It was the night before Vienna

creative-solitude

Ping!

I got the SMS reminding me about my flight to Vienna tomorrow. In less than 24 hours, I am going to board a plane and be away from my family for a week.

Am I excited about this trip? Of course, I am! It’s been on my travel bucket list since forever.

But here I go again. I will terribly miss my kids.

Once you have kids, you are forever torn. I tell you, TORN. Your heart is no longer whole. Half of it, your children holds. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty. I don’t fly out very frequently. They will be taken care of when I am away. But here I go again.

When I became a mom, I (shockingly) discovered that motherhood is a state of permanent guilt. Should I work or not? Should I continue to breastfeed (even if my nipples are raw and sore and bloody) or use the bottle? Should I hover around my children or hands off? There are no cookie cutter right answers, only a feeling that you probably made the wrong choice.

Guilt is part and parcel of our mom lives. And no one is spared. We crave for me time but then withdraw when we actually have it because of guilt.

Are you a mom? What is your idea of a “me time”? You know it doesn’t have to be big or major but mine is probably solo travel because it’s just me and myself, trusting my instincts, my guts and basically about finding myself again.

grace in 1997 2

~ Me in 1997, barely one year as a student in Japan and I started exploring WITHOUT the internet (no Google Map!), just lots of research and a bus/train timetable book ~

Far too many moms skip “me time.” and little by little, day by day, we lose ourselves. Mom needs to be happy. We should be happy. And a little time to ourselves could also make us healthier, have a clearer head, feel refreshed, and even be a better mom.

Do I feel guilty about this solo trip? You bet. But will I cancel my flight and stay? No.

My children feel that I love them enough and they won’t mind I am gone for a few days because that doesn’t mean I’ve loved them less. I made them understand that. (They are wonderful travel companions, I am very lucky)

I seldom go on solo trips but I did so in 2011 to Thailand when my eldest and only child then was 8 and in 2013 to Turkey when my second was two. Of course I felt guilty when I took the time off but when I came back, I had much more energy and really appreciate everything I have. Life can become really, really busy and it’s so easy to lose yourself. Sometimes I want to be just me, Grace, not a mom or a sister or a wife or an employee.

And I find that Grace when I travel alone, when I do things alone.

…but that doesn’t mean I want to do things alone forever. I love my family. I love being a mom. My God, I am crazy in love with my kids. I couldn’t imagine life without my husband. They are my life. But I also have my own life…see? Torn, I tell you. Forever torn.

us

But I booked my ticket with words from a very wise friend hovering above my head: Children will not remember the few days you were not there. But YOU, the adult, will remember that you didn’t do what you really wanted to do, for the rest of your life.

*****

Brushing the guilty feelings aside, I will enjoy this trip, heck I paid for it! I’ve never been to Austria and I am exploring two cities alone with the help of the internet and pure guts. Wish me luck! For the meantime, you can follow my journey on Instagram, Twitter and my blog’s Facebook page.

See you on the other side!

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