Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Need to Get Away

Ahhh, tomorrow at this time I will be in Cleveland, Ohio settling into my hotel room and getting ready to enjoy attending the Women of Faith conference on Friday and Saturday.
Two years ago my husband was at a conference for work and somehow he managed to find himself in a hotel room all by himself for three days. When he called to tell me about it, he was actually disappointed at the lack of a roommate. I, on the other hand, thought my husband was the luckiest person in the world! As I considered his situation further I began to think, Hey, if Brian can be gone and in a hotel room for a few days by himself, why can't I? And I began to do a little research on the Internet.
I discovered the Women of Faith conference was coming to Michigan in five weeks. I checked out the details of hotels and costs, and when Brian got home I presented him with my proposal. How about I go away by myself for a few days, Honey??? I had just served on a jury (for a triple murder case. Eewww!) and had a garage sale, so it was easy for me to say how I'd pay for the conference. Brian agreed right away and I began the count down.
I had such a great experience at the conference and I have such a wonderful husband, that we decided I could make the Women of Faith conference an annual "Me Time" event. Women of Faith hasn't been back in Michigan since 2005, so last year and this year I'm attending in Ohio, but I don't mind. It just means more "Me Time" while I'm traveling!

So I've been looking forward to this event, at times reminding myself it's coming just so I can make it through particularly stressful situations at home. Like last Saturday.
I was deep in the trenches of mothering - with kids who wanted to sell snacks during neighborhood garage and yard sales. My kids and the neighbor kids set up shop at my brother's house two blocks away and I was there to monitor and make sure they didn't kill each other. (Which I fear they may have if I hadn't stepped in a time or two.) They started off really cute and were having fun. But as time wore on and the temperature rose, so did their tempers with one another. They got competitive and bossy. The little guy was annoying the bigger kids. One group didn't think it was fair that the other group had a certain table. The quarrelling escalated and they kept wanting me to resolve the fights. I wasn't biting.
Needless to say, after three hours when they had finally sold out of treats, I was more than ready to pack it up and bring every one home. But when we got home, my adult neighbors weren't home so I continued to have the responsibility of all the kids. And the kids continued with their bickering. Grrr.
When my husband got home I said, "Brian, I am ready to cry, and I'm not even PMSing!" He asked if I needed to leave for awhile. I think I was gone before he finished asking the question! I didn't get anything accomplished while I was out. Tried on some shorts and a few shirts, but didn't like anything. It didn't really matter to me, though. More than new clothes (which I really could use!), I just needed some of my own air to breathe.

That evening after we put the kids to bed I went to the grocery store to pick up a few items I needed for Sunday. As I was driving along and breathing deeply, enjoying the peace and quiet, I began to feel awful. I realized how relieved I was to be away from my kids, and I felt terrible for feeling so good. These children are gifts God has given to me. They are His creation. He loves them. I love them! How could I feel so good to be away from them? It was a terrible feeling and I was in tears by the time I got home.
Brian and I sat down to talk about it. He is a voice of reason for me and I am so thankful to God for my husband. As we talked Brian reminded me we're all adjusting to school being out for the summer and it was perfectly reasonable for me to be stressed after the day I'd had with all the kids. He reminded me I'm human - imperfect and needy in my own ways - and it's OK for me to enjoy time alone. I felt so much better after we talked.
A conversation I had the next day with my sister-in-law helped an awful lot, too. She suggested perhaps God uses these situations to alert me to my need to get away - to focus on Him, and enjoy His presence alone. I love how He speaks through my family to me!

So tomorrow I'm going away for a couple of days. I fully expect to be refreshed and renewed. From past experience, I know I'll be missing my family by Saturday afternoon and will be anxious to get home and hug them and tell them of the goodness of God I've seen while I was at the conference.
Yes. I need this time away for awhile. It is going to be a good thing, and I am going to enjoy every minute of it!


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17 comments:

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

I am going away this weekend as well, and I am looking forward to being refreshed as well. I love my kids more than life, but I am with them 24/7. I will return reading to spend every moment with them again. To be honest, they will probably be refreshed and mroe ready to see me as well!

Jen @ irrationallove said...

I am so excited for you! It has been a long time since I have been away alone...I like the idea of making it an annual thing to look forward to.
I'm praying huge blessings on you as you go. Can't wait to hear about your time with Him!

kreed said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I hope you have a wonderful weekend - I have not attended a Women of Faith conference, but have heard they are just fabulous. And I truly believe that "me" time is important for the whole family - we need time to ourselves to restore our selves and focus on our own faith so we can strengthen our families, too!

Heather @ Desperately Seeking Sanity said...

Enjoy it!!! I used to feel the same way about going away... even if it was on a business trip... but when I come back, I am a little less tense (most of the time...) and it gives them time away from me too... which, I'm sure, is a good thing... :)

Enjoy it!!!!

Char said...

Moms aren't superhumans, so try not to put too much undue pressure on yourself! You deserve a break! Enjoy it! And you'll love coming home afterwards. :o)

Angela said...

Karen,

Yeah for you! I hope your time of refreshing is just what your heavenly doctor ordered! I am hoping to attend the Dallas conference in August. I LOVE WOF conferences. They are so inspiring.

Corrie said...

I am so happy for you! I also go to WOF every year and love it! It is my break too. I love your transparency about the stresses of mothering and I feel the same way sometimes. Thank you for your encouragement! I'll be thinking of you at the confrence this weekend and praying for safe travels!

Lu said...

Fantastic way to get re-energized! Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

annie said...

You rock! (come by my blog to see why... scroll down past Amanda's canada pics though)

Mandalyn said...

I'm so happy for you (and jealous--in a good kinda way, of course). :)

I've been cravings some real "me time" lately! I know it will come but alone time sounds so good to me right now!

I hope the trip completely refreshes you! I look forward to hearing about it!

Karen said...

How awesome you are getting some time out. Look forward to hearing about it.

Dakota's Mom said...

You go girl! You'll be even better for the kids if you take care of yourself too. Enjoy and I'm looking forward to the report.

Marcia said...

Karen, your husband sounds wonderful!!! He's so considerate - looks like God put the right two people together, didn't he?

Enjoy your me-time (by the way, my May newsletter on http://2006takecharge.blogspot.com was on self-care) and have lots of fun!

Coach J said...

I'm sure you're back by now, refreshed and relaxed!! It really is good for us, and our kids, to get away and have some alone time.

Sonya said...

I feel like this sometimes and I need to talk to my hubby about getting away. Since I homeschool my kids, I am never really away from them for more than an hour at a time. I know it would do me good to go away and come back refreshed and ready to serve my family with a new attitude.

Anonymous said...

wow im readindg your comments now crying about how i can get away without tsaying away i truly need some prayer and me time. my wedding is in 2weeks my 17 yr old goes to court 2days before for a felony he might get sent away for my 8 yr old is 104 lbs she nneeds to lose weight badly and my 14 yr old jus been diagnosed with epilepse and my mother been living with us for 8yrs please email me with any kind of help i need any little bit of anything positive.p.s. im also a fulltime nurse!!!!! help burnt out mom

Irritable Mother said...

Dear Burnt Out Mom,
I am praying for you, and hoping you'll check back here. I would love to email you, but do not know your address. If you click on the "My complete profile" link in the top right column, you can email me.
I hope to hear from you!
Love,
Karen