My mom (aka "Grammy") came down a few days before we left for our trip to learn the kids current schedules, give them time to get used to her again, etc. Of course, all of that went super smooth. Corgan is a total Grammy's boy and Belle loves all of her grandparents too, so we had no problems with the transition. My dad (aka "Papa") was here while I was gone too, so I'm sure he and the kids entertained each other plenty! I have been looking forward to this "childless" trip for months, but as the days got closer and closer, I was getting nervous that I would really start missing this kids while on the trip. My sister has never gone overseas so when she started sending me messages getting all freaked out that her phone wasn't going to work over there, and that she wouldn't be able to talk to her baby, it started making me a little nervous too. I was picturing the two of us curled up in our Parisian apartment watching slideshows of our kids on my laptop and crying into our bottles of wine. Okay... maybe I exaggerated a bit (or a lot), but I was still getting a little nervous. I've never been away from Corgan for more than 3 days and Belle for more than 6 (and I remember getting super anxious to see her on about day 5)... and this was a 10 day trip!
So anyway, in the last few days, I made sure that my iMac was all set up with a skype account for Annabelle (only because it wouldn't work for them to use my account or Keith's account, since we'd both be using them on our own computers... so don't go tryin' to add Belle to your skype contacts.. haha!). We tested everything out to make sure we could video skype, and even made sure that Kelly's family back home could communicate with us too. So, that definitely calmed Kelly and made me feel better too.
While in Amsterdam, we caught up with the families back home via video skype a few times at the end of the day. I was surprised with Bellee's disinterest and Corgan's excitement over the whole thing. She barely wanted anything to do with us, while he continually said "Hi Mommy!" over and over again with a huge grin on his face! I think having even that limited contact made a world of difference!
It seems like it has been so long since I've just been an adult first and not "Mom" first that it felt really strange, yet liberating. Starting with getting on the plane, I felt like I was missing something with just carrying my backpack and not checking a stroller and car seat at the gate! Then on the plane, I didn't have to worry about entertaining anyone else or whether anyone else had to poop (or had already pooped) or needed to eat. It was great!
On the trip, it was so wonderful to not have to get up at any certain time because someone else woke up early, to not have to worry about feeding anyone but myself (and occasionally Kelly or Keith), or to worry about keeping on a schedule so that naps and bedtime still happened at an appropriate time! I could go to museums and didn't have to worry about anyone screaming or touching things. Well... most of the time. ;)
On the last night of our Paris trip, Kelly and I were discussing that we really didn't miss our kids as much as we thought we would. Not that we didn't miss them, but the days were so filled with so much and the fact that we got to see them over skype really helped.
Having said all that, when I got off the plane in Melbourne and saw Keith and the kids standing just outside of security waiting for me, my eyes teared up! Corgan yelled "Mommy!" and ran to me, while Annabelle hid behind Keith's leg and wouldn't even acknowledge me at first. She warmed up within seconds though, and I was hugging both of my kids and realizing just how much I really missed them!
So, in summary, it was great to take a break from being a Mommy for over a week, but I couldn't be happier to be back to being Mommy again! And HUGE thanks to my parents for taking such good care of the kids. I'm sure that knowing that they were in such great hands is a big part of the reason that I was so comfortable being away from them. Both kids have been talking about missing Papa since he left, and even though Grammy hasn't left yet, Belle is already saying that she's going to miss her when she leaves!