CANADA: When Moms Travel Solo

CANADA: When Moms Travel Solo

425627_10150543652137779_1010618688_nIn less than a week, I am going to travel to South Africa to see assorted friends and family members. I will escape the dreary November weather and get an extra month of summer in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I will spend lazy days with my mom and my brother, hang out with the woman who has been my best friend since we were ten, and meet someone who, until now, has been my friend in the online world only.

It will be fantastic. I haven’t seen the folks “back home” for almost four years, and as small as the world has become thanks to the wonders of technology, there’s just nothing quite like being in the same room as a parent, a sibling, a friend. In any case, I am desperate for the break. Events of the summer have well and truly hammered me, and I am exhausted. I have worked myself into a state of near-collapse, and I am looking forward to just stopping.

There’s just one thing. I am not taking my husband or kids with me. I recognize that this month away will be good not only for me, but for the kids from a life-learning perspective. But the thought that I will kiss my family goodbye and then turn and walk away from them makes my heart twist.

I haven’t even started packing yet, and already I am tearing up as I think of them going to bed on the night of my departure without their goodnight kiss from Mommy.

The thing is, I am not used to going anywhere without my husband and kids. Although I have been to South Africa by myself twice since the kids were born, both trips were prompted by deaths in the family. This is the first time I am going away by myself for an extended period, for the sole purpose of having fun. No one has died. I do not have to attend a funeral or pick up ashes from a crematorium. I don’t have to visit a lawyer to hear a will read, or deal with the bizarre amount of admin generated by the death of a family member.

Like most moms, I have succeeded in turning the concept of guilt into an art form. I feel guilty when I sneak out of the house for a quick solo trip to the convenience store, never mind getting onto a plane to travel to the other side of the world. But for the sake of my own sanity, I have had to put a lid on the guilt – otherwise I wouldn’t even get as far as the boarding gate.

I have to constantly remind myself that the boys will be OK – and I know they will be. I have been preparing them for my departure without making too big a deal of it. I have promised them that I will bring them a really cool gift from Africa. I am making a countdown calendar for my autism boy. Teachers at both of their schools have promised to look out for them and make extra allowances for them. We have started planning fun activities to do together after I get back.

It is not lost on me that I am fortunate to have such a supportive husband. I don’t feel that I need his permission for this trip, but I do know that many moms wanting to undertake a similar venture would face resistance, or even downright refusal.

My husband wants me to go, and he wants me to have a good time. I suspect that he and the kids are looking forward to spending some “boy time” together.

There will be a tricky moment at the airport when I will have to fight the urge to cry in public. After my husband and children have said their goodbyes and left, I will have to duck into a stall in the washroom to let some tears flow. And then I will board the plane and fly to South Africa to spend time in the land of my birth, with loved ones I haven’t seen for a long time.

When I come back to my adopted country, the Canada I am so proud to be a citizen of, I will be refreshed and rested, ready to take on real life, and excited to be in the warm embrace of my husband and sons.

Would your family be supportive of you taking a long trip without them? What strategies have you used to help your kids, both before and during your travel?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Kirsten Doyle of Canada. Photo credit to the author.

Kirsten Doyle (Canada)

Kirsten Doyle was born in South Africa. After completing university, she drifted for a while and finally washed up in Canada in 2000. She is Mom to two boys who have reached the stage of eating everything in sight (but still remaining skinny). Kirsten was a computer programmer for a while before migrating into I.T. project management. Eventually she tossed in the corporate life entirely in order to be a self-employed writer and editor. She is now living her best life writing about mental health and addictions, and posting videos to two YouTube channels. When Kirsten is not wrestling with her kids or writing up a storm, she can be seen on Toronto's streets putting many miles onto her running shoes. Every year, she runs a half-marathon to benefit children with autism, inspired by her older son who lives life on the autism spectrum. Final piece of information: Kirsten is lucky enough to be married to the funniest guy in the world. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to check out her YouTube channels at My Gen X Life and Word Salad With Coffee!

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WASHINGTON, USA: Less than 24 hours in NYC…by myself!

I am sitting at a gate in Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) waiting for my flight back to Seattle.  You may be wondering…”How does she have time to sit and write with two girls while she is at the airport?”

If my girls were with me, I definitely would NOT be writing.

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Eva Fannon (USA)

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Friday Question: Where is the craziest place you’ve done IT?

"Would you, could you on a tram?"

This week’s question came from Veronica Samuels, who asked…

“Where’s the Craziest Place You’ve Done IT?

So, as interesting and funny it would be to talk about the craziest places we mothers have conceived babies, we’re just not that type of blog.  But, what about after conception? Mothers of the world, tell us about the craziest places where you’ve given birth, changed a diaper or breastfed! Where’s the craziest place you’ve done it?”

Here are what some of our World Moms had to say…

A. Roselyn of California, USA writes:
“San Francisco, CA is very liberal and it is California law that gives mothers the right to breastfeed in public places. So I have fed my daughters, especially little girl, anywhere and everywhere. The craziest: walking down the street. Once I got her latched, we were off and running!” (more…)

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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As my husband has paternity leave at the moment, it is really the perfect opportunity, and I am sure my husband does not mind being pampered a bit by his mother either. (more…)

Astrid Warren (Norway)

Astrid is a Norwegian thirty something, married, working mum to a wee lad who is almost three and a baby born in 2012! She grew up in Norway, but moved to London, England after she met her husband. After living there during her twenties, she has since returned to Norway and settled down in her nation's capital of Oslo to raise her family. She finds herself slowly turning into her own mother as her free time is spent reading, walking, knitting and meeting up with other mums for coffee. (Ok, she still secretly loves going to the pub, too!). However, there isn't much time for any of the above, as she now enjoys spending most of her time crawling around on the floor, while playing with her children! Check out her blog, Quintessentially Burrows. She's also on Twitter @MrsSWarren.

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