When’s the last time you were away from the kids?

I got to attend BlogHer this weekend, and it was absolutely amazing. I got to hang with women I’ve only known online, including fellow 5 Minutes for Special Needs blogger Janis, Jean from Stimeyland and Julia Roberts from Support Special Needs. I went to great sessions. I met a hot New York City fireman, who flashed his six-pack abs, only I didn’t notice. And I got away from the kids for a few days. Which was also kind of great.

Since I’ve started blogging, I’ve gone on trips to Nashville and Chicago to attend conferences; before that, I was pretty much never away from the kids for any extended period of time. And although I missed them so much it hurt, especially when I called home and I heard Max breathing into the phone and Sabrina said, in her most piteous voice, “Mommy, when are you coming back?”, it felt so freeing to get away. It gave me new perspective on life. It rejuvenated me. It made me remember I’m a person, not just a mom, as weird as that may sound.

I don’t feel any worse leaving Max, my kid with special needs, than I do Sabrina, my so-called “typical” kid. I know it makes me a better mom to both of them to have this time for growing myself. And I’m glad to have my blog as an “excuse” for making my husband, Dave, watch the kids, although really, it should be perfectly acceptable for me to do a girls’ night away and not feel badly, right? Though even the thought of that gives me guilt.

One of these days I’d like to get away with just Dave, too. That’s tricky because we don’t have family to leave the kids with; my sister used to be our go-to babysitter, but now she’s married with kids all her own. So for now, I’m thrilled to get away by myself to these conferences, and grateful that I have a husband who supports my love of the blogosphere. I’ve met so many great women online who know what I’m going through in a way that my real-life friends don’t, I’ve gotten such great advice, and I’ve had the satisfaction of knowing that I help other moms, too.

How about you—when’s the last time you were away from the kids? How did you feel about it?

Photo/Kristen Howerton

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