Earlier this month, I took a vacation to Cuba without my children. Did you hear that? I am a mother, and I took a vacation without my children.
My friends decided to marry in Cuba. I didn’t know if I would go, because I was afraid to be away from my kids for so long. Also, it would mean missing my oldest’s 6th birthday, which made me feel guilty.
My family could have come along, of course, but I decided that taking the trip by myself was best for a few reasons.
Honestly? I didn’t miss them as much as I thought I would. I did miss them, of course, but it wasn’t crippling.
And, boy, am I sure glad I took the trip.
Left: Me on a catamaran (photo by Myles McNutt);
Right: View from a bench in Santa Clara.
I didn’t have to cook or clean. Or make my own bed. Or make my own drinks. The drinks? Good grief. I could indulge without worrying about who would provide the sober childcare. I only had to worry about myself.
The biggest decision I had to make was whether I wanted to take the catamaran trip on Wednesday or Thursday. (I went on Thursday.) Oh, and which beach to go to. (The big one. Always the big one.)
Did you know that I can hold a conversation–a proper one–with adults, and not have it be about children? Me either.
I learned some things about Cuban history, because I was able to listen to the tour guide. Supervision wasn’t my responsibility.
I was able to walk around without someone else’s belongings. Entertainment wasn’t my responsibility.
I could just be. Sit and think. Recharge my batteries. I was reminded that life isn’t all about my children. They are a huge part of my life, yes, but I am also my own person. Parents deserve alone time, all of us. It is necessary for our mental and emotional health. While it may not be in the form of an all-inclusive beach vacation, if given the opportunity, I strongly recommend hopping on a plane and just getting away.
What trips have you taken without your kids?