This year I had the opportunity to go on two solo trips. I left the kids at home with my husband for the weekend and I headed out for some much needed time with my girlfriends. I have only done this one other time before, but I hope to make it a more regular part of our schedule.
As the first weekend approached, I thought of how relaxing and enjoyable it would be. I could sleep soundly, without the possibility of little humans joining me throughout the night. I could grab food from my favorite places, without having to consider everyone else’s appetites. I could watch my shows or read my book in peace, without countless interruptions for refilled water cups, snack requests, or to referee brotherly arguments. I would have some alone time, which is so lacking in motherhood. Plus the added bonus of getting to spend time with my friend and celebrating her wedding!
For my second weekend away, I met up with five of my girlfriends and we rented a house together. This group has navigated so much life together and even though we now are spread between four states, we still maintain close relationships. After the year of 2020, we were all feeling the strain and were ready for a stress-free weekend together.
I had placed so much value on time away and was so expectant for the physical and emotional exhale, that I began to misplace my priorities and misdirect my hope. A weekend away, even two weekends away would never be the full reset I was desiring. A weekend away might provide some rest and the opportunity to recharge, but it would not be redemptive of my developing negative attitude. A weekend away would never be the savior I was looking for because there is only Savior who can provide true peace and rest.
When I first began my long solo drive, I adjusted the radio and turned off the kids music, I glanced in my rear view mirror and noticed the lack of car seats, and I felt all the feels welling up inside. As I drove along, I imagined how quiet the hotel room would be and the silence would be filled with sadness. COVID restricted a lot of meal options, so my meals of choice were limited instead of luxurious like I had anticipated. As it turned out, alone time was found lacking. Alone time was not everything I thought I wanted or needed.
Don’t get me wrong, there were so many positives to my weekends away (see follow up post). I did enjoy listening to an audio book during my drive without having to explain every other sentence to the boys. I did enjoy spending time with my friends without having a case of “motherhood Tourette’s” where our conversation is punctuated by exclamations of “walking feet!” and “put that down!” and “practice sharing!” I did greatly enjoy sleeping solidly and not being awakened by a little person requesting breakfast. I am so thankful for a husband who is willing and able to care for our boys while I am away. We all enjoyed our weekend and were happy to be together again once I returned.
My weekends away were savored, but they were not my Savior. While I returned home refreshed and recharged, the busy-ness of life and motherhood quickly returned and the day to day was the same as it was before my trips. My only Savior is my Jesus who provides me with His Spirit who empowers me to love and serve my family in the mundane and the messy.