The glorious (and not so glamorous) anecdotes of being a mom…I am an exceptionally cool mom of a twelve year old girl named, Kiera. I’m not a perfect mother, I make mistakes, but I love this little human more than life itself. In this blog I’ll candidly write about the ups, downs, struggles and challenges of mom life. AloneLast fall, Kiera’s school sent a letter home to notify me that there were two impending camping trips for her grade in the New Year, once in January and again in April. I didn’t blog about the first experience, but I’ve chosen to write about the second one.Kiera in true form, was super excited for the trip; she wondered aloud if the goats had their babies yet, if she’d get to see the donkey again, if the weather would be nice enough to go zip lining, horseback riding, hiking, etc. As she talked about everything, her eyes were wide and brimming with hope, curiosity, and yes, you guessed it – excitement. I’m a wizard when it comes to packing; I use lists and plan packing tasks, so I’m sure you can imagine we spent a good part of Sunday organizing, packing, and talking about all of the awesome things she was going to do and all of the drama surrounding her and her friends. Last night (Monday) she voiced that she was worried about whether I would be okay without her for three nights. Of course she’d be concerned; that’s Kiera. She is one of the sweetest kids in the world, and I informed her that although I was going to miss her, having some alone time would be great for me.Moms – it is okay to not feel guilty about having the slightest bit of joy regarding alone time. You are not selfish or unkind; quality time with yourself is not only a luxury, but it’s therapeutic. And it’s okay to miss your husband, boyfriend and kids, however precious time to yourself is imperative!I dropped her off with her luggage at school this morning. On the way to the academy, she was quiet and when I asked her if she was okay, her answer was always yes. She was nervous, I could see as well as sense it. She always fidgets with her hands when she’s on edge. When I asked her if she was nervous about me being alone, her eyes became glossy as she nodded. I held her hand for the rest of the drive and reassured her that I would miss her but I’d be just dandy and reminded her of how strong everyone in our family was.As I walked her to the front door, school buses were unloading students and Kiera let me know that I could leave before I embarrassed her. Aghast, I said I would never embarrass her and I hugged her about twelve times before she finally squirmed out of my clutches. As she walked away she turned back and mouthed, “Go”. I yelled out, “I love you!” approximately 23 times before eventually strolling back to my car where I congratulated myself for not crying, turned on the ignition and started to drive off.This lasted for approximately fifteen seconds and I had to stop and cry for a few minutes before heading to the office. Moms: it’s okay to cry when your child is going on a trip. It’s okay if you don’t either.Once at work, I was all business and was able to be productive. I had big plans for this week – I was going to reorganize Kiera’s bedroom to surprise her, give myself a mani, pedi, facial and get some much needed rest! I was also looking forward to cracking into a new book, spend some quality time on the treadmill and with Trouble and Spikey (our cats) during off work hours. What makes these things different than what I would do if Kiera was here? Nothing really, except I can do it without feeling guilty. First of all no one makes me feel guilty if I want to have a bath, but when I think of doing it, I think about all the other things that I *should* be doing – like laundry, making meal plans for the week and weekend, making Kiera’s lunches for school, etc. And once I do those things, I’m often too tired and need to go to bed. But with having the place to myself for the next little bit, I had huge plans! So let’s break down the first evening by hours…5:00pm – excited to not cook a meal, I planned on left over brown rice and veggies and looked forward to doing NOTHING!7:00pm – re-arranged her room and sitting on her bed looking at her baby photos, crying and missing her while telling myself to buck up, buttercup.7:30pm – telling myself that I’m going to stay up past my usual bedtime to watch a movie and eat popcorn.7:35pm – bored with that idea and started cleaning the bathroom and kitchen.9:00pm – I’m going to read!!9:03pm – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…Day two was more productive and busier than I anticipated. I was busy at the office and out of office client appointments, errands and then decided to clean, dismantle and reorganize Kiera’s room. I found myself looking at the phone a lot, wondering if Ki was going to call. She didn’t and I hoped she was having an amazing time at camp.Day three was much of the same, but was a super early start (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays I take my mom to Dialysis treatment at 6:15am) and since my office is a minute away, I head there and work until it’s time to pick her up at 11:05am and then I continue to work until 5. But this evening is different because I made plans to meet up with a really amazing friend and colleague for dinner. Amber and I were there for nearly four hours – who knew time could fly so fast? And I was able to head home and begin my nighttime routine (including skincare) and head to bed. Still no call from Kiera, but that’s okay. Or at least that’s what I continue to tell myself.Day four is full of client appointments and meetings before I can pick up Kiera from school, and at this point the day can’t move fast enough. As great as having alone time is and how much it’s needed, I really, really, really missed her! When I saw her, I couldn’t help myself; I hugged her so tight and for so long. I was so happy and relieved to see her! There is no doubt that I love her, but there is also no doubt that I love myself, too. It’s okay to do and buy things that are strictly for you and for your enjoyment. It’s important to set aside time to do things you wouldn’t normally do, things that are out of your routine, because you DESERVE it. And you certainly don’t have to wait until your child(ren) leave the house for a sleep over or a school trip. Work these into your schedule and make yourself a priority, too.Love your child(ren), your boyfriend, husband, friends, and family. Make time for them, spend quality time with them. But make sure you’re taking care of you, too – guilt-free. I think that’s the hardest part, the guilt-free component, right? It shouldn’t be, in fact you’d think that it should be the easiest part. We all know that in order to be the best, we have to be our best. Our loved ones want that for us, wish it for us, even. So ladies and gentlemen, from now on let’s make it a priority to do the little things for ourselves like self-pampering, having a nap on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, reading in a quiet room without distractions, or buying that purse or pair of shoes we’ve been admiring. And make sure you kick that guilt to the curb, because we are worth it.