As I prepared to board the bus to head to Logan airport I began to get a little teary thinking of leaving my boys for 5 days and being across the country, but I stopped myself and said “Girl get it together!”. I knew I was going to miss my husband and my boys, but I needed this trip for so many reasons. As mother’s we rarely take time for ourselves. We often give all our time and energy to our families, pouring from an empty cup, and have little left for ourselves. We often forget to take time for ourselves to refuel. That’s why I needed this trip. I needed time for me. I will admit, it was hard to leave. I was riddled with anxiety, stress, and worry leaving everything for my husband to do. Leaving my boys and missing their soccer and basketball games was so hard for me. I have a hard time giving up control of things, it’s something I’m working on, but I know that taking the time away from the every day craziness of life is needed for my mental health. As mother’s and women we often overlook the importance of taking time for ourselves and remembering to build relationships with our girlfriends. I also knew that this time was going to be good for my husband and our boys to build their relationships and make memories together as well.
As I began my travels I forgot what it was like to do these things on my own. I hadn’t been off on an adventure without my husband since we’d been together. Truthfully, I hadn’t been off on an adventure on my own since college which was over 17 years ago. It felt strange traveling without my children and husband and not having to check for them and make sure we were all together. However, this time was different than the last time I traveled on my own because I had to be more aware of my choices. I wasn’t only responsible for myself anymore but I had a family of my own I had to make sure I got home to safely. My mind naturally wondered to thinking about what they were doing and missing them, but I kept reminding me they were okay and that I’d be okay.
The flight from Boston to Oregon was smooth and we met my cousin at the airport. She brought us back to her house where I would stay for the next 5 nights. Her home was cozy, filled with beautiful plants, and her two sweet pups that became my new best friends during the stay. She set me up in my own guest room. It was a strange feeling being on my own without anyone or anything to be responsible for. I only had to take care of myself. I was able to sleep until I decided I wanted to get going for the day. I was able to leisurely read my books, write, or talk with my cousin, her fiance, and my aunt without interruption. I was able to take time to focus on the things that I enjoy and make me…me. I was beginning to remember who I am…who I was before I was a wife and mother.
While in Oregon we visited many beautiful places. We went to the Japanese Gardens, Cannon Beach, Multnomah Falls, The Pittock Mansion, Powell’s Books, and Bob’s Red Mill. We ate at many delicious restaurants and the food was incredible at each spot. The adventures were amazing, but the trip was so much more than that. While on these outings I was able to remember who I am as a person. Not who I am as a mother or wife but remember what makes me the person that my husband fell in love with. As we walked through nature and visited the beautiful sights around Oregon my mind quieted. I wasn’t thinking about all the things that stress me out daily at home such as bills, work, or the boys fighting over video games. I was able to reconnect again with my cousin and have talks about important things that we’ve been working through personally. I was able to have time for me. Time for my relationships with some of my favorite people that helped remind me of who I am and hopefully I was able to remind them about how incredible they are.
Since losing my mother in June I’ve had little time to work through my own emotions without the craziness of life. One day rushed into another, which quickly moved into a week, and then months. Over the past 8 months I’ve had to help my children cope with losing their Nani (grandmother). I’ve had to support my father with losing his wife. I’ve had to be there for my siblings and help them navigate through what our life is like now without our mother there to guide us each day. Through all of this I’ve had little time to work through my grief. The deep down feelings of grief that slowly creep in and then all of a sudden explode. This week I had time to do that. To talk through my emotions with my aunt and cousin. I had the opportunity to thank them for being there for me when it’s meant the most. I had time to talk with my aunt about what it was like when my grandmother, her mother, passed when she was my age. We were able to connect, support, and understand one another on a whole new level. I had time for me.
It’s important as mothers and women to take time for weekends with friends or just on your own. It’s important to have time to remember who you were before becoming a wife or mother. To remember who you are as a person and think about how you want to continue to grow as time moves forward. We often put ourselves last putting priority on everyone else. Traveling and getting away provides time where we’re not focusing on everyone else but able to focus on growing, healing, and relaxing so that we can return to those we love and provide them with our best selves. It provides time to strengthen our relationships with others. Men often take trips with their friends where we are left home with the children we need to remind ourselves that it’s important for us to have this time too. Remember to take time to communicate with your significant other to make sure you’re both taking the time you need. While I was away I realized that having the time to miss one another helps to strengthen your relationship as well. I realized how much I love sharing and spending time with my husband and boys. I realized that this time was important for me but I also wished I had them with me to share it with. We often realize that when taking time without one another we see just how much we love having that time together. Distance truly does make the heart grow fonder.
(Originally posted February 27, 2020)