Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Running away from home.

Daddy Fry does not like to shop. We quickly became the couple where when a holiday or birthday happened, gifts were often something for the house. (We sealed our union a month before our marriage with a new hot water heater.) Or we did the "Hey, I'm going to get this thing that I want. (Book, purse, power tool etc...) Let's just call that my gift."

But we still go through the "What would you like for...?" motions. I'm not sure why. We've been together for fifteen years now. What can I say? The Kiddo isn't the only one around here who likes his routines. On the night of the fourth sick day in a row with the Kiddo and looking ahead to another week off for Spring Break on top of that, Daddy Fry made the mistake of noting it would be my birthday soon and what would I like for it.

All I could think of in that moment was SILENCE. I wanted gobs and gobs of silence. I wanted no responsibilities. No one asking me for a thing. No one touching me. I wanted 24 hours to myself. I wanted to run away from home. However, I didn't want to say it.

Correction, I didn't want to admit it. I wanted to be a pillar of strength because I'm Eileen "Mama Fry" Shaklee and I'm supper autism mama and Aw feck it, I'm so freaking tired. I need a break. Mama Fry would be calling out another mom for pulling this medaling for martyrdom crap.  I needed to advocate for myself.  SO I DID!

I asked for a night alone in a hotel BY MYSELF!  (You hear that?  That's the sound of multiple moms saying "OH HELLS YEAH!")

And seeing as I was smart enough to marry a guy like Daddy Fry, that's exactly what happened.  He replied "Well Hell, I've been wanting to do that myself."  So we quickly agreed he would do the same next. Autism dads need breaks too. I whipped out my laptop and started searching for deals.  Found one pretty cheap and booked it before Daddy Fry could change his mind. :-)

And it was everything I needed it to be.

A week later I found myself checking in BY MYSELF without an autism mom bag in tow.  I packed just for me!  I KNOW!

Front desk staff:"What brings you here today?"

Me:"I'm an exhausted autism mom and I'm running away from home."

Front desk staff:"Guuuurl, I hide from my kid in the bathroom all the time. I got you!" and she upgraded my room.  It's safe to say that woman became my new BFF as she performed her own personal brand of giving to the autism community.

You see that king size bed?  I slept in the middle of it. Splayed out like a starfish.  

Look at the nice children playing. Get the sand all over kids. I don't have to clean any of you up!

I took myself to dinner to a place that I didn't have to consult prior to make sure there was acceptable sensory friendly food.  I took my time eating. I didn't have to play court jester to keep a Kiddo entertained.

This was immediately hung on my door by 7PM. I was tempted to take it home with me. 

Pajamas, ridiculous facial mask, and magazines. Once, twice, three times a happy lady. 

Did I forget about all things autism and my family? No, but it's amazing what some time to yourself can do for your mental well being. I actually thought about my son a lot while I was on my little getaway but not in the obsessing over stupid little dopey shit way. I found myself thinking of the things I was grateful about.  I even thought about the not so good stuff but instead of dwelling on the "It all sucks!" vibe, I tried to think of some new ways to approach things.  

I know this is not a thing that every mother can do for herself. Maybe running away from home can only be just running away for a cup of coffee by yourself.  Fries, if we crack the whole foundation goes down with it. We MUST take care of ourselves. No one wins an award for most stoic. 

I had grand plans for sleeping in but course, my Kiddo trained body clock had me up at 6:30AM. I found myself kind of eager to get on the road and go home anyway. I was missing my guys. I had gotten what I so desperately wanted but what I needed more was my family.  So I packed up and headed back. After a ridiculously long hot shower and two cups of coffee from the in room coffee machine of course. (I mean, I missed them but they weren't going anywhere.) 

Silence and sleep.  Best beauty/mental health treatment around!  

I know this won't be a thing I can do all the time but at least now it's something in my memory bank. So when it's a craptastic day I can close my eyes and remember it. A mental vacation I can pull out as needed when I'm ready to pull the hair out of my head. 

Daddy Fry, it's your turn. Go book it.  :-) 


  1. I've been thinking of doing this very same thing myself but feel so guilty for wanting it that I haven't said a thing to my hubby about it. I feel guilty just writing it! And so very jealous that you did it :) Bravo for the good example.

  2. This is a 'Must-do' for all autism momma's and dadda's, lol. A friend of mine does a 2 day spa get away every month.

  3. I like the practical gift thing; that's what my husband and I do. I never thought about asking for a day away, though; I feel guilty thinking about going and getting my hair cut and colored! However, if we have many more days like we did last week (thanks to the stormy weather equaling horrible behavior), then I might. In fact, as soon as husband got home from work, I was "thisclose" to getting in my car and driving around, even with the storms (and I hate driving, especially in rain). Yes, I was going to run away for the evening. I am glad you got to, and that you were able to pamper yourself and relax. :)

  4. Sorry, but this is ridiculous! You are a stay at home mom with only 1 kid and you need to run away for the day/night. Stay at home moms have plenty of time for themselves while the kids are at school all day. Really, how much cleaning, laundry and cooking do you do all day, every day? There are moms out there with more than 1 kid and they work full time and they typically don't do stuff like this. If I were you, I wouldn't brag about this. This sounds lazy to me.

    1. Well Gee,sounds like you could use a break. Want the name of this hotel? It was really nice. ;-)

    2. Really, stay at home moms do more than you think. There is no time for themselves with therapies, the million phones calls to teachers, principals, doctors, care worker, laundry(which never ends for non toilet trained kids), cleaning, shopping for groceries and more kids clothes, bills, do you get the picture? This fills up every day of the week.Don't judge until you've tried it yourself.

    3. Anonymous nay sayer, unless you have walked in a particular person's shoes and spent every moment of every day with them you shouldn't judge. I'm a divorced mom to a beautiful but challenging son with 47, XYY and autism and I don't have the chance to do something so lovely as having one night to regain my grip on the world so I can give my complete best to my son but I sure as hell don't begrudge anyone a chance for some well deserved self care. Everyone, no matter what their situation needs to take care of themselves so they can be there for their family. There are no rewards for being a martyr. So rock it Mama and Papa Fry! And Anonymous nay sayer, hope you get a break so maybe you can give people who have done nothing to you a break too. No shame in saying I need a regroup.

  5. Be careful what you wish for last time I wished for this I was given 4 days worth .... in which I travelled more than 500 miles, collected my father's death certificate and emptied his room in the nursing home where he had been living. Not quite what I was wishing for at the time.

  6. I started doing this for my birthday, 2 birthdays ago and it is awesome. I pack a small DVD player, snacks and a bottle of wine. It definitely boosts my mental health!