When my kid is away, this mom will P L A Y !

disclaimer…  I don’t control Google ads… retesting my title… oy!!

 Who am I?

I am a full time mom.

I’m a full time homeowner.

I run a business.

I’m a writer with 101 things to write about. And nothing published. Yet.

I’m a junk designer with no projects done up to sell. Yet.

I’m a photographer fanatic with just a point and shoot.

I have a TON of undone projects laying around the homestead that yell for attention.

I blog.

And… I’m a sole parent.

All those areas? Lately, I’m not doing any of them to their full potential. Quite simply, it’s because I have too much on my plate. Well, except for the blogging. I think I do that too much at times. 🙂

How to free up some time? Cut something out. Learn to say no. Figure out the balance.

 Yeah yeah yeah. We all know THAT. But that’s alot easier said than done.

As for me, what tends to happen is, I spin ’round and ’round, and I get to the point of just getting flat out dizzy from it all. And when I start doing a lousy job at ALL of the above, it’s time to take a breather. I call it a reset. I think some even dare to call it a vacation. 🙂

My son just left for camp for 10 overnights. Do you understand what this means? Any parent gets it. It’s one full time job tucked away for 10 days!

Imagine being a mom that is alone with her child/children 24/7 without the aid of a sig other, family or even grandparent for that matter. You cannot quickly zip to the store without everyone in tow. Or go for a walk kidless (which really means complainless) to free up your thoughts. You do what you have to do and you do it with your kiddo/s in tow. No matter what. Unless you pay someone to care for them of course.

I’m not complaining. I’m just laying out some facts so you get where I’m heading.

I generally don’t play my sole parent card alot in life because, first and foremost, I don’t see myself as a sole parent. First I am a mom, business owner, homeowner, decorator, and blogger. Then I remember the rest when I’m near a nervous breakdown. 🙂

So when your kiddo goes to camp…

 (picture from last year)

… things change for a short duration. I’m kid batchin’  it for 10 day, and I don’t know which direction to sprint! I think I need 10 days of freedom for each of those things mentioned. Now wouldn’t that be the cat’s meow?!?

 (picture from last year)

 Don’t get me wrong. I’ll miss my boy terribly. He’s great company and we have alot in common. And I will ache to hear his sweet voice when he’s gone. ( we aren’t allowed contact unless in an emergency)

But now it’s time to switch off the mommy pining and fully appreciate my break. Because my boy just flew out of the province for 10 days.


This is no small potatoes. This is a kid’s version of a lottery win.

While this wonderful foundation is serving a kid benefit purpose, they have no idea what they are doing for me as well.

The Tim Horton’s Children’s Foundation is a non-profit foundation that sponsors a camping experience like no other, for lower income family kids, to designated camps all over. Because of our location, my son was flown out of BC Canada to the Tim Horton’s Children’s Ranch, in Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada. For an amazing 10 days! Isn’t this place incredible?!?

 This is a tremendous growing up experience. For many of these kids, it’s their first flight, and first trip away from their parents!  Where they get to do alot of different things they’ve never done before.

My son has been fortunate to have experienced this camp just last year. However, it was during the H1N1 season. Any ill symptom was immediately quarantined. Well, he got a sore throat from the flight. So to be safe, he was quarantined, then sadly, flown home. Because he only got 1 day with the kids, they wanted him back again!

And just to let you know, he was thrilled with the quarantined headquarters. Are you kidding? One on one attention, movies, you name it. He was treated like a KING. So you can imagine how excited he was to return with the hopes of enjoying it again in a different way.


My son got into the camp through the non profit organization, Big Brothers, Big Sisters. I signed him up for a (free) male mentor a year ago which was an amazing experience in itself.  BB BS receives all kinds of funding, such as this camp. Tim Hortons Org selects the organization, then BB BS selects kids that would qualify. You then go through a health/behavior check in order to qualify. This is just to ensure your child is in a healthy and safe environment. I had NO idea that getting involved with BB BS would have led to something even bigger. No idea.

Am I worried?!?

Wait! Am I not one of those mothers that should be crying hysterically that her child is out of her reach?!? I admit, last year was really tough. And the thought that my son is so far away is equally tough. Add in no contact and you think you might die. But I know from experience now, after around 4 days, it changes. You go from fretting and missing to starting to capture a glimmer of sunlight for yourself. You start to feel trust that your child is ok and you finally give yourself permission to have some fun and actually ENJOY the quiet around you for a few short days.

At the bus stop today, I comforted two rather weepy moms. I know from a mom perspective, it’s ok if we KNOW our kids are ok. And they WILL be ok. I know first hand.

Knowing how my emotions will work, I’m deciding NOW to make it a good thing rather than wait those 4 days. I’m not going to waste a moment this round!

My own vacation agenda

So for those of you curious as to what a girl does all alone for 10 days when trying not to spend wads of non existent cash,  here’s my wanna do list.

My 10 day kid free-nearly cost free vacation goal list:

rent girlie movies
go for my morning dike walks with my dog and just listen to the gravel crunching
go beachin’
go junkin’
decorate and build a little
work for a living
make a delicious stir fry
sing and dance alongside blaring music
pack the travel trailer in case we scurry off for a weekend when kidlet gets back
snooze on a floaty lounger in my backyard pool
take in live music at a local beach with an iced coffee in hand
get some cookies (with icing!) to eat while lounging in the sunshine
light up the propane fire pit in the evenings and close my eyes and just rest in the quiet
sleep in
get up early and get to bed late to make a special day super duper LONG
take naps
get my hair done (oh my gosh you ought to (NOT) see it!!)
get my first pedicure maybe?
take deep bubble baths
miss and reflect
go to my fav log cabin pub (I said the P word!!) at a resort for a big fat burger and fries and THIS time own my table, not letting any guy chatters scare me away.  🙂
stay in pj’s all day while in my creative mode
write deep
browse retail stores and scoff, “I can make that for FREE!”

I think I’m going to be too busy to miss my kiddo! But when I start to pine for him, I’ll revert to my list and just get busy again, reminding myself it’s for a short duration and go forth and have as good of a time as he is. Because it’s ok. All of it. Guilt free!

Oh… right. And I just may share on occasion how my girly vacation is going. If you’d like updates on that sort of thing that is… would you?

Just curious.

What would you do with 10 days of kidless/spouseless/nearly workless freedom?

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62 thoughts on “When my kid is away, this mom will P L A Y !

  1. Donna,
    So glad you are getting a break.
    Kids at home or not, we all love times we have no other responsibilities, but can do whatever we want. A rarity in all our lives, I’m sure.

    What would I do? CREATE!!! Seems my time for that is lacking of late.

    Have fun!! Blessings

    barbara jean

  2. Sounds like you have a lot on your vacation plate. I always enjoy having a bit of time to myself when hubby’s traveling. I seem to get so much more done.

    I’m curious about your writing. I’d love for you to tell us a little more about it.

    I’m hoping you’ll carry your camera on those walks so we can see some more of your beautiful surroundings.

    Cody is a lucky guy to be able to get this kind of experience. And the BB/BS is a fabulous organization. My SIL has been awarded as the top BB for the state of Oklahoma two years in a row. Those guys really do have a passion for kids, and the kids are just as lucky to have them.

    I’m looking forward to hearing Cody’s stories and experiences. Did you send a camera with him?

  3. I know you will make good use of your time alone…your list sounds pretty darn good to me! And I love the photos!

    As someone who had a husband that traveled constantly when my kids were small I can relate on some level! But I have to say that now that our youngest will be heading off to uni in the Fall I’m a bit misty about it all! Just a few weeks ago he and my hubby were both away for just one night and I was wondering what the heck to do with myself. But I fixed myself a yummy 1 person dinner, poured myself a glass of wine and just hung out with my 2 dogs in my back yard and watched the water! Now, if I didn’t have two dogs I think I would have been in trouble! 😉

    Enjoy your break and remember what they say…absence makes the heart grow fonder!

    Kat 🙂

  4. So much of what you said really resonates with me. My husband and children just got back from an 8 day vacation…without me! It was the first time that I’ve been away from them for that long. My sister came to keep me company and we had so much fun. I was amazed at how quickly I snapped out of “Mommy mode.” Like you, we had lots of stuff on our to-do list, including home projects and fun stuff! I think it’s so important for us moms to recharge our batteries. I’m already planning next year’s “vacation”!

  5. Hmmm, if I had 10 days alone…I would PARTY!!! Just kidding!!! My list would be similiar to yours AFTER I got done crying and walking in circles!LOL

    Enjoy your time off……you deserve it!!! 🙂

  6. Enjoy every minute…
    If I had 10 days alone? I think I would try to get a running program going and eat really healthy for the 10 days…or maybe not LOL
    I know..I would paint my living and dining room white and get the furniture that i want to paint white also painted! That’s it..thats what I would do!
    Looking forward to your adventures!

  7. 10 days alone….I’d pick up Chinese (since the hubs and boys scoff at it), read a few books, paint a little, draw a little, and never cook a meal…unless it’s something that I really wanted, like mac ‘n cheese….or steamed squash…or cucumber & tomato sandwiches. With no one home but me, I wouldn’t even have much laundry….ahhhh, the possibilites are endless. Now I’m wanting just an hour by myself.

  8. Enjoy your time alone!! It is so good to have a moment to refresh!

    I actually love cleaning my house when I am alone because the little ones can’t undo what I have just done!!

  9. Donna, your hair is gorgeous. I would do all the beauty treatments (just because they are so always worth it) and then lock myself indoors with old movies, take out, and a bottle of wine.

  10. How fantastic for your son, Donna!! Years ago, my son attended the same camp and – like your boy – he was sponsored by Big Brothers 🙂 He had a wonderful time filled with great experiences. Matt is 22 now, but just the other day he was telling me how much he fun he had at camp and how he was so glad that he went!! Your son will have a GAS!

    Loved reading through the list you compiled of the things you’ll accomplish while your son’s away. Have fun! Pamper yourself!!

  11. Donna, take the time to just pamper yourself and relax and enjoy each and every minute. As Mom’s we have so much we do all the time and forget to take the time for ourselves. I know that you will miss your son and he’ll be back before you know it. So in the meantime, have fun and yes, go get your first pedicure for sure and have them put a cute design on your toes 🙂 Hugs!

  12. I was a single working mom of 2 boys. Every summer (because the cost of full time child care was out of my reach) my wonderful parents took the boys for summer break. I cleaned (deep cleaned), sometimes had nothing but a glass of wine and cheese for supper, laid in bed on Saturday mornings, hung out with my single girlfriends, watched re-runs of every TV show I couldn’t watch while the boys were there, etc. We talked on the phone weekly but when I got really lonely for them, I would go in their rooms, pick up their pillows and just breathe in the smell of them. It helped…a lot.

  13. One of the unexpected things about being without the children for a time (or the husband, for that matter) is how much less pressure we feel while they’re gone. The only schedule we have to keep is our own, and we are in complete control of the daily routine (pretty much). This in itself is almost like a vacation.

    When I’m here alone, without the husband or the grandson, I get WAY more done than when they’re here … I work a lot longer hours, and I feel great having done it.


  14. i don’t see you doing much on this list you don’t seem to be a sit down do nothing (even if its for yourself) girl you seem like a eager beaver ready to go kinda girl but i do hope you do take some time to do something FOR YOURSELF every woman needs that……..enjoy your time and i am glad i found your blog

  15. I’m so glad you’re getting a refreshing break. You are a wonderful mom to provide so many enriching experiences for your son and now you get to experience your own grown-up version of camp too. YES, I want to read about it and see pictures! Enjoy your gift of time, girl!

    Next week my kids are camp counselors for a few days. Is it okay that I’m a little more than excited? Of course the excitement is for them (yeah right!). I’m so looking forward to a few days to focus on things I don’t normally get to focus on very much.

  16. Firstly, I would breathe. Then I would open my ears to hear the silence. Follow that with listening to my surroundings(birds galore in the trees out back). I would do all of this with my eyes closed, mind you. When I finally connected with that, I’d open my eyes and take in the beautiful sights of the birds, flowers, trees,the yard and maybe a few weeds. And then I would thank those things in my surroundings for being there while sending them love, and then give God thanks for putting these things around me, and send God love too. After that, I am not sure, probably just whatever struck my fancy, cause I have 10 whole days(or at least 9 & 1/2)to just be. Have a glorious time Donna:)

  17. Everyone needs a break . . . from everything that monopolizes our time . . . even family sometimes. It’s a time to be able to rejuvenate. Sounds like you have it all figured out. Good for you!

    I’m the mom of 3, and I when my oldest went off to college 8 hours away 3 years ago, it wasn’t that hard on me. I almost felt guilty that I wasn’t sobbing and heartaching about his leaving. I totally get what you’re saying.

    I’m sure you’ll have your moments of missing DS big time, but I be you’re going to be enjoying your “mommy vacation” a whole bunch!

    Looks like a fantastic camp he’s attending. How wonderful for the opportunity.

  18. Even when you do have a sig other you get your moments of kidlessness and sig otherless that is a bonus to be enjoyed. Save the guilt, please! I use that time to not cook meals, watch girl movies, rearrange furniture, paint stuff, read my pile of magazines curled up on the couch with my dogs ( I am never dogless). Its time well spent no matter what I spend the time doing. Because it is battery recharging time, and all moms need that to be the best moms and sig others we can be! So do send updates, we all want to know what you are doing up there!! How about putting on an old bikini and laying next to the smurf pool with a pina colada?!!

  19. It’s great that your son is going to the Tim Horton’s camp. It is such a great organization and does wonders for the kids’ confidence. Hope you enjoy having your 10 days to do as you please.

  20. oh donna, enjoy! you deseerve it. my kids were just away for 6 days (got back last night) and i enjoyed every second. i had wine, watched girlie movies, painted things in the house that needed painting, ate sushi when i wanted, thrifted, and had a craft night with my gal pals. it was just what this mom needed. enjoy your time! i am sure your son is going to have a blast! that camp looks utterly amazing- what a fantastic opportunity for him!

  21. Watch what I want to watch on TV; movies I want to see!! Eat when I want…go to bed and get up when I want!!
    Enjoy your vaca!!! With that list…you are going to have a wonderful time!!
    Oh and yes…I want to know how it is going!!

  22. Donna, I am also a sole parent. I just sat here and thought about your question for ten minutes and still can’t make a list. I think I would clean first,infact I know I would.Then who knows, I could get stuck on the couch watching lifetime movies! Your list sounds really good.Yes, to the pedicure, yes to junkin,.I’m exhausted from thinking of the possibilities. I should stop now because mine aren’t going anywhere and now I’m jealous. Have a really good time! <3

  23. Donna –

    Even though I do have a partner, I frequently feel as though I function as the single parent, as he can’t be counted on for activities and school plans due to his work schedule. So about 99% of the heavy lighting falls on me. I also don’t have any family members, or really anyone else that I feel truly comfortable with asking for help. I know exactly where you are coming from and can completely relate. My daughter is going to overnight camp next week, then camping with her grandparents directly afterward, so I’ll have about a week or so of free time also. Plus I’m taking a few days off work, so that will be two full-time jobs off the agenda!

    Please do provide an update on how your list is going, or even if it’s not going anywhere! Which is equally as important I think. Enjoy your time!!

  24. I love having the house to myself for a weekend or longer. I love my family but I really love myself and enjoy myself. It is healthy. It isn’t even the work factor as my one son still at home is 23 and is more help than hindrance and my husband is also really helpful but it is the private uninterrupted thoughts and of course the dancing in our jammies that is so important.

  25. OK, just going to do some marketing right now. Forgive me:

    That first picture of you should be on the cover of your magazine. Or a magazine featuring your stories….all of them. Like a monthly feature in AD or House Beautiful or FJI! I’m thinking this would be good. There are folks who really like to turn pages and feel shiny paper on their fingertips! *raising hand*

    OK, nothing to do with this post. You’re not surprised, I know.

    I C.A.N.N.O.T. E.V.E.N imagine 10 days or 4 without the boys. I’m SO not ready for that one. I know because I had a ping in my tummy as I was reading your words. Every time I read “10 days” I felt sick to my stomach. I’m a mushy mess. Sorry.

    However, today my crew is out fishing. This is what I’ve done:

    o Taken overdue pics for the “gitter done” – Yippee!
    o Walked the dog, stopped and chatted with neighbors as there was no rush to get home
    o Ate in the quiet, noticing the sun shine on the trees, as the slight breeze made the leaves dance before my eyes
    o Took in way more Oxygen than I am used to….deep breathing, thinking about what to do next
    o FINALLY packed up my SWAP BOX to send out TODAY
    o Took a good look at my hair. It’s a disaster. I don’t know what to do with it or about it.
    o Made the beds first thing in the morning
    o Going to run errands – solo – take the doggie to the groomer, and grab an iced coffee!

    I miss ’em tho.

    Sorry I’m such a mess.

    Can’t wait to HEAR about everything you’ll be doing! Post if you can or want to!!!!!

    Have the most lovely day,

  26. Lucky boy & lucky mom!

    If I had 10 days…


    The first day I’d sleep…a lot!

    The following days, I’d sleep, wake, and eat only when I felt like it, not when it was “time”.

    And then the creativity would flow, and I’d do whatever project tickled my fancy! I get really creative when I have lots of time and space, so 10 days off from my regular work & mom responsibilities would be like a lifetime!

    Heck, if I didn’t have to cook and run people around, the kids could even stay!

    Enjoy, Donna!

  27. 2 of 3 kids are at a friends for a few hours today and the little one just went down for a nap. I am looking at 2 hours of peace (if I am lucky) and I am thrilled! I can’t imagine 10 days! Your list sounds heavenly. As for me… I am going to curl up with an ice cold soda and my embroidery project and tv that I want to watch!

  28. Sounds like you are planning well. Your list looks well-balanced. And who cares if you get it all done or not? You’ll be enjoying yourself!
    I’m glad your son gets to go back to camp.

  29. This place feels like a vacation home. Even WITH having to go to work today. Nothing is pulling at me from all directions! I like it. 🙂

    More more more drivel kind of updates coming soon.


  30. Donna,

    I loved this post. I am all the things you are except employed. I’ve been looking for a job for a year now, and I’ve had both my kids home with me (5 & 7 years). I know exactly how you feel! I’ve started taking the phone out to my truck so I can have a private moment when talking to someone. Please share you week, I’m really interested in what you’ll be doing. Oh, and go get a pedicure! You’ll be in HEAVEN.

  31. Donna-
    I’ve been “silently” following your blog for a little while now…fabulous.
    I would love to get you to write for http://www.Blissfullydomestic.com the home channel.
    Let me know if you are interested….If you are I will email you back with more information.
    Thanks for a lovely blog-

  32. How totally awesome for both of you! I am sure he will have a life changing fun fun time and may miss you just a little. You will have a God given miraculous healing and inspiring time-do what you want and try to rest but also try to absorb and get it all in—you will miss him just a little. Enjoy-pls share your adventures and his. Love your blog!!!!

  33. Chickflicks. Pizza for breakfast. Enjoying some reflection by journaling special memories. (I am not good at journaling day to day.) Asking God to use the quiet moments to nudge me in His direction, to direct my goals, to refresh me.


  34. I was a single parent with 2 little ones then 2 teens. Yes, you love them like mad but need a breather other than being a mom, working, running to athletics, choir, you name it and that’s not counting all the to-do’s at home. Yep, little “me” time. It takes a bit to adjust to them being gone but everyone needs & deserves a break…kids included. I hope that you do whatever suits you at the moment. Your list is great! 🙂 Honestly, please take this time for YOU and don’t feel guilty if you choose not to work or do catch up stuff.



  35. Good for you, Donna! I could breeze through projects like you wouldn’t believe if I had 10 days to myself. I’ve suggested a camping trip for hubby and the boys when they’re big enough to give me an in-home vacation. Oh, the joy.

  36. Enjoy your time Donna, you deserve it! As for me, I am not sure where I would even start?? My head is still spinning just wondering what it would be like. I have worked 15 days straight this month so I am looking forward to just having one day! Take care, C

  37. You’ve got your to-do list (half the battle right there), so let the winds of inspiration blow you where they will day by day and you’ll be amazed at what you achieve.

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!

  38. Donna, Enjoy your self Miss Thang!!!!
    I remember when my mom sent me to 4H Camp for a week! My mom party so hard that week!
    You run a business too! Ok, I thought my life was a mess…..WOW! Great job!
    By-the-way, you need to start a ETSY site ASAP!!! I want to be the first!!!
    Put your feet in that beautiful lake!

  39. Donna,
    I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this post. You deserve every blissful second of your 10 days and I hope you make the most of them. It’s nice to learn a bit more about you too.
    Wishing you joy for the next 10 days.
    Donna xx

  40. You are such a sweet, amazing woman! Enjoy your vacation!!! What a great camp for your son too! I am sure he is having such a blast! Enjoy your coffee;)Alyssa of Boston Bee

  41. Congratulations and enjoy your “vacation!” My husband takes our 2 sons to Scout camp each year for a week. That give me about 6 days to myself. I have to say, I love not having a schedule…no cooking, laundry, or cleaning; it’s bliss! I catch up on scrapbooking, reading, thrifting…it awesome. This camp sounds like a great place for kids. What way to get self confidence! I’m sure he’ll have a great time.

  42. Good for you! It’s so hard to find time just to be ourselves again. Well it is for me LOL
    I love your blog! I feel like I’m reading about my life. I love all the crafts you do.

  43. I think the better question is what wouldn’t I do with my time alone! Glad you have ten days to pamper yourself and refill the mommy well. I often feel like my well is running dry with three children under ten and a husband who puts in 60+ hrs a week plus travel time on top. I was a single parent until my son was 2 so I know the strain and any mom welcomes a break. Have fun! I’m loving the singing and dacing with the music blaring part! That is so me!

  44. Is that all you’re going to accomplish in TEN days? hehehe I think it sounds like a six-week list to me! But since you are such an over-achiever, why don’t you just get in the car and take a drive to Tennessee for a visit. Oh, and go by way of New York so you can pick up Kolein. We can sit on the houseboat and talk junk. Yep, that’s what I think you should add to your list! Enjoy! You deserve it.

    Tessa goes on a mission trip next week for five days and hubby leaves for Brazil for ten days and son Ryan leaves for Afghanistan for a year. The only realistic thing on my list is to clean the spare room for the German exchange student who will come the following week.

    On the unrealistic list is lay the brick patio, paint the laundry room, and organize the last four or six years of photos. Dream on, McDuff!

  45. I LOVE my kid free time, I have two boys that I have pretty much raised on my own for the last 15 years, so I hear ya 🙂 Enjoy your time off, sounds like it will be wonderful!!

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