To go or not to go? The inevitable stages involved in considering absconding for the weekend.
A ping sounds from your phone – a phone smeared with tomato soup. It’s a group text. The group includes some of your favourite gin-guzzlers and the chat usually comprises of parenting woes, play-date plans and live Bake-Off commentary.
CITY BREAK, ladies? Next month. Who’s in? Need to book ASAP. Flights are a STEAL! xxx
Your reaction is an emotional melting pot, the agony of which lasts for several hours. Although the journey towards a decision involves intense inner conflict, the outcome will always be the same.
Stage 1: False confidence
‘Hell yes! Of COURSE I’m in! Yeow! THIS. IS. BRILLIANT.’ You immediately send an enthusiastic response and tend to the spilled soup with fervor and a spring in your step.
Count me in for sure! Whoop! (or some other such denotation of extreme excitement.)
Stage 2: Doubt
Next month is actually pretty busy. You slowly realise that you have plans every weekend for ages. The kids a birthday parties coming up. And there’s that trip north. Didn’t you promise them an outing to the cinema? When’s that wedding? Best to check the calendar again; the timing isn’t great.
Stage 3: Justification
Do you know what? To hell with the calendar! You deserve this. Two days without having to assemble train tracks or chisel porridge off the high-chair? Sounds perfect. While you’re at home all day being a top-notch, self-sacrificing mother, Mr C. gets to escape to a world of adults and mutual respect. And he travels. Granted, he stays in airport hotels on the fringes of unexciting cities but he can enjoy a conversation and a meal without being asked to wipe a behind. He gets a little peace. No noise. No questions. No tomato soup. When was the last time you were even on a plane? Wearing make-up and drinking wine before noon without judgement is the very least you deserve.
Will check flights later. Excited! *hands in the air emoji* x
Stage 4: Guilt
Is it really fair though? It’s a whole weekend. You won’t be back until Monday. He’ll have to take the day off work. How will the kids react? They’d never cope without you, would they? Soccer and swimming on Saturday will be a nightmare. And the small one is in that awkward phase where she draws on her own face with markers and eats soil. No, that’s not fair at all. You can’t just swan off and expect him to do it all on five hours’ sleep, can you?
Will confirm this eve. Just need to make sure Mr C. has nothing on that weekend. x
Stage 5: Determination
Wait a minute. Of COURSE you can! There may be men who would despair at the thoughts of it but not Mr C! The last time you went away for a night, you thought you would return to a broken man and you didn’t. He’s got this. It’s 48 hours. And they’ll be asleep for 24 of them. And sure wasn’t he telling you just the other day that you should be taking some time for yourself. The flights are cheap and Sterling is still in the gutter. Yup, this is probably just the kind of thing he had in mind…
Stage 6: Panic
So, four weeks. OK. There will be drinking and possibly dancing. Are you able for this kind of hedonism at your age? How many pounds can one lose in four weeks? Will you need to buy one of those off-the-shoulder numbers that everyone seems to be wearing? What would Zoe de Pass wear on a mini-break? You need to shop. And not eat bread. And be really nice to Mr C. And figure out how to get the toddler to sleep the night. And tone your shoulders. Four weeks.
Just booked the flights. Bring it! *airplane emoji* *cocktail emoji* *dancing emoji* *more hands in the air*
Stage 7: Fear