Varday and I just returned from one of our best Ditchuations, yet. Simply put, a #Ditchuation is a situation where you DITCH your kids. For an unspecified amount of time, you put your personal, mental, and marital wellness FIRST, for the good of… everyone. This past weekend, Varday and I took a four-day, all-inclusive Carnival Cruise Ditchuation. We ate and drank everything in sight, lost too much money on bingo and blackjack, and relaxed on the (semi) pink sands of Bermuda. Sure, we did the obligatory mentioning of the kids. But, we’re entirely too far in this parent game to be crying over the spilled milk that we left behind for a few days.
The concept of leaving my kids behind is definitely something that I had to mature into. For me, parenthood came with a lingering sense of guilt. On one hand, I never wanted to burden anyone with OUR responsibility (the hefty load that it is). On the other hand, I felt like my kids should also experience any enjoyment or new opportunities that I encountered in life. If I’m exploring something new, shouldn’t they also? I mean, isn’t it my job to introduce them to the world and expand their horizons here on earth?
These former and naïve (new parent) thoughts lingered for many years, until, as life would have it, they would bite me in the ass, one too many times. Something like natural selection, your parenting views evolve over time, and you’re forced into adaptation and ultimately survival.
Former, naïve thought: I want a fancy steak dinner. Well, shouldn’t my kids eat a fancy steak dinner, too? Of course they should, because how else will they learn to tuck their napkin in their lap and act like gentlemen.
Natural Selection: Five minutes after being seated at a fancy resturant, the bickering and farting begins. Now, I’m mortified, and my lovely steak dinner is ruined by me talking between my teeth about which kid I’m going to kill and how.
Former, naïve thought: Let’s plan a family trip to Jamaica and spend over $7,000. Yayy!! “It’ll be fun”, they said. After an exhausting day of travelling, we finally arrive to the resort and head straight to the buffet, because we are all starving.
Natural Selection: Dathan’s motion sickness is at an all-time high, and he proceeds to vomit everywhere… in the buffet line.
It just never fails. The moment we get to a nice, PAID, family activity, I immediately regret my Kumbaya attitude of all-inclusivity, peace, and love. And so, just like that… the #Ditchuation (a bit of natural selection, in my favor) emerged. I no longer stress myself out, trying to treat my kids to the finer things in life. Sure, we’ll do things, and they’ll see places, but I also don’t feel guilty when it's time to leave them behind. A Ditchuation is a time to reclaim my sanity, re-center myself, and hit the re-set button on torturing Varday (aka marriage).
A Ditchuation can be a dinner and a movie, or it can be you locking yourself in your room for the night, refusing to come out. But every once in a while, make your Ditchuation something good. Make it a Parents United, Silent Revolt against these blood sucking offspring! Take a stand, and make it a four-day, all-inclusive Carnival Cruise to the beautiful beaches of Bermuda. And tell those kids, “You THOUGHT you sucked me dry, but… I kept a little for myself!”