) could faze me! Bridget Jones’ baby was all I expected and more, very happy I did not take my daughter to watch as it definitely is more adult appropriate humor but very enjoyable as I almost never get a chance to choose a movie in my house.

So…..do I feel guilty? Mmmmm, maybe a tad but not enough to make me feel sorry I took the time off because this morning, even after my late night out I feel better for the time alone. So moms, next time, forget about the guilt and live a little. If the kids are with a responsible caretaker, let your hair down and enjoy the moment as they are like pearls, rare and beautiful.

Much love


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