I am apprehensive about writing this. I was apprehensive about doing it.
Don’t tell Mark Latham but I have recently returned from a two-week holiday overseas without my children and it was heaven. Our daughters, who are three and five, checked in for a week with each of their grandparents, while my husband and I flew across the world.
It had been a vague pipedream for years but earlier this year we decided to make it a reality. We could get the time off, both of our parents were willing and able to take the girls for a week each, and with a third baby on the way we figured if we didn’t seize the opportunity now it would elude us forever.
We booked the tickets earlier this year without much thought; it was still so far away it hardly felt real. Even as the date of our departure crept up, it seemed surreal. I would say to people “We’re heading to London for a fortnight without the kids” and wondered who those words belonged to.
What lucky ducks, I would think to myself, before remembering that I was one of those lucky ducks.
Now I could tell you that before we left I was merely filled with excitement but it wouldn’t be true. I was filled with anxiety, dread, fear, guilt AND excitement. I went back and forth in my mind about this trip.
I contemplated the worst case scenario – something happening to one of the four of us while apart – regularly. I straw-polled my colleagues, the barista who makes my coffee, the girls’ child-carers, my parents, my husband….anyone who would listen: Are we barking mad? What sort of parents would holiday without their kids for a fortnight? SHOULD WE CANCEL???