Once a year, Husband and I have a mini-break away from our children. And although we always have a great time, there are so many emotions that we go through as we plan, enjoy and recover from our time away. It got me thinking about the five stages of grief, and how tough it can be to focus on what we're actually feeling.
1. Denial - You or your partner bring up the idea of going away for a night or two, without your children. But can it work? When will you go? And when you have a free weekend, which grandparent can you
con sweet-talk into watching the kids? And how will the children handle a night (or three!) away from Mummy?
2. Anger - 'Damn my husband, I can't believe he expects me to book our entire mini-break plus do all the packing. Bastard!' But this stage is short-lived as you are so excited to be getting some time alone with your partner.
3. Bargaining - You are lying in your hotel bed. There is only a couple of hours until check-out. You have had a brilliant time with your partner, but it is virtually over and you have to get back to the madhouse you call home. You start bargaining with God, offering regular church attendance so that you can have another day without the kids. Atheists promise to start believing in God, all for another night in the hotel.
4. Depression - It. Is. Over. You are home and there are piles of laundry to be done. Who knows when you will get the chance again to nap at 3pm or eat at restaurants that don't have a children's menu.
5. Acceptance - You had a nice break away. Enjoy the memories and catch up with all that laundry. Besides, the children are happy to have you home. It's not so bad here after all.