Ditching the Get Away Plans

All last week I felt a bit frantic about our looming cottage “vacation”.

I had trouble sleeping.  The To Do List was sooo long.

I kept going over and over in my head: Saturday to Sunday evening I have Cort with me.  Monday to Wednesday I am parenting solo.

{It’s a good thing I had a therapy appointment last week too.}

I was so anxious and stressed.   Even though I knew my brothers, sisters-in-law, and parents would help.  Even though I knew I was not really alone.

I kept making up “Get Away” plans in my head.

If it sucked, we could go home Sunday too.

If the boys did horribly Sunday night at bedtime, we could hit the road Monday.

If Monday was a disaster, we could leave that night.

And so on.

After big days on Saturday and Sunday, it was time for Cort to head back home.  He had to work.

Before he left, though, we did decide it would probably be better for the boys if we came home Tuesday night.  But of course, no one was holding me and if I felt really anxious, we could always pack up and leave.

There was always an out.

I feel foolish for ever feeling this way.  I always feel foolish about my anxious episodes.  Rarely do the worst case scenarios I play out in my head over and over and over come to fruition.

Sunday’s bedtime was fairly uneventful.  Eddie had a bit of a time wanting to go to bed, but when he realized I was right outside his room reading on the couch, he passed right out.

Monday was every kind of sweaty hotness.

We took advantage of a cooler morning and shade at the tiny public access beach.  Charlie napped through the whole thing and Eddie swam and built castles while I was actually able to chat with my sibs and read my book.  Once the afternoon heat started to creep in, we made lunch and pointed all the fans in the world at us in our un-AC-ed cottage.

Somehow Eddie took an epic nap.  I swear that kid was made for camping and the outdoors (so NOT like me).

Charlie was a bit of a fussy face since he handles heat about as well as I do.

After nap Eddie took full advantage of running around with his cousin and letting his aunts and uncles and grandparents keep an eye on him while I was consumed with his very unhappy baby brother.

But it was Ok.

Charlie eventually went to sleep with a fan on him, and Eddie came in and was cool with going to bed.

Enough so that after we read books, I asked him if it was Ok if I went next door to play cards with his aunts and uncles and he said yes!  He would stay and sleep until I got back.  Oh, and keep my side of the bed warm.

Yeah, it didn’t need your help, Ed.

The next day, my mom made a point to compliment me on how well my solo day and evening went.

I did what I always do with compliments.  I got uncomfortable and tried to brush it off.

But she said, “no.  Don’t disregard it.  You did great!”

And you know what?  I did.

I kept my patience even when I was so hot and tired.

Yes, Eddie was good, but I was also “good”.  I gave him choices and trusted him.

I let others walk Charlie around when he was grumpy, but I took him to feed him each time.

It was…smooth.

Tuesday I made sure to leave Charlie with Grandma for awhile so Eddie and I could finally get some one-on-one time swimming and playing.  I know he loved it as much as I did.

And when we all got home Tuesday night?  We hugged daddy, bathed our stinky bodies, and fell asleep like logs.

But not before I high-fived myself for doing something I would have NEVER considered possible just a few short years ago.

I did not let my depression and anxiety win.

I took that vacation, and I made memories with my boys.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Yay, you! So glad you did this. I can tell you needed it – the vacay, the knowing you can do the solo parenting thing for a couple of days. So, YAY.

  2. I knew you’d be alright all along, Crazy!

  3. Yay!!!!!!!! I could not be prouder of you and your bravery

  4. Yay for you! You’re awesome. And what a terrific mom you have for complimenting you when you needed it. No wonder you’re such a great mom.

  5. Yay, you! So glad that you did…and the planning and list-making in your head? I do that too.

  6. While at the beach, there were designated “father days” and “mother days.” On Tuesday, the guys left the wives & kids and went fishing for the morning, then putzed around all afternoon (actually, I made dinner for the entire crew), but there were no kids to worry about for the daddys that day. My two had their mother, and their aunt, and their grandmother to entertain them . . . the beach was hot, and things were cranky, but all managed.

    So I was scared on Wednesday — all of the ladies went on a nature cruise, so I had the kids, both of them . . . and I could have, I guess, gone to any of the other fathers for help, but they all had kids of their own. It was brutally hot that day, and I had little desire to go to the beach if I was going to be outnumbered by the minions, so we kind of made up the day. We went shopping in the little air-conditioned shops downtown, we picked out the movie we were going to see (Madagascar 3, as the other choice of Magic Mike might not have been age appropriate, though it’s not like my kids aren’t used to a naked man dancing about the house), we found me coffee, we made promises of going to the park.

    There was a poop catastrophe while getting coffee (from both kids, simultaneously). A temper-tantrum lead to my running out of a gift shop with two kids who wanted their toys but chose, by their behavior, to not get them. An ill-timed car-ride meant no movie. But, we went to the firehouse. The kids got to inspect a firetruck. We read books. We had lunch. We went to a park and the kids played with other kids. There were naps.

    I was much more frightened of the day than I let on when Wednesday started, but it was a good day. It’s awesome, every now & then, to know that “the parent thing” kind-of works out, is’t it?

  7. Way to go, Katie! You must feel so empowered.

    We travel to the lake most every weekend (ours is just 45 minutes away) in the summer. Sometimes, my husband needs to leave for work or meetings, and I always feel anxious being on my own, so I can relate.

    My GAD-7/Depression has been really bad lately, so I had an appointment with a new therapist yesterday. While I was quivering in her office, I was reminded that I’m not a wimp, it’s all bio-chemical. She recommended reading Mind Over Mood? I picked it up and it’s awesome!

    Best to you and congrats on another victory!

  8. I’m glad for you that it worked out, despite the obstacles, and that people noticed. And that you accepted your mom’s compliment 🙂

  9. It sounds like you had a pretty nice time after all. I often get anxious and play out worst case thoughts in my head. OFTEN. I hate it. I shake my head to try to get the thoughts outta there.

  10. Wonderful! I know its really hard to think about doing things on your own like that. I dread when Lance goes out of town.. But I always make it through just fine. I am glad you had a nice relaxing time

  11. woohoo you are awesome! (i totally have vacation anxiety…. EVERY SINGLE TIME.)

  12. fantastic! You all survived, enjoyed yourselves and made some memories.

  13. I am so proud of you! I know there was a lot of anxious feelings, worry and dread leading up to this, but you did it!! And you are better for it. Much love and respect to you, Katie. xoxo