Recharging and "Mum Guilt"

For many years I didn't know who I was. I dedicated all of my time to my husband and my two children, which at the time was fine and it was my role but looking back I had a void of a social life, of time to be Lauren. And in 2015 that time came.
It wasn't the easiest decision, and it took a long time to get the courage to say "This isn't my life anymore".
I felt like I was going to start to rebel if I didn't change my life but I suppose that kind of happened anyway.

Once I got my own house and the family home was sold, we got into a good routine of 50/50 shared parenting with the children.
I am incredibly lucky that my ex wants to see the boys as much as he does and isn't just a "one weekend a month" guy.
He has them the days I work and has them every Saturday and every other weekend. I take over every Saturday night.

We have always let the other have flexibility with somethings and at one point we were swapping days we had the boys as we asked the other one "I have a date on Tuesday, can you have the boys?":
Not that we chose dating someone as a priority but it was always done as a swap. So the children never missed out.
In 2015 the boys had their first 5 days away from me, and my first break away by myself, as I went to the Isle of Man.
2016 it was 10 days in the Isle of Man and then a week when I went to Ireland with my brother.
2017 two weeks when I went to the Isle of Man.
The boys are treated and although I spend that time away from them we will also have weeks where I will have them for a long stretch of days so their dad can work or have a break with his partner.

This year, being my first year with a boyfriend since my divorce, I had two holidays planned. One week to Fuerteventura and one to Cyprus...which then changed to 10 days in Scotland.
Fuerteventura was guilt free. And my Isle of Man trips have been guilt free too. Because I do them for me. For my mental health, for me to relax and to reenergise and to come back and be the best I can be.
And being in a new relationship I felt Fuerteventura was a real treat for me and my boyfriend to actually spend some quality time together. Which every couple deserves.

On Thursday I go to Scotland and, although what we have planned wouldn't be easy with the boys, for the first time I am not completely ready to hand them over.
I've felt it before. A desire and need for them to be with me but that would mostly be when they've been away from me for a few days, back for one or two then back with their dad.
However, I've had them for 10 days straight and usually I am itching for a break. For them to see their dad and for me to breathe a bit before I get them back.
But this time I don't feel like that.
I feel like 10 days have been nothing and that this is the best stretch of time I've had with them for a long long time.
Don't get me wrong, I am really excited about Scotland and so much has gone on the last 2 months that I need some time to clear my head, to take in Nature and to embrace my freedom but also to spend some quality time with my special person.

Not going to the Isle of Man this year was much harder than I thought.
Being Spiritual I have realised that actually there is something about that island that makes me me. It's almost like visiting the island tops me up and makes me feel like the full Lauren.
And I've lost that this year.

My hope is that Scotland will be a good substitute. I am hoping that the islands we are visiting will be peaceful, clear and "zen" enough to take some time to soak up what I can to be me again.

But there is a lingering feeling of mum guilt. Something I don't get all that often, but I do at the moment.
I don't even know if guilt is the right word.
It is more a longing of wanting more time.
Of wanting things to be different.

I know I will have an amazing time. And I know they will enjoy their time with their dad. And that they will feel no guilt when they go on holiday with him at the end of August.

I think I have felt so lost lately and have been thinking so much about life and the life I would like, which obviously involves the boys, has made it hard for me to switch back into this reality.
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