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Offline and On the Road January 20, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, Humor & Satire, networking, parenting & family, toddlers, WAHM/WAHD Stuff.
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A few months ago, at my husband’s high school reunion, a plan was hatched to have a Girls Weekend. I’ve become friends with three of his old high school girlfriends (not girlfriends in the romantic sense, girl friends—his litter mates—as my mom calls groups of girl/guy buddies whose friendships are entirely platonic). One of our friends lives in Chicago, so the plan was for the rest of us to head West and spend the weekend there. Four of us piled into my car and off we went. It was my first trip away from my son. It was also my first trip in a long time that was entirely unplugged. Okay, not entirely unplugged, I did have my cell, and my cell does have Internet access, which means that I could have checked e-mail, but I didn’t have my laptop and I didn’t check e-mail. I learned three very important things this weekend about being a WAHM.

First, you’ve just got to get away sometimes. No, not just a spin around the block sans husband and child, or a night out with your girls, or shopping (or whatever) by yourself…really away. A quick weekend trip with your girlfriends where you can all just be fun-loving spirits, devoid of the usual responsibilities and self-imposed curfews, to take in a show, kick back, have some drinks, go to a spa, chit-chat…whatever. We weren’t wanton or reckless, in fact we probably spent a strange amount of time talking about our husbands and kids and not in a bad way either.

Second, daddies are able to manage quite well without Neurotic Mama hovering about. (Not that I was concerned.) While my son did miss me and was looking for me when he woke up since I left before dawn, he did not have a breakdown and spend a tantrumous weekend giving his father hell. The house did not fall apart—the dishes even got done. Oatmeal cookies and Dum Dums did not become the meals du jour no matter how hard Bean pleaded, my husband did not end up chasing a naked toddler down the street in subzero weather while clad only in his own bathrobe. And unlike when he had to travel for the first time after our son was born, nobody got locked in the car accidentally, and the police didn’t have to be called. In fact, all went quite well, and I only called twice. (Excluding the text messages to my husband telling him how much I missed him and the little guy.)

And finally and probably most surprisingly, while I was away from being plugged in, I didn’t have a panic attack, or suffer from too much Internet withdrawal and Earth did not get smashed to smithereens by Marvin the Martian because I was not online.

When you’re a WAHM, especially one who’s working life pretty much relies on at the very least having reliable access to DSL, a keyboard and your mobile phone while also doing kid stuff (or alternating work stuff with kid stuff) your parenting and working lives collide. (Which is of course, why we’ve made the choice to work from home.) But that also means that we can start to suffer from a kind of hyper kid/work myopia, forgetting about the importance of caring for our inner selves. Proper attention and care of our inner selves means the occasional jaunt out. Out of the house, out from the kid/work zone and reclaiming the girl/woman who was possibly forgotten amidst the myopia. The funny thing is that in getting offline and unplugged, hanging with the girls, the networking continued. We shared insights and thoughts about everything from shopping to saving money to talking about work and work styles our families and everything beyond and in between. Much learning was shared in the most relaxing way…over drinks (and nobody had to worry about driving, since our Chicago friend’s husband was our DD.)

I came back refreshed and relaxed, never so excited to see my toddler’s beaming face at the door as I pulled into the driveway, and seeing my husband was like so many of the wonderful reunions we had before we were married and having a long-distance relationship.

All in all, the unplugged road trip was great and something that must be replicated—often.

Copyright © 2008 Erika-Marie S. Geiss



1. Michele L. Tune - Writing the Cyber Highway - January 21, 2008

Ah, that’s so nice, Erika! I’m glad you got away and were able to recharge. You definitely deserved it!

Way to go! 😉


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