Camping weekend (home alone)

Every year, at some point during the summer, my husband takes the kids away for a camping weekend. It’s a tradition that stretches right back to 2005, just before my eldest started school. They meet up with my husband’s old friend and go camping with all of the kids – they have three each, ranging in age from 10 to 18 (although the 18 year old has opted out of the last couple of trips). It used to literally be a night’s camping, but now they go away for two nights and always climb a mountain while they’re away, usually Snowdon. For my daughter and her friend especially, the camping weekend is one of the highlights of the year.

And me? I’m home alone.

I should ‘make the most of it’, I know. I should arrange to meet up with people and go out somewhere, but I never do. In a way, I quite like the peace and just being on own. But I do spend a lot of time worrying. I worry right until the moment they leave. Mainly I worry about them having an accident. It’s pretty much the only time my husband goes anywhere with all three kids and without me. My husband is a very good driver, I know that. But not everyone is a very good driver. A brief lapse in concentration on the motorway and my whole life could be wiped out in one go.

I feel sad as they disappear up the road and then I switch modes into some sort of superwoman. I know what I need to do (clean) and I know what I want to do (read) and I need to maximise my time.

As soon as they leave, I go for a walk. I go for a lot of walks even when they are around. Then I set myself targets – get the hoovering done, then cook and eat. Then I can read for half an hour before doing the mopping. Then I can go for another walk before doing some more reading.

I plan pretty much every minute of my time – running, grass cutting, blogging, reading, walking… I plan to go to bed earlier than usual, but it doesn’t often happen, because I’m so ‘busy’ reading and cleaning.

I hate cleaning. I hate it with a passion. There’s no rule that says I have to clean while they’re away, but it makes sense. There’s nobody getting under my feet. There’s nobody messing it up again before it’s even finished. And cleaning keeps me busy and helps me take my mind off the fact that I’m on my own in the house all weekend. So I do a better job of cleaning than usual. I dust and deal with cobwebs. I mop floors. The house definitely looks a lot better when they get home than when they set off.

In this way, the time goes remarkably quickly. I do find myself worrying from time to time. I look forward to texts and especially photos. I find myself wondering if they’ve had breakfast or if they’ve made it to the top of the mountain. Then I worry again about the drive home.

And, before I know it, they’re back. The time has flown and I haven’t read anywhere near as much as I’d hoped to. My clean house is hidden under a layer of dirty camping stuff. I may not have ‘made the most of it’ by going out, but I’ve made the most of it in my own way. I’ve had some peace and a little bit of time to unwind, whilst also being superwoman with the mop.

And the camping weekend is over for another year.

Tents, Camping, 365, Garden, Camping weekend

Author: Sarah Mummy

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10 Comments

  1. I must admit I love having the house to myself, but have never had the joy of being in the house for a whole night (or even two) by myself. I think it’s lovely that they have their little tradition, is it too late for my husband and kids to start lol x

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    • Never had the house to yourself for the night? I’m amazed! This is the only time I ever do and I try to enjoy it. It has been a really good tradition for them – stretching right back to 2005 – but I think it might be on its last legs now. I’m not sure my eldest will want to go next year and I suspect that if his brother doesn’t go, my younger son won’t go either.

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  2. I’m totally the opposite to you. I avoid cleaning like the plague – because I get annoyed that my free time would be spent cleaning up after the people who make it messy, who show no gratitude and don’t notice. So I would go out on photo walks, visit National Trust, go to London and the theatre. Meet friends. And just blog, watch films and read. Bliss. (in my untidy/unclean home!)

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    • That’s the sort of stuff I should be doing (although I would never go to London on my own and would feel guilty at spending a lot of money!). I absolutely hate cleaning and my family have no gratitude either! My husband at least noticed it was clean. I’m not very good at making arrangements to see people. Maybe I secretly actually like having a bit of my own company?!

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  3. I totally ‘get’ this.
    When my lot went to Ireland and I had a weekend on my own I cleared, decluttered and cleaned like a mad woman. I actually really like cleaning and wish I found the time to do more of it. I crank up the music and find it very satisfying. I enjoy time like that and being on my own with my thoughts. Some would say I’m mad and do something more indulgent. I agree though that within an hour of every being home it’s a dirty mess again!

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    • Glad it’s not just me! I know I ‘should’ do something more for myself, but the reading was for myself. Even though I dislike cleaning, it satisfying to see the house looking cleaner than usual, even if it did only last until everyone got home!

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  4. I can totally relate to the desire to keep busy when they’re away. I worry when the children aren’t with me too, especially if they’re not at home.
    Nat.x

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    • Keeping busy is the only way! I’m not too bad with one child away, but all three of them does scare me a bit!

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  5. I tend to go on a mad cleaning and tidying sesh when I have the house to myself too. Or painting and decorating!
    Are you not tempted to go with them one day? x

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    • Not tempted at all! Between my claustrophobia and my obsession with germs and hygiene, camping is definitely not for me! Plus it’s all about the men and their kids. I wouldn’t be invited even if I wanted to go! I’ve never done painting and decorating while they’ve been away. My husband thinks my painting skills aren’t up to scratch, so it’s best that I leave it up to him!

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