A few weeks ago I ran away from home. It was about ten to five in the afternoon and I had to do a couple of jobs down the street anyway.
Max and Sam had been having a fight involving the biffing of various objects at one another as siblings do. Predictably it ended in tears with both brothers denying any wrongdoing. Clearly in my mind one of my sons wasn’t telling the truth. This reluctance to accept responsibility managed to transform me in the briefest of nanoseconds from “Happy Mother of the Year” to one very angry and frustrated parent; picture the female equivalent of Lord Voldemort (the most powerful dark wizard of all time in the Harry Potter series). I informed them they were both grounded until further notice and only just managed to stop myself from saying till they were eighteen.
Declining Henry’s offer to come with me, I grabbed my keys, glared at my children and quoting Captain Lawrence Oates of Antarctic exploration fame, said “I am just going outside and may be some time”. Unlike Captain Oates I didn’t leave my tent and head into a blizzard and certain death. I headed down the street in my trusty Nissan Wagon for a bit of “me time”. Had I been a bloke this “me time” would possibly have turned into a trip to the pub and the companionship of my mates, it was nearly 5pm after all. Sadly I conceded the pub may not be the best choice for a single mother having a meltdown, so I went off in search of friends instead.
Finding my friend Ilka down the street, she empathised with me about the frustration of being a parent and the naughtiness of offspring, however she was on her way home to cook dinner. Drats!
Completing my down-the-street jobs of dropping off paperwork with the accountant and purchasing a smoke alarm I decided I was not yet in a happy enough frame of mind to resume my parental responsibilities. So I called around to my friend Joy’s childfree home. She put the kettle on but then reconsidered and opened a bottle of 2007 Restdown Shiraz instead.
There’s nothing like talking things through with a friend to help you get some perspective. Together we made a list of all the things that were worrying me and agreed it was a minor miracle I wasn’t in a foetal position on the floor crying and that really, being grumpy with my children and walking away for an hour or so wasn’t all that bad. We also made a list of all the good things going on in my life and in true Libran style I managed to make the lists balance. On some occasions my fuse is far too short to count to ten.
Sometimes walking away from a situation is the best way to calm down and recharge your batteries.