Loneliness with a View

My husband and I, since we are parenting without a village, try to give each other breaks to recharge. He took his solo trip a few weekends ago and this weekend was mine. Original plans fell through, but I ended up in Niagara Falls during a beautiful summer weekend. I should have been frolicking around, jumping for joy, doing all these cool things since it’s just ME, by myself. I’d love to sit here and tell you this was glorious, you should be doing this for yourself too, but I’m opting to be vulnerable and tell you what really happened and how I felt that weekend.  

I had a delicious burger and a beer for lunch, because why not? I was ravenous and thirsty for a cold one. I’d gone out to see Falls. They were incredible. I mean, holy crap, the view from my hotel room was breathtaking! 

Loneliness with a View

But after logging over 15,000 steps, I was back in my room, debating what I wanted to do now. And here came the pile on to the pile on that’s already raging in my head.

“You should be doing more stuff on your own! Taking a boat tour, exploring, doing something.” 

“You shouldn’t have paid all this money to just stay in your hotel room.”  

“You should really get a massage or go to a spa and treat yourself!”

“You shouldn’t be spending all this money on yourself.” 

“You really should be doing some homework or something productive.”  

When I step out of the busy-ness of being a mom and get some time solely to myself, I am riding the struggle bus. I feel lost. I feel guilty. I feel lonely without my family. I’m not having a great time. I even cried in the shower. And then I feel incredibly mad at myself because even though I’m able to get time away (I know I’m lucky to get this in the first place), I’m not enjoying it.  

What’s my point to all of this? It’s so easy to let yourself fall by the wayside when caring for your children, your husband or partner, your career or parents, or your pets. When you finally come up for air (either on a solo weekend or at some other point), you may wonder who this person is staring back in the mirror.  That’s okay. Life is a journey of discovering who you are…as a mom, a friend, a partner, a daughter, and a person. Keep showing up for yourself, even in these moments of struggle. Keep asking yourself what you like, what you need? As hard as it is, breathe deeply and wait for an answer. Then try to kick all those shoulds and should nots to the curb.