There we were sitting around our cheese plate.
It was the second one of the weekend and we’d only been there for 12 hours.
It was a work of art. Piled high with every conceivable salty snack a woman on a weekend without her kids for 48 hours could imagine.
Like us, the cheese plate was in for a REALLY good time.
“Us” was seven women. At that moment, all of us perched on a sunny verandah looking across a sunny lake sparking with afternoon sun.
Yes, we were happy.
Not a care or a nappy in sight.
With ages of kids ranging between 9 months and 8 years, you could say we’d been busy in the past almost-decade.
In truth, it was a sheer miracle we were sitting on that balcony at all. Ever tried syncing seven calendars of mums with young kids for an ENTIRE weekend?
Yeah, we hadn’t either.
Yet here we were. For the first time in a very long time. Almost two decades after we’d met as 20-something Aussies living in the UK, we were reunited around a cheese plate for an entire weekend.
Here are 7 things we learnt while we were away from our kids for a full 48 hours:
1. Nobody organises like mums organising other mums
Translation: Your phone notifications will go BERSERK
Before you even check in to the accommodation, you’ll have spent two weeks pinging each other (usually after 8pm) with a shit tonne of emojis and exclamation points. Finding the date, changing the date, locking in the date. Finding the house, changing the house, locking in the house. Discussion of food to be taken, discussion of food that was forgotten upon leaving respective homes. Post-event, it’s all photos and #memories. Not even my mums’ teething group pinged me this much.
2. Mums love a snack
Translation: You will pack a ridiculous amount of food
Sure it looked like we overpacked as we hiked up the driveway with bags brimming with snacks of all kinds, but then you’re there and you’re sitting on that balcony, arguing about a playlist, getting your hair straightened and laughing so much the delicious cheesy morsels from the aforementioned cheese plate fall out of your mouth. You really can’t pack too much food.
3. The cheese plate is life
Translation: This is all you’ll really eat. And Tim Tams
There was talk (see no.1) of healthy food options. But when we all arrived with our fridge bags, it amounted to approximately seven different types of crackers, and approximately seven different cheeses. And corn chips. The corn chips were a real hit. Nobody remembered to bring fruit.
4. Mums with babies party the hardest
Translation: Sleep deprivation and alcohol are a not a great mix
You don’t sleep much. Sure you tell each other that you’ll sleep. We even had the first night earmarked for sleep – but the champagne and the cheese plate just carried us away. Especially for the two mums without their babies for the first time. Yeah, they stayed up really late.
5. You’ll make a stack of memories
Translation: There will be lots of selfies
Everyone is just so damn happy to be away. We were all positively radiant with sheer DELIGHT. Sitting in the sun, making breakfast, pouring the champers. Time is deliciously slow and deliciously all for you.
6. You feel really relaxed after that first glass of wine
Translation: You get smashed
You get really chatty when you head out to the local RSL to hear the band. You’ll dance to everything. Your hands will be up in the air. You’ll be hiking up the soft elastic on the top of your jeans and even though the dangling earrings you brought to wear will fall out, you feel like a million dollars.
7. Sunday morning hurts
Translation: Doesn’t matter how much water you drink, you will be hungover
The last day is a mixed bag of emotions. Just like motherhood really. You’re regretting the last vodka and soda of the night before, loving the bacon someone else cooked for you and looking out at the view from your Airbnb, wondering if you can call in sick before heading home back to real life.
8. “We are SO doing that again.”
Translation: You will spend the whole drive home really hoping that you do
The best thing about weekends like this is making them happening and reminiscing about them otherwise. Who knows if you’ll get to do it again? But the sheer reality of this fact makes it even more special.
Mums’ weekends away? Just do it.