When Rod was traveling a lot for work, we would count his days away only by the ones when he was waking and going to sleep in a different place.

Using those rules, this week marks the second time since Miranda was born we’ll be away for 4 days…but in the world of mommydom, this also means 5 bedtimes and wake ups without us here.

As I write this, it’s the night before we leave, after tuck-in time. We broke a little from our usual routine and after a long day, the 4 of us piled into Miranda’s bed for prayer. I could tell by the way Randa was squeezing her Daddy and me that our almost-5-year-old is more aware of us ‘going away’ than she used to be.

This is the first time we’ve left them since we moved, save for our time in Branson when they partied with Gramma and Papa and loved every minute.

So right about now, I am likely feeling extreme guilt and also missing them. But considering the physical and emotional weights of this year, I hope that I am also relaxing, sleeping peacefully, and enjoying uninterrupted conversations with my husband.

I often harken back to my friend Amy P’s advice. She and her husband raise 4 in a chaotic household with one operating policy the same as ours: work hard, play hard. She and her husband usually find time once a year to get away just the two of them. In January 2010, when Rod and I were embarking on our first cruise, she gave me some sage advice when I asked her how to navigate these waters without guilt:

Tell yourself they’re fine, and you need it.

So, Tuesday Self: Take note. Enjoy it. Randa and KK are safe with Gramma and Papa, eating snacks and controlling the TV and training up their grandparents in the way they should go (just like in Branson…)

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And Doug and Amy, if you happen to read this, thanks for the example…and know that we miss you!

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