Sometimes, it benefits everyone when a parent gets a bit of time away from their children.
Obviously, not everyone will agree with this statement. Some parents feel they need to spend every waking moment possible with their precious offspring, and that’s just fine if everyone is happy with the arrangement.
However, I’m in the ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ camp and find getting away from the children once or twice a year fortifies me significantly.
Of course I’d love to go away with my husband, but we don’t have anyone willing or able to take all 4 children overnight, and to be quite honest, I can’t blame them. Our kids are not known for their good behaviour. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t madly jealous every time a friend tells me their children have spent the weekend with their aunt, uncle or other relative.
Anyhow, in the absence of a helpful relative, DH and I have to take our child-free time separately. When DH goes away, he usually goes to Grand Prix events, often in other countries. I, however, tend to meet up with friends somewhere in the UK.
This weekend it was my turn, DH was left holding the babies (and puppy) and my friends and I were going to Crewe.
CREWE? I can hear you say incredulously; What’s in Crewe?
In our case, one of our friends was in Crewe and another one lived not far away. For various reasons, these friends were not able to make the trek down to London , so our little group decided we’d all go ‘oop North’ for a change. Trains were direct, there was a convenient hotel near the station and plenty of places to eat and drink. Besides, it was bound to be cheaper than London.
We had a great time. There were 11 of us and we did wonder what they’d make of a bunch of women descending on the hotel, but there was a 21st booked for the same night and they thought we were part of that. Bless!
The Crewe Arms Hotel was largely fine. It’s not a Premier Inn. It was a bit of a rabbit warren with corridors and rooms off everywhere. Some of the rooms are teeny and others are huge, some people had comfortable beds and others didn’t, and most of us had duvets on their beds but a couple only had empty duvet covers. One friend had a shower that didn’t work and my shower was tiny, which presented a bit of a problem because I am not.
On the plus side, it was cheap as chips and they didn’t mind us drinking our own booze in the lounge before the bar opened. And when we came back to the hotel after dinner, and decided that we just could not bear to sit downstairs and scream at each other over the sound of the 21st’s disco, no one minded when we took over an upstairs corridor for a couple of hours and turned into our very own speakeasy. There was also very good WiFi all over the hotel.
We had a lovely meal out at a local Italian restaurant called Giovannis on Saturday night, and went out for lunch at Ye Old Carvery for Sunday Lunch. If nothing else, we can all say we ate well in Crewe.
A couple of us even went Geocaching. We could only find one of the two we were looking for, but that’s better than nothing!
But the best part of going to Crewe was getting together with my friends and talking, laughing, drinking and eating. All of us enjoyed the short break from being Mummy for a bit.
And when we got home, we found our husbands had survived. My house was the usual tip it is in weekends and the kids seem to have lost both hairbrushes, but my husband had done All The Washing and taken the kids to a soft play party, for which he deserves a gold star. Some of my friends even thought their husbands had coped with the house and kids better than they do themselves. One of my friends arrived home to find her kids already in their pyjamas and ready for bed. She was hugely impressed until she realised her husband had actually not got them dressed that day at all. Still, everyone needs a PJ day now and again, don’t they?
So Crewe was a success. So much so that we are talking about meeting up somewhere even more North next time. to accommodative another friend who lives in the area.
In the meantime, I dream of a time when the kids are old enough that DH and I can get away together. I figure it’ll be possible in another 10 years. DS will only be 14 and DD3 will be 16, but I’m sure I will be able to bribe/ pay/ cajole one of the older girls to ‘teenage sit’ them.
But until then I need to stop wishing my children’s lives away and instead focus on the next hours, days and weeks ahead of us.
At least I’ve got my memories of Crewe to make me smile.