What it Takes to go Gallivanting When You Are a Middle-aged Mom

What does “bases covered'' look like to feel comfortable leaving three young kids at home for six nights and 5 days?

What it Takes to go Gallivanting When You Are a Middle-aged Mom

As you read this, if all is going according to plan* I should be merrily gallivanting around Iceland, celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary with my husband, Travis. The kids are staying home. This is our first international trip together since 2014, and our first couples trip since October 2019, before the twins were born. This trip feels overdue and right on time.

*”According to plan” is an interesting concept, as we’ve lived through so much time recently where planning felt impossible. All of those past curveballs are clattering around in the back of my mind as I make detailed schedules, emergency contact lists, print out medical powers of attorney documents, and even finally get our Will finished after procrastinating for literally four years after our first meeting with a lawyer.

I cannot even let myself indulge in the rabbit hole all of the what-ifs. Travis and I are nervous to be away from the kids, but we are pushing through it. I’m trusting we have enough bases covered that it’s all going to work out.

So what does “bases covered'' look like to feel comfortable leaving three young kids at home for six nights and 5 days? For us it includes full in-person public school and aftercare, our regular caregiver for the twins, an extra nanny for overnights, three grandparents, some friends on tap for playdates, my friend and neighbor Dr. Liz, a family medicine doctor right down the street, everyone in the family being fully vaccinated/boosted etc....... and partridge in a pear tree. That’s a lot, right? Of money, AND richness of connections. I feel very grateful. In some ways, lining all of this up and having multiple layers of people we can count on feels like the culmination of a lot of seeds we’ve been planning for many years. We’ve spent a lot of energy investing in relationships, and as a result, we can call in favors. We are also fortunate to have built up trust with paid caregivers. And of course, we are fortunate to be able to afford a getaway at all.

We are also excited. I’m, in fact, thrilled this is happening. It’s felt like a happy bouquet of flowers hovering in my consciousness ever since we booked this in April. Knowing it was coming felt like a psychological release valve from all of the mundane moments with little kids and the hard monotony of ‘home.’ When the twins only lasted half an hour at a family-friendly Fourth of July party ruining the chance for both of us to socialize with adults, I thought to myself, “at least we are going to Iceland in September.” When we opted to NOT take all three kids on any family trip all summer and instead use the money for this couples trip and it was a million degrees in North Carolina and everyone else seemed to be going to the beach, I thought to myself, “at least we are going to Iceland in September.”

In honor of some of the unlearning I’m doing from Toi Smith on hustle culture and along with the wonderful forthcoming book I’m reading by Tricia Hersey, founder of the Nap Ministry, called Rest is Resistance, I will not be doing an audio newsletter or member thread this week, and will be taking next week completely off from the newsletter as well. One thing I’ve learned so far from the rhythms of this work is that it’s not the week you are gone that’s so hard to cover, it’s the week you get back. I am giving myself the spaciousness to not be overwhelmed upon my return. My regeneration makes all of this work better.

I’ll let you know how it goes,

If you are new to the newsletter, and want to dig into past gems while I’m away, allow me to recommend Cruise Director Parenting and Other Phenomena to Reconsider, Debunking Why Your Relationship is Unequal, The Case Against Family Vacations, and How Two American Myths Stop Us From Meaningful Friendships.

Also, become a member!

If you enjoy this newsletter and want to contribute to this work and be a part of our social change laboratory for moms, become a member. It starts at $7/mo. We have virtual and IRL meetups, audio newsletters so you can listen on your fave podcast app and members only threads full of thoughtful discussion. If it’s not in your budget but you want to be a part of it, let us know and we’ll hook you up, no questions asked.

Once you are a member you can chime in on some of our great members-only threads, full of thoughtful comments and respectful dialog, like Your (Changing) Thoughts About Family Size, Your Workplace Transformation Wish List, and Your Thoughts of Leaving America.

Join us!


Sign in to leave a comment. Enter your email for a login link.