I’m in New York! I’m on a mini break! For those of you who don’t know I live in London and being here in the big apple represents the first proper break I’ve had since I became a mother 7 years ago.
Well, that’s debatable. I was in hospital for 5 days 3 years ago with a rare immune disease and although that felt like a break my husband disagreed and stuck me on a plane to come see my lovely friend Clare who lives here in New York.
It was time. I deserved it. I work hard with the kids and my business. I’ve had holidays with the kids but it’s not quite a break as they refuse to grow up for the week so I can just kick back and relax. Infact on my last holiday this happened (horrendous child toilet incident).
But I can’t actually go! That’s just ridiculous!! Who will look after the children?!?! Their Dad? OK well he’s perfectly capable but if he’s doing that who will earn the money?! Surely what I do is so damned important I can’t stop doing it!
It’s only for a few days but won’t they all miss me?
Apparently not. The morning I left my eldest skipped off to school calling over her shoulder “say hi to Clare for me” as I’m stood on the doorstep in tears. At the airport, dressed as Wonder Woman, my three year old looked at me as if I was insane as I boo my eyes out walking through to passport control. “Why is Mummy crying? She’s going on holiday!”
So nobodies going to miss me then. Best make the most of it.
And I have. We’ve done much. On the first day we went to the Sex Museum and had two minutes of fun on the booby bouncy castle.
The second day we went to the piano bar in the village and got so drunk on happy hour cocktails we don’t remember getting home!
The third day we managed to stay sober….for the whole afternoon. We were super proud of ourselves!
And despite the two of us doing our best Edina and Patsy impression for several days now I’ve actually had something of an epiphany whilst I’ve been here. That girl who met a boy in Richmond 11 years ago is still in there. I thought she’d gone. She’s a bit older and she needs to drink a lot more water with her alcohol consumption but take away the layers of responsibility that I’ve chosen to take on and she’s still there. I thought I’d changed. That becoming a wife and mother and business owner had somehow taken the person I was and transformed her into some-one else. A slightly less crazy person. A more sensible person.
Turns out that the crazy young lady is still in there, I just couldn’t see her for the layers of life that I’ve put on since.
It was nice to remake her acquaintance.
I’ve now checked in and I’ll be on my way home in a few hours. I’m looking forward to resuming my wifely duties (mainly giving my husband something to worry about) and my motherly duties. I’m also looking forward to getting stuck into sorting out the Christmas Show.
But I’m bringing back the crazy young lady too. The one who could put herself first because she didn’t have to think about other people – I hadn’t given birth to them yet. Somewhere along the way, in trying to do the very best job I can for my little ladies, I forgot about her, and I think it’s time she got added back into the mix. I’m going to make a commitment to make sure I see her once a week. Once a week me and that crazy young lady are going to do something totally completely and utterly self indulgent that’s not about the work or kids or my pelvic floor.
It might even be with that 27 year old blond I fell in love with 11 years ago every now and then….if he’s lucky. I don’t want him thinking I’m too keen on him – he might get ideas.
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SARAH CANTRILL is a woman on a mission to inspire every young child to become a reader for pleasure. She is the Artistic Director & Founder of STORY STORKS, a social enterprise that delivers interactive story workshops to early years children and their grown ups, that help kids to fall in love with stories and develop their early language skills meaning that they have an easier time of learning to read when the time is right. Infact 85% of the kids who come through STORY STORKS are right where they should be or ahead in terms of progression through the reading book scheme once they get to school and the ones who are behind are trying hard because they know that it’s worth it – that to read is to unlock a whole world of fun and adventure and learning and imagination and they might take a bit longer to get there but they’re determined that get there they will.