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77 Thoughts Before Departure

6 min read
77 Thoughts Before Departure

For the first time in five years, I recently was away from my family for four days and three whole nights.

By myself.

I was at a conference, sharing a room in a hotel with two other friends. My 15-month old and 4.7 year old stayed at home with the other parent and my mind chatter went something like this the day before I left:

  1. Woohoo freedom!!!!!!!
  2. If I was my suitcase where would I be? In the shed – ugh, spiders. Be brave, Saskia. Brave. This is an adventure.
  3. Hmmm lactating but not taking baby with me.
  4. I’m going to have to pack my hand pump.
  5. Nuts that means I will have to take checked in luggage.
  6. Baby girls, get out of the suitcase. And cat. I’m going to miss you all.
  7. First things first – must pack phone charger.
  8. Do I take my iPad? Yes I’ll take my iPad. Cause I’ll be all up with technology and take notes on my iPad. I hope they have free WiFi at the hotel.
  9. Must move all ABC4KIDS, kiddies games, 300+ selfies, cute songs and random downloads off my iPad.
  10. And change my screensaver from my girls to something serious.
  11. But I’m a mama. Can I do something other than “mama” for four days?
  12. What am I going to do for four days without them?
  13. I’ll be able to eat what I want. I can do spicy. I can do complicated. I can do different. I can do food and drink when I want to.
  14. I can announce that I’m hungry and go and feed myself.
  15. Cause I’m an adult and that’s an adult thing.
  16. I can crack adult jokes. I can read a paper. I can eat food, HOT.
  17. Things I am going to do include: swim (no need to supervise others in the water), network (one conversation, with one person), learn (I can feel my brain expanding!).
  18. And drink alcohol (not co-sleeping so I can enjoy a cocktail, with a little umbrella).
  19. And I’ll knit. What will I knit? Something for the girls?
  20. No, something for me.
  21. What?
  22. Where is my yarn?
  23. Do I have the right needles?
  24. I will be able to knit and listen to the conference presenters!
  25. I listen better when I knit.
  26. And I will be able to knit without a cat, baby or husband stealing my scissors, pulling the needles, dribbling on my work or scribbling on my pattern.
  27. Things I won’t get to do for four days – hug, kiss and love on my family. Tough trade.
  28. I won’t have to wipe anyone else’s bum for a whole four days.
  29. I will so owe my husband for being on bum-wiping duty for four days.
  30. What shall I pack to wear?
  31. How many knickers do I need for four days away?
  32. Why do I not have any clean knickers?
  33. Yay I can go minimalist!
  34. I won’t have to worry about mushed banana being wiped on me moments after getting dressed, or random baby snot, or spilled juice in my lap at dinner.
  35. Minimalist – with NO need for access to feed a baby!
  36. I can wear skirts!
  37. I can wear not-sensible shoes!
  38. I can wear white!
  39. And I can take dangly earrings, fantastic beaded necklaces, sharp rings and fragile glasses.
  40. I won’t be fending off a marauding toddler or rampaging preschooler!
  41. I should paint my toenails so I look vaguely like I have it together enough to have done a pedicure before I left.
  42. Must defuzz and landscape and wax and depilate before I go somewhere warmer.
  43. Do I own bathers that are vaguely the right size?
  44. I won’t go for fashion here, I’ll go for adequate coverage.
  45. Sunglasses, hat and sunscreen.
  46. Not toddler sunscreen, spray sunscreen or maybe coconut oil??
  47. Nah.
  48. Will need to buy new sunscreen.
  49. And a new toothbrush.
  50. Fancy dinner means a fancy dress.
  51. And shoes.
  52. And lipstick.
  53. I’ve not worn my lipstick for ages.
  54. Do I take a camera? I don’t know if I’ll have time to scratch let alone photograph artistically.
  55. No to taking a camera.
  56. Plus I like taking photos of my babies. And they’ll be at home.
  57. I’m going to miss them. Terribly.
  58. Wow there’s a lot of room in my thinking when I only have to look after myself.
  59. Will they miss me?
  60. I’m not the biggest fan of flying.
  61. Do I have anything loaded on my phone to listen to? My iPad to watch?
  62. Or I could take a book.
  63. And read it.
  64. In long stretches. Instead of having to do things in 5 minute bursts.
  65. Although, that makes me wonder if I can focus for more than 5 minutes at a stretch.
  66. I get to sleep by myself. I have to sleep by myself. Can I sleep by myself?
  67. Nuts I’ll have to pajamas as I’m sharing a room.
  68. Do I even own pjs?
  69. Eh those will do. No fashion parade required.
  70. Speaking of nuts, I should pack some snacks.
  71. And nibbles. Because I can’t share babies’ snacks and water bottle, I’ll have to pack my own.
  72. This also means I won’t have to share my snacks. I can eat nuts and seeds and whatever I like!
  73. I won’t have to go to a park, find a toilet in a hurry, find somewhere to change a nappy or lug around anything.
  74. Do I have a bag that’s not a nappy bag, kiddy bag or shopping bag to take my stuff in?
  75. Am I excited or nervous? I can do this, I can do this well.
  76. Wish they were coming with me.
  77. Woohoo!! Freedom!!

Do you have to travel away from your babies? Can you relate to any of these thoughts?

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About Author

Saskia Brown

Saskia is mama wearing lots of different hats while parenting two small girls. She is a midwife, is married to a scientist and lives in the Adelaide H...Read Moreills in South Australia. When she's not juggling parenting and working, she likes to do a lot of walking, photography and crafting. She enjoys yoga when the childerbeasts are asleep, writing when the mood strikes, reading a good organisational blog or dreaming of far off places. Read Less

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