While many of you celebrated Father’s Day today with your partners and family, we did things a little differently. Instead of giving my hubby brekkie in bed, or going on a family picnic together, I gave him the ultimate Father’s Day gift – the entire day with the kids on his own!
Admittedly, I didn’t actually know it was Father’s Day when I begged him to take the girls away for a night to give me a much needed break. Anyone who has experienced the shackles of a child suffering intense separation anxiety will understand the desperateness of the situation! Once my ‘day off’ was in the diary, there was no turning back. So we just brought Father’s Day a day forward in our house and the girls showered him with affection and hand-made presents (courtesy of kinder, play group & music) for about five minutes yesterday morning.
When I waved goodbye to them in the driveway my heart initially ached. I suddenly didn’t want to be apart from them. What had I done? But then I remembered what the previous weeks had been like and I shook myself out of it. This was ME time and I was going to enjoy it, dammit! For 30 hours I had the freedom to do whatever I pleased.
I’d love to say I hit the town with heels, lippie and a couple of girlfriends, but the truth is I didn’t. All my girlfriends are either pregnant; have just given birth; or are simply too tired from kid wrangling to stay up past 9.o clock. Instead what I did was very simple, and I highly recommend it to anyone suffering from parental fatigue. I enjoyed my own company. I didn’t see a soul but I walked; I read; I wrote; I cooked, and I reflected. I had a lovely time.
During my 30 hours of solitude I also discovered that:
1. The sound of silence is bliss. I used to consider the sound of a champagne cork popping the greatest sound imaginable, but silence has trumped it. Silence is still; silence is comforting; silence is gold.
2. My house actually looks half decent when there are no kids in it!
3. Even the most menial tasks like decluttering cupboards and mopping floors become pleasurable activities when you perform them slowly, with no background noise or movement.
4. Cooking is actually quite enjoyable when you don’t have a baby on your hip and two toddlers at your feet posing enormous H&S risks and creating chaos and MESS.
5. There is an entire world outside of my four walls which I reunited myself with in the form of the Saturday paper, back to back. I lie. The sport and business sections may have been folded and placed in a spot awaiting my hubby’s return.
6. Watching a DVD without interruption is a lovely way to spend a night in. I can’t remember much about the plot but Jude Law provided 2 hours of viewing pleasure.
7. Finishing an entire cup of coffee in one sitting has to be one of life’s greatest pleasures.
8. Finishing an entire meal on one’s own, without being interrupted to wipe a child’s bottom, break up a near-fatal fight; remove the chocking hazard from Miss H’s mouth, is a rare treat.
9. Having the entire bed to one’s self is a luxury that is underrated. But going to be on one’s own is lonely.
10. I could still hear my girls call out for me from the rooms they weren’t sleeping in
11. I missed my girls like crazy, and our reunion was the real highlight of my retreat.
12. That home-made craft gifts may not be my thing, but nothing says, “You’re the greatest dad ever & thank you for giving me my sanity back,” more than home made Crème Brulee…
Happy Fathers’ Day!
Have you ever enjoyed child-free day or night? How did you spend your time? Or, if you haven’t experienced it yet, what’s your idea of the perfect way to spend that time?