Rule #1 of Stay at Home Moms: if you have the opportunity to have a true vacation, take it. Take it take it take it take it take it. And I’m not talking about a “trip” with your family during spring break, no matter how Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous the destination and accommodations may be. That is not a “vacation.” It is a “trip,” merely a relocation from Point A to Point B. Same work, different office. You still have your children with you and on a trip, things like this still happen:
A vacation, however, is when you leave your children behind and have a complete release of all parental (and servant) duties. There is no possibility of being awakened in the middle of the night by high-pitched screams for Mommy or the interruption of whatever you are doing to change a feces filled diaper (unless you and your partner are into that sort of thing). No, no, no. You are absolutely and completely free. It is with such a nirvana in mind that Chris and I dropped off the girls in Texas with my family and hightailed it out of Dallas for two nights away to Florida. Of course it goes without saying that I loved having that quality time with my husband, but also, so many other “little” things:
1. Every time I made a request to the hotel staff, I was answered with “Of course, my pleasure.” This was a welcome departure from what I am accustomed to from my daughters. At best, an eye roll from Sarah but more often than not, a “NO!” screamed from my 2 year old followed by a high-speed chase which ends with a full body tackle to stop her from whatever disastrous act she was about to commit. In fact, I found myself making random requests to the staff just so I could hear it all over again: Of course, my pleasure. It was sweet, sweet music to my ears. And the kicker was, I only had to ask once! I didn’t not have to follow up the request with threats of no dessert, cancelled play dates, confiscated toys, or time outs. No, just one time and they immediately replied in hushed reverent tones: Of course, my pleasure. THIS is what the civilized world is like…I miss it so.
2. On most days, I am just one spritz of dry shampoo and a swipe of Lady Speedstick away from smelling like a homeless person. But oh, on vacation….I took a bath AND a shower in ONE day. I shaved whatever hairy parts had accumulated over the course of the winter. I dried my hair completely and then, straightened it, leaving it silky smooth like a Pantene commercial. I exfoliated! And I had no little people clutching my knees, begging for a snack. Having almost unlimited time to devote to personal hygiene: a true luxury.
3. At each meal, I got up approximately one time: to use the ladies’ room. My average at home is probably about 6.8. Requests for more water, more napkins, more milk, a different fork, a different spoon, a different plate, a different dinner all together– that is my average meal. To be able to sit down and have a meal that I had no hand in the preparation of and would not participate in the cleaning up of: heaven.
2.5 days of my time off was enough to rejuvenate me. I missed our girls and felt ready to tackle my job with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. My ardor was somewhat tempered by the fact that my parents, although well-intentioned, allowed my daughters to rule with an iron fist. Katie refused all naps and would not deign to go to sleep till 10:30pm. Sarah had a virtual candy store at her disposal. The word “no” is not in my parents’ vocabulary when it comes to their only grandchildren. Chris and I returned to interrupt 60 hours of unbridled grandparent spoilage….which brings us to Rule #2 of Stay at Home Moms: payback is always a bitch.