Ask any mother, if you could be granted one wish, being child-free for a couple of days has to be pretty high up there on the Aladdin's Lamp List.
Lucky for me my brilliant mum asked to take the sprogs for a few sleeps at hers. Killing two birds with one stone my Little Peas are excited to go, while I'm ecstatic to wave them off. Time for me to indulge in the one thing childless folk take for granted (sleep). Fantastic!
Day one, I wake up refreshed. A whole night's uninterrupted dreaming. Lovely. Looking in the bathroom mirror, I am surprised to find one night away from the brood and I'm already looking younger. No pile cream required for the bags under my eyes on this fine day.
This must be how the other half live. I'm ready for work with heaps of time to spare. I enjoy a whole cup of coffee without interruption and even finish it while it's still warm.
My work day zooms by, leaving me with a whole evening to myself with the Hubster. I discuss with a non child-free friend how best I should spend my free time. Once over the resentment of my new found freedom, the friend can only suggest I go to sleep – through gritted teeth.
With a whole night's rest already under my belt I feel I must make the most of being awake. The Friend shrugs and heads home to tend to her mini army.
It's pretty sad to admit but I spend my whole journey home racking my brain for somewhere to go – just because I can. That's exactly the sort of behaviour you can expect from a child-free starved mother.
I am very mindful that this is a golden opportunity and that if I'm frivolous with my choices, I will probably sit on the couch regretting it for the next month. Who knew being free would be so stressful?
Finally home, I suggest to The Man that we have a gym date then dinner out. Hardly rock and roll, but it gives me valuable thinking time for the following night's freedom. We never gym together so I warn him not to watch me workout and to stick safely to the other side of the gym. There are some things that should be kept a mystery within a marriage and glowing like a red light bulb mid workout is most definitely one of them. By the end of our session I know exactly what we will do. It is not very responsible.
The next 48 hours are a mix of alcohol, dance floors, late nights merging into early morning movie marathons. I manage to squeeze in all the things a full time parent usually can only dream of. Somewhere amongst it all I even get a chance to pluck my eyebrows. Exactly what you would expect from a responsible mother.
On the morning of my children's return I look in the bathroom mirror. I look five years older.
The bags under my eyes have luggage of their own now. Pile cream will be required by the bucket load.
The little people arrive back exhausted from all the fun they've had. I realise how much I've missed them and get them all snuggled with me on the couch. Being kid free is exhausting. I'd better ask the mother-in-law if she's free…