24 hours of freedom

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If you read last week’s BritMums blog prompt post, you’ll have an idea of the kinds of things we want to cover in this blog.  So far, we’ve posted about the joys and trials of motherhood, various socio-political issues around parenting, toddler activities and even a recipe, but we haven’t posted much about ensuring that you don’t get lost in the role of parent and you still do things for yourself.

Therefore today I want tell you about a 24 hour period where I did a number of the things that I used to take for granted before the Munchkin.

The weekend before last, hubby and I finally managed a night away together.  Whilst we do go out together, we had not yet managed to orchestrate a night away, what with parents living a reasonable distance away and yes, I’ll admit a good amount of nerves on our part that the Munchkin would have a meltdown about us not being there.

We decided to go to my Mum’s for a few nights and in the middle, book one night away where Munchkin would stay with Grandma…alone! We booked somewhere not too far away, both so we could maximise our time together and so that we could get back to Mum’s should there be an issue.

It was wonderful.  Munchkin was absolutely fine with her beloved Grandma. In fact today at lunchtime when I told her the rule in our house was she had to try what was on her plate before telling me she didn’t like it, she told me she’d go and live with Grandma!

We stayed in the Cotswold town of Malmesbury and I can highly recommend it.  It is not that big, so our 24 hour period was enough to explore most of what it had to offer.  We arrived at around 3pm and checked into The Old Bell Hotel.  Before Munchkin, hubby and I used to treat ourselves to a weekend  away once or twice a year, at a nice hotel with a good restaurant.  From the internet write-ups this seemed to fit the bill. It wasn’t cheap, but that’s why we went for a Sunday night special!

After having checked in we went to the Abbey House Gardens for a wander to absorb some peace; I could indulge my budding interest in macro photography and we could perhaps catch a glimpse of the naked gardeners (yes, they do garden naked there!). The gardens were beautiful and “sans child” we just wandered for a couple of hours – no need of swings or snacks.

Malmesbury Abbey Gardens
Stunning Gardens, but no gardeners!

After a stroll round the town, we declared it gin-o’clock and ensconced ourselves in the hotel bar. Obviously by this point we had subconsciously decided there would be no need to race back to rescue Grandma!  We spent the early evening sitting by the fire, drinking and talking about everything and anything.  We then had a delicious dinner and a few glasses of wine and headed up to our room for an evening without a child in tow… ergo I fell asleep while hubby was talking and he watched Have I got News for You in bed!

Breakfast the next morning was excellent, as was the leisurely morning before we checked out.  We then spent another few hours pottering round the town.  We visited the town museum which was really well laid out and had just the right balance of information and interactivity.  It also had a display of Turner sketches upstairs and as he is one of my favourite artists, I was happy.  We bought a few Christmas presents (early I know but anything to save me from Christmas shopping crowds with a toddler) and wandered round the Abbey itself.

All in all, we had a fantastic time, being just two and doing things for us. We’d highly recommend Malmesbury and also recommend having time away from the kids.

Oh and here’s my best efforts at ‘arty’ photography:

Malmesbury Abbey
Trying to take unusual shots in the Abbey
Macro seedhead
See I told you I like close-ups!
Macro Leaf Malmesbury Abbey
Arty leaf and Abbey shot!
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16 thoughts on “24 hours of freedom

    emma said:
    November 4, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Thank you for helping me to realise although I worry about my children being away from me this weekend, I need to use the time for myself and my husband, to listen and reconnect ourselves sans kids. Perfect timing for your blog post 🙂

      morethanamummy responded:
      November 4, 2011 at 9:24 am

      Glad to be of use! You do need time for you too, and for you two! We loved it. 🙂

    Sarah said:
    November 4, 2011 at 11:42 am

    One of the disadvantages of living far from parents is that when they see you, they want to see you all the time. I never got to go away when married. It took divorce before I got time to myself.

      morethanamummy responded:
      November 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm

      It is so easy to forget that we all need sometime as individuals, whatever our circumstances.

    Bonny and Blithe (@blitheringbonny) said:
    November 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    sounds like the perfect night away and beautiful photographs btw you obviously have a talent. my other half and I went to Ludlow for the night recently. It was so refreshing to have a change of scenery, even if for 1 night. It makes you see the bigger picture just to step away from everyday life and think about your priorities. We talked lots and made loads of plans. Our parents are pretty good at letting us have a night off a few times a year although sometimes we have to hint heavily!

    Misha- The Bling Buoy said:
    November 14, 2011 at 3:03 am

    I really need to do something like this too! And the first picture of the Abbey House Gardens … just wow. xo

      morethanamummy responded:
      November 14, 2011 at 9:15 am

      It really was a lovely break. Go on, organise something….

    Natasha (@LoveInTheNest) said:
    November 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    That sounds wonderful! Glad you had a lovely time.

    Nikki Thomas said:
    November 14, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Sounds amazing!! We will have to visit Malmesbury as it can’t be that far from me! It sounds and looks fab. Time without the children is nice. As we have three little ones it is virtually impossible to find a babysitter, but we get the odd afternoon and it is lovely not having to worry or nag! A lovely post!

      morethanamummy responded:
      November 14, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      Thank you – it’s well worth a visit. Not very big at all, so very easy to do in an afternoon – and the Abbey Gardens are stunning.

    Rhiannon (@The_Last_Slayer) said:
    November 14, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    I’m glad I came across your blog. I’ve very recently started blogging as I feel I’ve lost my essential “me-spark” since having children and so I’m now on a mission of self-discovery. Have bookmarked your blog so I can read more when I get chance 😉

      morethanamummy responded:
      November 14, 2011 at 9:45 pm

      Wonderful to have you aboard then, Rhiannon. Will head over to your blog for a read too. 🙂

    Mammasaurus said:
    November 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I love those photos- gorgeous!
    Oh I dream of such wonderful things as child free days, to be able to walk somewhere so lovely without the echoes of ‘I need a pooh mummy’ ringing out would be divine!

      morethanamummy responded:
      November 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm

      That was possibly the best bit! 😉

    Website Launch Day « More Than A Mum Blog said:
    January 27, 2012 at 8:54 am

    […] 24 hours of Freedom, First steps to recovering your identity, Mums me-time is just 26minutes and High on Heels […]

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