Agatha Christie Travels the WorldCategories: miscellaneous
December 2, 2012
author: Jeanette Mesite Frem
I was listening to NPR while driving today (safer than texting while driving, right?) and the guest was Agatha Christie’s grandson. He recently published a book with letters she wrote while she was traveling around the world with her husband. He pointed out that she did this while she had a 3-year-old daughter that she left at home. For months. With a nanny and her mother and her sister to look after her. He commented that this would be a very strange thing for a mother to do in this day in age, but she did it then because it was rather expected of her to accompany her husband on the trip (they were visiting the British colonies) and she knew she wouldn’t ever again get this kind of opportunity.
It got me to thinking.
Why would it be considered such a strange thing to do these days?
Why don’t more women leave their children for even an evening–let alone a night, a weekend, a week?
When did it get to be like this–where partners go on business trips or golf trips or stay home for the weekend while mom goes to visit her parents (with the kids)?
Or what about reconnecting with your partner? Isn’t that important?
Moms often push aside their own passions and opportunities for their children. But isn’t taking care of ourselves and taking opportunities when they come a valuable behavior to model for our children? It’s also known as “self-care”. Going to the gym, getting a haircut, going out to dinner with a friend, going to visit a friend for a night or a weekend or having a girls’ weekend away. Or heck, what about taking a cruise (with or without one’s partner!?).
Maybe it’s because they think they don’t have anyone who could be with the kids. I challenge moms everywhere to get to know other moms and find a few you like and plan to swap babysitting time with them. Or, reach out to family nearby and ask them to be with your child(ren for a few hours or even overnight. Many of them would be happy to spend that much time with your kid(s). Or hey, ask your partner…really. Do it. You’ll like it. I’m all for attachment parenting but really, it has its limits. We need to have someone left that our kids can attach to…not a lonely soul who has lost her mojo!
Okay, back to Agatha. She traveled the world. Awesome. So important. When we travel we gain perspective, learn new things, expand our horizons and just enjoy the beauty and wonder of the earth and other cultures. There is a short letter that she wrote to her daughter which was read on the air today. She mentioned Scotch and some political issue in the letter. To a 3-year-old. Imagine the ways she opened her daughter’s eyes when she got back and was chatting with her while she taught her how to cook an Indian curry. Wicked cool. Go ahead and Google Akoudzin, Ivory Coast, West Africa. I dare you. That’s where I met my husband and where I’ll take my kids to visit someday. It’ll rock their world. I hope Agatha took her daughter some cool places when she was a little bit older. Gutsy mama that she was.