Why leaving my kids is so hard

Back in June my girlfriend invited me to go to Bali.

Brenda-Janschek-Coogee-BeachMy friend knows me well enough to know that apart from the odd weekend away,  I have rarely gone away without my family.  So she texted me this invitation…

“Bali – 5 nights- I know it’s probably impossible for you but wanted to let you know as you’re more than welcome to join the girlie holiday”

My reply…

“You’re right, such a long shot!”

And these are all the things which instantly ran through my head…

But I run two businesses.
Who’s going to get the kids to school and back?
Who’s going to make them breakfast, recess, snacks and dinner?
Who’s going to take them and pick them up from their activities?
Who’s going to be there when they need a chat?
How’s my husband going to get extra time off work when we are already going to a cricket competition in the October school holidays?
But I barely see my husband, I’d rather be going away with him.

And there it was.

For all the excuses in the world the truth is, I don’t know how to be away from my kids. And they don’t know how to be away from me, and they certainly didn’t want me to go. 


For the last 12 years, I have lived and breathed motherhood. Sure I’ve worked for the last 4 years which has connected my soul to the world in a very meaningful way. I also have a wonderful social network which keeps me nice and busy. But number one, I am a mother and a homemaker….and I love it. Who the heck am I without that anyway? 

So, one very wise friend asked (ordered?) me “not to overthink it” (she may have seen this pattern in me once or twice before!).

At the same time my husband was really encouraging me to go too.

So with this little push, I allowed my mind to ‘go there’ and started to entertain these thoughts…

It might be a once in a lifetime opportunity to go Bali because my husband is not inclined to take our family there.
It should be ok for my husband to take a few days off work seeing as he works such long hours.
It will be good for me (or so everyone tells me!).
My kids are older now, it’s not like they are babies, they’ll be fine.
It will be fun and nice to take a little break from life.
All the other ladies going have kids and they can manage it.
I deserve it.

So I slowly became open to the idea, and I allowed my subconscious to guide me to figure it out. It took me weeks to make the decision. So long in fact that the other girls had long been booked and organised for the Bali trip, and they had to sort out squeezing me in to their accommodation! (Thanks Jo!).

Though my kids want this for me as they want me to be happy, I can see them fretting about me leaving.

I must admit the sense of freedom and breaking away from duty, duty, duty is and the relentlessness of domestic life is starting to wash over me.

It’s interesting how you can be happily carrying on with the routine of life, until something makes you stop and think about things philosophically. Seemingly small triggers which end up making you look deep within, understand, question, challenge and which sometimes lead to taking personal risks (no matter how small). I’ve been asked to holiday with friends several times before, but barely entertained the thought as clearly I was nowhere near ready. This time I was ready to explore.

Amazing isn’t it how it’s not just our kids who keep on growing, but we keep growing with them.

I leave soon and I’m excited! Already dreaming about which books I’ll take on the trip. One of my favourite activities is to disappear into great fiction when on holidays Do you have any recommendations? Please pop them in the comments for me!

I have a feeling taking a break for myself will be much easier next time around. I’ll be sure to fill you in on how I go.

Bren x

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Your thoughts on this post


  1. Alexx Stuart

    So excited for you. I find it essential to exit stage left from family / routine once a year alone and have done it since my little guy was 4 (although I may shed a tear when I see kids and parents together towards the end of the 10 days). I grew up with my mum visiting her sisters every couple of years without us and I think it contributed to my independence along the way in part. Cannot wait to debrief on your return. Have a beautiful time x

  2. Rebecca

    Have fun on your holiday and be sure to soak up all that me-time. As for what books to pack, Jasper Jones and On the Jellicoe Road are both brilliant books. Australian, too!

    • Brenda Janschek

      Aussie writers are my fave Rebecca. IN particular Time Winton. Would you believe I read Jasper Jones in the last school holidays?! I’ll check out Jellicoe Road for sure. Thank you!

  3. Trish Moyer

    Brenda…so much of what you said rings true for me with my children. I always find it hard to think of myself apart from them, for they literally are the air I breath. As you said we live motherhood…I am right there with you. Enjoy your trip!!!

    • Brenda Janschek

      I would imagine that so many mothers must feel the same as us Trish! I’m curious to know how I’m going to feel once I’ve done it. Everyone seems to think I will be wonder why I hadn’t done it before!

  4. Rachel

    Gosh Brenda, I can so see myself reading this (sorry just found it and had to read it!). I find it so hard being away from my kids too. Thank you so much for sharing. I certainly need some me time, especially to fit in my work. I find the juggle tricky. Thanks again.

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