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Many people who have families and husbands and live by a certain routine and level of activity might be completely at a loss if faced with a sudden abundance of alone time. How can you function when the people that you care for and adjust your life around are out of the picture for a time? I know most mothers crave some downtime; time to themselves to rebuild their stores of energy or just some peace and quiet for a few short hours. But I know an equal amount of them who claim not to know what to do with themselves when their families aren't around.

Anders has been taking the kids on a week-long ski trip for 7 years. The first time they went, Karin was only 3.5 years old: the minimum age for a child to go to ski school at the resorts here in Sweden. The kids go to ski or snowboard school in the mornings while Anders and his friend Mats (and the other fathers, if someone else has gone that year) hit the slopes. Then they fix lunch at the cabin, and then all of them go out together in the afternoons. In the evenings, they take a sauna, watch TV or DVDs or play games and get homework done. They have a blast, those dads and their kids, during this week each year.

I look forward to this week all year with as much enthusiasm as they do. Not because I won't miss my family, but because I will. But not for several days, at least.

They left around 7:15 a.m. on Saturday morning, and this year I didn't plan very well, because I had a dinner party to go to on Friday evening, so in effect that's when we said goodbye to each other. They woke me up for hugs and kisses as they carried the last bags out the door and I waved as they pulled out in the stuffed-full Volvo with the ski box on top. Then I went back to bed and slept in like a teenager.

Just think! I don't have to fix dinner for anyone but me for a whole week! I have cleaned and picked up the house and it WILL STAY CLEAN for the next 7 days: everything in its place. I don't have to fight anyone else for the computer. I don't have to get up earlier than I'd like to chivvy children into getting up, dressed, teeth brushed, and out the door on time to school. I don't have to take anyone else anywhere for any activities. And I won't get aggravated at my husband for accidentally waking me up when he finally comes to bed at a godawful hour despite the fact that it's a work night.

By Thursday I'll be missing them greatly: missing the enthusiastic hugs and goodnight kisses and Karin's willingness to sit on my shoulders and rub my neck after a hard day at work. I'll miss the breathing silence of a sleeping house full of loved ones. I'll miss the daily give and take of checking to make sure the things that need to be taken care of are done, and the recounting of what's gone on during the day for each child and for my husband and my own chance to tell someone the good and bad things about my own day. But even then, I shall store up all the missing for their return on Saturday night and enjoy every minute of my lovely lovely not-so-lonely week.
mood: productive
music: Da Buzz—I'm Alright


I think it's absolutely wonderful that your husband enjoys this week! Having a week off mothering is the best tonic for every overworked Mom! Enjoy! And, when you're feeling lonely before Saturday, you know my number! Love, Lizardmom

I totally will, you know it, mom!! :D


Hi Liz!

Enjoy your solitude! :O)


I yam I yam!

And every year I get jealous of your week to yourself! Have fun!

I only write about it to make every green with envy! muahahahaha!!

I feel exactly as you do when my husband takes my daughter on a camping trip each year the week she gets out of school. Unfortunately for me, though, that week generally coincides with my busiest time of year at work. Being at work early and staying really late every day has me not really feeling their absence until about the time when they're on their way home. I guess the good part of that is that at least neither of them feel neglected that week like they probably would if they were home.

Enjoy your week!

True, but still it's too bad you don't get to indulge a bit more. I would try and move that camping trip, if it were me! :P

My first thoughts were exactly like your own. . . not cooking big dinners, the house staying clean, (I mean really staying clean!) not having to be accountable for anyone but yourself. It is bliss! On the other hand, I agree with missing even the simple "silence of a sleeping house full of loved ones" too. I wonder many times now, how it will be when my children are grown and have flown the coop. I wonder if it will be this way. Silent. I choke up every time I think about it.

That's when you put the good tunes on the stereo and start dancing! :)


Ah - I understand, even on a dog level. I hate to leave my dogs when I travel, but it is soooo nice not to have to get up at 6am to feed them every morning. Yet I'm thrilled when they greet me at the door when I get home. Enjoy your time!


6 a.m. ! Yow, woman, train those pups to sleep in! :D

Amazing time between kids and dad. I know my kids would bask in that time. Not so sure about my husband. It's funny, the routines we get into. He relys on me a lot to interject with the kids. But then I think I took on working Friday nights for a while and thought they'd all fall apart and they instead revelled in the time.

You revel in your time!

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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