Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 47

Sun, sun, glorious sun ... and not a family member in sight. Well soon. Right now there is family all around me, but by the end of the day I will be enjoying the pleasures of a girls weekend.

I had my first girls weekend (since marriage) last year. Yep, the first girly weekend away for over ten years. I flew to Brisbane to hang with a couple of my uni mates. We drank champagne, watched the “Sex and the City” and “Mamma Mia” movies, ate bickies and dip by the pool and had brunch at trendy cafes in the arty areas of town. Nobody to think about but me. It took a bit of work to get there, but the being there was worth it.

This weekend sees my second girl’s weekend away in 11 years with a different bunch of girls. Why does it take so long for a group of girls to get together? Why does it seem harder for a mother to escape than it is for a father? Is it pressure from others or pressure from self that keeps us part of the family unit for anything other than emergencies, work commitments or travelling for kids sporting events? Hmm. This is a question I actually can’t answer. I am not sure it is self imposed incarceration or imprisonment judged by a jury of peers (ie husband and kids).

Derek has his boys weekend away every year. They play golf, drink bourbon, play cards, smoke cigars and eat enormous steaks without a backward glance. Before I head off I have to get the kids ready for all their weekend activities, get food in the house, get the school uniforms washed and a list of “things to do” marked up before I can leave, and then I leave with a sense of worry that no one will ever be able to care for my kids as well as I do. What if they don’t brush their teeth? What if they eat nothing but ice cream for three days? What if they take the dog for a walk and Derek doesn’t know their missing until it is too late? Hmm again. My panic is setting in. Derek is not a useless father. He’s just not overly attentive either. Like many dads he is somewhere in between. But I am the mum. The mum! A dad is not a mum. And Mummy is leaving for a girls weekend away …

Ok, so this arvo I head off for my girl’s weekend away. I need to let the rest go. My kids are safe. I can drink champagne, lie on the beach, read my book, I don’t have to cook, I get to eat nothing but nibbles all weekend, sleep in, giggle, eat at trendy cafes and unless one of the women get horribly drunk I won’t have to cut up anyone else’s food, wipe anyone else’s bum, wash anyone else’s hair, clean up anyone else’s clothes or share my bed. Why on Earth would I think twice?! Forget self imposed incarceration, this weekend I choose exile.

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