Momma Gotta Have A Life Too
This time last week, I was headed back to Columbus from the cozy and colorful beaches of San Jose Cabo, Mexico. Albeit the quick weekend trip to Chicago in January, this was my longest trip away from my family alone.
Yep, alone. No kids and no baecation. Just me and my girls, celebrating the 35th birthday of my friend Tekiesha. Not only was Cabo a celebration for her, it was also an opportunity to spend time away from our everyday responsibilities to escape and unwind. This trip was planned for nearly a year, complete with security deposits, payment arrangements and fights with the US Passport Center. I'm proud to say 10 of us made the trip. If you've planned a group trip of any magnitude, you know how impressive it is to coordinate the schedules of busy women and commit them to the same weekend overseas. Like myself, Tekiesha is the mother of twin boys. Many of us have children, are single mothers with full-time jobs, are entrepreneurs, or students pursuing higher education. One of my friends is even expecting her first child in less than 5 weeks!
So, I drank more than I usually do, slept longer than my schedule usually permits and tipped well. I even got sick; not sure if it was the food or drinks, (or the food + drinks) but I didn't miss a chance to stretch outside my comfort zone. I went horseback riding and rode an ATV on the beach, took selfies in the pool, watched the sunrise (twice), learned about the history of Cabo from local residents, met and connected with strangers, witnessed a proposal and a wedding and had a second plate of food because I could. I laughed until I cried and cried because I didn't want it to end.
I'll admit: I didn't feel guilty at all for taking this trip, sans my family. There’s added pressure when you take a trip away from your family. I got questions from strangers that included, “Your husband let you come out here with these girls?” Or, “Your husband didn’t care?” I spoke to women who were at our resort with their families who wanted to live vicariously through us. They shook their heads in agreement that committing time to yourself is a necessity. My friends asked me towards the end of the trip if I missed my kids. The answer was no. Not because I don't love them and don't enjoy spending time with them, you know attending to their every need. However, my children consume most of my time. I know the allocation of my time if unbalanced; its one of the reasons I started writing in the space--to hold myself accountable to living life outside of that. I did miss my husband. By the end of the trip, he was getting all the heart emojis from me. That tells me not only is he my best friend but that our personal time together is also off balance. We'll be correcting that shortly.
This trip was celebratory, and also an opportunity to escape and unwind. Because as I often remind myself and, as Yvette poignantly stated in the 2001 hood classic, Baby Boy:
Momma gotta have a life too!