This is the third summer my hubs has taken our son to see the in-laws in Texas. The goodbye that precedes their week away is usually filled with lots of tears — mine, not theirs. The blues set in. The house gets lonely without wacky giggles, booming footsteps, family chores.
Then the silence becomes soothing, and it’s OK.
This week I slept better than I have in many months, exercised religiously, got my diet back on track and took advantage of the head space normally occupied with the details of picking up after clutter, figuring out play dates and cooking big meals and replaced it all with quiet, regenerative, much-needed reflection. That’s not to say I didn’t have amusement – it was just sparing and of the carefully chosen kind: a concert at a small bar on the Great South Bay, a dance class in Manhattan, East Coast Swing at the local Moose Lodge.
I was thrilled when Richard and Harrison arrived home after eight days — and also a little sad that my momcation had come to an end and guilty I felt that way.
Apparently feeling conflicted about enjoying alone time is normal, and having that space to yourself is recommended.
“It’s important to recharge the batteries a little bit and get in touch with who you are so that you can then be a better parent,” says Woodbury psychologist Wendy Stapen.
And there are other benefits of going child-less for a little bit: Kids get to know their parents individually — which, Stapen says, will help them in their future relationships.
It showed when one of the first things Harrison did when he got home was to make chamomile tea for me and ask how I like it.