I ran away.. to another country. Not being a particularly crazy person (despite being insane!) this was the craziest thing I had done. We had arrived home from a 'holiday' with the kids and I think I was more tired and stressed than when we started the trip. Remind me, who would have thought that being with a 3yo and 17mth old in a motorhome would be relaxing. Ok so I was not really expecting relaxing, but Lachie did make it his task to be rather difficult for the majority of the trip which had me at breaking point.
I had booked a trip for mum and dad to New Zealand which was due to leave 2 days after we arrived home. On the Wednesday my mind was so fried I wished I could escape with them.. so I would joke with hubby that we should go too.. then the joke became a deep down yearning. I wanted to go!!! Just get away! I remember NZ from the first time we went, and it had a peacefulness that I can not explain. I sat there staring at the flights for a while with my cc details filled in before I thought bugger it, and hit the pay button. Confirmed.. we were going! It was only when I started packing the kids clothes with tears streaming down my face that I thought 'what the hell am I doing'? I am a mum with responsibilities, not to mention every holiday I had ever gone on were booked at least 6 months ahead with everything pre-planned, not 12hours ahead! I howled for the rest of the day and the anxiety attacks were coming back in full swing.. I could not eat, thought I was going to be sick, even called my travel insurance company in the UK to see if it was too late to cancel. But they don't let you cancel on grounds of being a nut case.. so we were going. Hubby did the best thing he could have done to support me and gave me a pep talk.. 'You deserve this, you need this.. it is just 5 nights and the kids will survive without us.. get over it!!!' Don't worry he was not being mean, just working in my best interests.
Even as my alarm went off at about 4am the next morning, I still felt sick and anxious and thought what can I do to keep me off that plane. But there was a little bit of excitement creeping in there too. As we arrived in Christchurch and the fresh clean air of NZ brushed over me, so did a sense of peace. And I did not look back. I felt like me again. I missed the kids, but have to admit I no longer cried over them.. I was happy to hear there voices on the phone but was not longing to get home until we were on our way home. I enjoyed every moment of the holiday and I can now say despite my feelings at the start it was one of the best things I had done for my mental health. I have come home feeling much more grounded, happy, calm! God only knows how long that feeling will last, but I will try and hold onto it for as long as possible. I have taken another step in learning to consider me as an important part of this family that has to come equal first. Still trying to put this in practice, but I am getting better.
We are so very lucky to have wonderful inlaws who could look after my babies, and awesome parents that I love to travel with. I know that running away is often taking the easy way out, but this was not easy! So if you feel you need, drop the guilt for a moment and take an hour, a day, a week off and refresh. The feelings of guilt, anxiety and fear all wore off and I was able to find me, without even trying.