Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

My Weekend Getaway

Over the weekend I did something that I recommend any new mother who is able, to do: I left my baby and husband for three days. Granted, I don’t breastfeed, so that makes the logistic of such a vacation much easier than if I did. And I also happen to have a very caring, compassionate, capable husband who was happy to do fulltime Daddy Duty for the weekend so that I could head back to Chicago and re-charge with my friends.

When I moved from Chicago to New York to be with Drew, after long distance dating for a year and a half, part of our “deal” was that I would make regular trips back to Chicago to reconnect with my best buds. I told Drew that even if/when we had kids, that was something that was important to me. I left a bit of heart in that city and it’s good — nay, necessary — for my soul to get back a couple times of year and find it again. So, that’s what I did this weekend and it was great.

Some people told me I’d be sick over being away from my 4 1/2 month old baby, and I hope it doesn’t make me sound like a horrible mother, but I was not sick over missing him. I mean, I missed him, of course. I look forward to bringing him with me to Chicago some time and showing him the lakefront and some of the places I used to sit and daydream about him. But I was perfectly content having a few days away from the sometimes-crushing — though usually rewarding — pressures of motherhood.

I drank (too much, some would say); I danced; I cooked and ate good food. I slept! I met new friends (including 11 lovely DearWendy readers!), and reconnected with some old-and-true ones. On Sunday, I didn’t leave my best friend’s apartment all day. Instead, we hosted a “bathrobe brunch” and invited other friends to come over, don bathrobes (and feather boas, if they wished), and drink orange julius martinis (that’s me and my bestie, Chad, in the photo above. We’ve been friends for 15 years and talk every day. He’s gay, single, lives alone and has a much different life than I do now, but we’ll always be soul-siblings.).

My only regret about the weekend is that it didn’t include a window of 80 degree temperature — even an hour window would have sufficed — for me to lounge on my favorite beach and soak up some sun like I used to do. As I drunkenly told a cab driver on the way home from a downtown bar Saturday as we wound around Lake Shore Drive, “My heart cries out for it!”

And I think my heart cried out for a weekend just like last one. Thanks to Drew for letting me have it.

29 comments… add one
  • LolaBeans March 7, 2012, 12:09 pm

    soooo great you got away for a weekend!!! Hopefully it helped to recharge your batteries!!!

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  • JK March 7, 2012, 12:15 pm

    Glad you had such a good time! You´re so lucky to have a husband like Drew.
    I sometimes kid that as soon as I wean the baby I´m goig off to the Caribbean for a week. Of course, the universe would probably explode if I actually did that!

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  • bethany March 7, 2012, 12:19 pm

    I’m glad you have such a great trip! You deserved it!

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  • Addie Pray March 7, 2012, 12:20 pm

    It was AWESOME to meet you, Wendy! Thank you for letting us steal you for a couple of hours. You were just as I thought you’d be — for starters, a woman, in her 30s, and with red hair (and not an old man) and also delightful and easy to talk to! And I got to meet this Chad guy, people. H.A.W.T. So, he’s single? Is he opposed to being set up with a friend of a friend that his friend met off the internet? Sounds safe enough.

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  • camille905 March 7, 2012, 12:22 pm

    Sounds like you had a great weekend and recharged your batteries. Even when you know how lucky you are, sometimes a little distance is good just to remind you :).

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  • Moneypenny March 7, 2012, 12:23 pm

    That sounds like such an awesome weekend! This makes me really want to visit Chicago, too. 🙂

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    • LolaBeans March 7, 2012, 12:26 pm

      i agree, chicago is my next city to visit!!

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      • katie March 7, 2012, 1:49 pm

        it has the best food guys. seriously. the best!

  • sarita_f March 7, 2012, 12:59 pm

    Good lawd that best friend of yours is hot.

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  • katie March 7, 2012, 1:48 pm

    there was a post on offbeat mama (do you read that website, wendy? i think you would really like it) that was this lady talking about how now that she is a mama, thats not ALL she is. i dont think that leaving your little one, and being happy about it, for a weekend is a bad thing at all. you are still you, and you still have friends and life outside of your new little one. you always will. and, honestly, i think thats healthy. i dont think its good when mothers get so wrapped up in their childs life that they have no more idenitity…

    so. im glad you had fun on your weekend! i am going to be in chicago on the weekend of the 17th to interview for a HUGE promotion, and when i bought my tickets i freaked out a little bit because i thought that i may be there for the big meetup – but, it was last weekend. sad. well, if i get this job, maybe ill be there for the next one! haha

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    • Wendy March 7, 2012, 3:39 pm

      Good luck!

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      • katie March 7, 2012, 6:54 pm

        aw, thanks wendy!!

    • Iwannatalktosampson March 7, 2012, 4:09 pm

      I think it’s really sad when women lose their identity after kids. I have a few friends (well facebook friends I should say) that have nothing to talk about besides their kids. Every single status, picture, plan, activity is child related on facebook. I don’t understand why women think this makes them great moms. These women will turn into helicopter moms and we’ve all seen the damage that can do. I think it’s good to go out and have a good time occasionally – I think the kids will be better off because of it!

      Wendy – I’m glad to see you got your groove back! 🙂 I think it will be a daily thing to work on, but I’m happy you got to be a little carefree for a weekend.

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      • rachel March 7, 2012, 4:55 pm

        I have those facebook friends too, except I forget they exist because I long ago hid them from my newsfeed.

      • kerrycontrary March 7, 2012, 5:04 pm

        same. I don’t want to hear about your child’s poo on facebook. I don’t want to hear about anyone’s poo.

      • Addie Pray March 7, 2012, 5:12 pm

        but Everybody Poops.

        I hate those “i’m so busy but on top of my shit” status updates, where they say stuff like “taxes done, 3 mile run with my girlfriends, kids’ lunches packed, laundry in the wash, trash on the curb, all before 7 am.” yea? screw your mom.

      • Iwannatalktosampson March 7, 2012, 5:39 pm

        Ugh I hate those too. One of my facebook friends makes a list I swear to god at least 5 days a week detailing what she’s accomplished. It’s like isn’t that what a planner is for? And it’s always the same shit. Like “laundry done, house cleaned, dinner cooked, xyz brief completed, candles lit, now just waiting for the hubby to come home. Boy he sure is lucky!” Gag me.

      • Addie Pray March 7, 2012, 6:19 pm

        i barfed a litle in my mouth when i got to the part about waiting for “the hubby.” and it was minty on account of the Thin Mints i’ve been eating this afternoon.

      • Iwannatalktosampson March 7, 2012, 6:24 pm

        Oh “the hubs”. barf.

      • Sue Jones March 8, 2012, 11:07 am

        Except when your life is as big as a diaper during those early years, getting it all done is quite an accomplishment. I admit to posting a few statuses like that,(except the candles and “hubby” part) because those are the GOOD days! The rest of the time your life is a swirling mass of 24/7 chaos. But I am happy to say those early years do pass. But then later there is, for example, prepping for your kid’s ski lesson ( I live near the mountains) which means buying snacks and making lunches the day before, making sure you do not forget a single mitten or you are screwed, and getting up at six on a Saturday morning to make it to the lesson by 9AM….and cleaning the house etc.etc.

        There really is a difference in lifestyle for those with kids and those without. But lets not begrudge each other’s choices.

        I took a similar weekend to my city of my 20’s but not until my son was 3. Now that he is older I go back 2x per year or so to my hometown which is a big fun east coast city. A lot of my friends still live there and I have a child-free time! We all need that!

      • Sue Jones March 8, 2012, 11:08 am

        Though I should add that THEIR ( my friends from back home) kids are all now in college… I got a late start.

      • JK March 7, 2012, 6:25 pm

        Ugh, I hate those people too. I mean my photos ARE 95% of my daughters, but that is a)so my family overseas can see them, b)because they´re pretty much the only thing I take pics of, and c) because they´re so damn pretty, I have to show them off!!!

      • katie March 7, 2012, 6:54 pm

        oh, i think there is a huge difference between loving your kids and being a part of their life, which is definitely a good thing- and then only being about your kids, you know? i totally appreciate my friends on facebook who post about their kids- i want to hear about them and see their pictures, definitely! maybe not the poop, but you know…

        like sampson said above, the helicopter mom thing is not good for the mom or the kids, and there is a line that i think some moms cross when it does get unhealthy for both of them…

        i just think its sad that moms feel, like i think wendy did, that she had to defend the fact that she left her baby for a few days and actually had fun! there is nothing wrong with that!

      • JK March 7, 2012, 6:59 pm

        I feel it´s a case of damned if you do, damned if you don´t with most things in parenting.
        For example: when my eldest was 5 months old I started working (nothing major, 2x week for half a day), and people were saying that it was better to be SAHM, spend all the time with her, bla bla. Now that I AM a SAHM with both girls, I get people asking why I don´t work, how can I stand being at home all day, don´t they drive me crazy, etc.etc.

      • katie March 7, 2012, 8:16 pm

        ive heard that about parenting… no matter what you decide, there is someone who feels that the other option is “better for the kids”.. you see it everywhere, breastfeeding, school choices, food choices, whatever…

        if it makes you feel better, my sort-of sister in law did exactly what you did, and i dont think its weird at all! she even said it would be good for her to have some adult interaction a couple times a week… once again, its ok to have a life and interests outside of your kids! she is also a SAHM now, expecting again…

      • JK March 7, 2012, 8:24 pm

        I´m fine with my decisions, luckily, I know that Ipm doign what is best for my family. ANd luckily I´m in a position to stay at home. If we need the money at some stage I´ll def. go back to work.
        Plus with 2 kiddies things get a lot more hectic, especially with the eldest in kindy!

      • katie March 7, 2012, 9:18 pm

        good! lol screw the haters!!

        also, i cant imagine having two kids… heck, i cant even imagine having one! lol

      • JK March 8, 2012, 6:13 am

        It´s definitely crazier than I expected, especially since the 10 month old is terrible (and walking already!), and the 4 year old insists on mothering her.
        But I wouldn´t change it for anything.

  • Taylor March 7, 2012, 2:47 pm

    Woot! Sounds faaan-tastic =)

    I am glad you got to take some time for yourself…it is much needed, whether you have no kids or 10.

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