I've been a mother since I was 21. I worked full-time until my second child was born and then decided to take a few years "off" (if you don't know why those quotes are there then you are obviously not a parent or involved aunt/uncle ; ) to enjoy my kid's childhoods and finish my degree. It was great to spend the time focused on my kids and I cherish those days because I know they will never come again. But in the process, I never really developed my own identity separate from my mother moniker and as my kids get older I struggle to find just who that person is and what she wants from life.
One of the things I am not accustomed to is doing pretty much anything without a child beside me. We don't go out a lot without them and I hardly leave the house with at least one begging to go too. Several of my friends are known to take a day or two off periodically with the kids in school and their husbands at work to catch up things they want and need to do. This never occurs to me since I usually have a crappy vacation policy at whatever job I am at or it wasn't possible when I stayed at home with the kids. Usually I save all my vacation for a measly week off with the family and any various illnesses that come up with the kids during the year. My current job's vacation policy rocks though and I get 3 weeks of vacation, 5 days of sick and 2 personal days. No more stretching it as thin as it will go especially since I can work from home when the kids are sick so I don't have to waste a day off.
Last week was so stressful that on Monday when I was looking down the barrel of a full week of unknowns, I decided to do the unthinkable. I e-mailed my boss and requested a personal day. And didn't tell Sam until my boss approved. I didn't want him trying to make any plans for me or offering to take the day off too. Immediately I e-mailed my close girlfriend (also my neighbor) and asked her if she would be interested in a long lunch with a few cocktails. The reason I love her is because of her immediate enthusiasm and she responded quickly with approval.
Of course my guilt got the best of me and I offered to go to my daughter's school for the morning. The class will take turns reading to me but that actually sounds cool to me. It will make the time go fast as I sit and figure out what I will be drinking when I get out of there.....