Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lost In Paradise. A Mommy Story.

So as many of you know from reading my blog, my father in law took his life a little over a year ago. I was unable to attend his funeral or the memorial and spreading of his ashes as I was on bed rest for most of my pregnancy. But we have been blessed as my father in law's wife has taken us all on an amazing trip to Maui to celebrate my father in law's one year angel birthday. What a true blessing and a much needed break for my husband and me. With me still being unemployed this was something we could never do for ourselves. Additionally I needed this as I haven't seen our family since my father in law died. My father in law always talked about and planned in his head all these amazing trips that we were all going to take some day. Unfortunately, we never got some day with him. So we are carrying on with each other and I know he's here with us.

That being said, the trip is important. The trip is needed. And even as I sit next to the pool with palm trees swaying over head and an amazing sweeping view of the ocean before me, I miss my babies and I feel guilty for having this experience without them. They are in great hands. My sister is looking after them so I know they are loved up and well fed. But it's still hard.

The week before we left I was so anxious. I made lists, lined up rides, and planned as best I could so that I could still feel somewhat in control even though my babies weren't with me. Then came the morning of our flight. I woke up, showered, and sat in the living room to put on my makeup. I look over at my father in law's picture and start to cry. Then my babies woke up and I start to cry. Then I had to take them over and drop them off with my sister- and I start to cry. Why is this so hard?! I'M GOING TO MAUI! But my heart was overwhelmed with so many emotions. The last time my husband and I both left any of the kids was when we only had one- and it was our honey moon! Since then, our kids are always with us or one of us is at home with the kids while the other travels.

The thought of leaving my babies was literally ripping my heart out. I cried all the way to the airport. As a matter of fact I cried all the way on to the plane! I didn't stop until I got seated and took my Xanax (I'm not a good flyer). I had to fight the temptation to run up to other peoples' children and hug them! My kids are my everything. They are the reason I wake up in the morning. They are my laughter and my tears. They are what makes my heart beat. And after the year we had last year, I feel even more grateful for them and more connected to them than ever. So it hurt to leave them behind.

Sure I was going to a place that I consider my second home. I LOVE Maui! And I was going to see family that I hadn't seen since before my father in law passed. And my mother in law had so many amazing things planned for us (that'll be a different blog). But it has been bitter sweet. I don't know how to NOT be a mom. Even for a week. It is who I am. It's everything inside me. It's what I was made to be. So how do you take that hat off and hang it up for a week?

As moms we dream every day about just getting a freaking moment to ourselves but when we finally get that moment it hurts and we don't know what to do with it! I remember when my first son was about 6. My mother flew in from California and took him on an amazing train ride back down to California for a week. Then they rode the train back home. It was an amazing adventure for my son and I was excited to get a week to myself. The funny thing was that once he was gone and I was sitting in my house, I had no idea what to do with myself. There was no one to cook for. No reason to clean or cook. I literally didn't have to vacuum for a week! And although it was what I dreamed about every day, it turned out that it wasn't what I really wanted. I felt lost without my son and the structure that our life provided for me. I felt empty without my mom hat. And I couldn't wait until he got home and I could cook and clean for him!

So here I am once more, but this time in paradise. It's me, my husband, his two brothers and their wives, and my mother in law. But I still don't have any one to cook for (MIL had a chef come in to cook and lined up reservations for many amazing meals) and no one to clean up after (The cleaning crew arrived today. Boo.). I'm literally lost in paradise! My husband has to look at me and remind me that the kids are okay and we are blessed to have this time with each other. I should know this without him telling me.

Will this ever change? Will I ever know how to NOT be a mom? Even for a week? Who knows. Luckily the baby is only 7 months old so I have another 18 years until I find out for sure! Until then I will need to take a deep breath and remember that these moments are special. They are important. They are necessary. And that I am still a mom- even in paradise.


  1. Allow yourself this opportunity to let go, and breathe, and listen to nothing but your own thoughts. Let yourself recharge. Moms are amazing caregivers, so take this chance to care for yourself. Mwah!

  2. You really are a wonderful mother. Everything you said about waking up, and breathing is all for your kiddos. Wow, I can't say that about myself. You deserve this trip, but you need to remember to take care of you and keep the fires burning with your husband in order to continue to be that wonderful of a mother.

    Let yourself enjoy every moment of this trip. Your MIL wouldn't do this if she didn't feel if would be good for all of you!

    Take it all in as a gift, a time to talk about the memories of your FIL and how important family is!


  3. So happy for you and this amazing opportunity! I can totally relate with how you feel. But try and enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity. You deserve it. Your kids want you to have this time. Re-charge. Re-connect. Take LOTS of pictures to share with us! Looking forward to hearing about it all!

  4. My little sister had a kid before I did . . . when he was 3 or 4 months old, my sister super-pumped for a week to create one of the largest stores of breast milk I have ever seen. She was heading out to a beer-festival that Saturday. I was going to watch the rugrat, and she was going to get herself good & drunk. The beer festival was a half-hour train ride away, and I got about 6 phone calls as she worked her way there.

    The first night I was without my kids, I think I was worse than my sister. That parent guilt - the idea that you can enjoy yourself without your kids? It's difficult to get over.

    As an aside, I love the idea of the big family vacation. If I ever found myself truly independently wealthy one day, I'd plan on flying those closest to me to places that I love, and just get to experience a wonderful place with wonderful company. My religious thoughts are difficult to categorize, but, if there is a heaven - well, that's my definition of it.

  5. I just found your blog. Found you on Bloggy Moms.

    Gosh I can relate, an amazing vacation, but leaving your kids. I went away to an amazing spa retreat for 7 nights. It was the first time I had been away from my son in 9 years, apart from the odd sleepover he had had, when I had only been away from him for a few hours. I cried for three days, LOL Crazy! I was in this amazing place but couldn't let go of being a mum and missing my child and he was totally fine! I think that once you are a mum, you will always be a mum.

    Looking forward to reading your blog.

    Monnie :)