When it actually becomes possible to leave the children
- Credit: Archant
Once a mummy, always a mummy - whether they're with you or not, writes Jo Malone
We can just about cope with our family split two ways while Sunny is at uni in Canada, three ways takes a lot more mind juggling.
Lovely husband Rob's planned a surprise two nights away to celebrate me reaching a landmark birthday – and the logistics have me thankful for modern communication.
We can't remember the last time we had more than 24 child-free hours together, definitely before I realised the benefits of text messages and whatsapp.
But smart phones charged and a weekend schedule listed for godparents Uncle Col and Wilma who'd volunteered to have the girls and we're off.
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If we hadn't had our phones we wouldn't have known that while my list said take the ballet bag to dance it didn't say leave it with Thalia, and that she wasn't impressed not being able to change from tap to ballet shoes.
But besides their car being hit in a city car park, that, according to the phone messages, was the only hiccup we heard about. So, with constant updates detailing success with the dance, gym, craft fair, watch Strictly, take to party and remember to flatten socks for Thalia schedule, and more updates about additional activities involving hot chocolate and a lot of glue, glitter and feathers, we could enjoy our weekend away.
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It was absolutely brilliant, especially as my surprise was Blackpool, a town I've longed to visit since being enthralled by pictures of the lights when I was tiny. I supported Blackpool F C as a result, but didn't imagine I would ever go.
We loved it; the illuminations and the tower, the winter gardens, the grand old faded hotels, the piers, miles of sand, the trams, the ballroom dancers milling about, some very excited competition cheerleaders and we even found a Kiss-Me-Quick hat.
But what made the biggest difference was being able to completely relax knowing the girls were safe; sunny was working hard, she told us by whatsapp, and Uncle Col's frequent photos and messages confirmed the girls were happy.
I know it's important to make family memories, and all three of the girls were doing that this weekend, but Rob taking me to Blackpool was a reminder that couple's memories matter too.
Now, what to do for his big birthday?