We did it, we made it to the Drakensberg. The occasion – my birthday. The real reason – we , really needed to get away. And sitting now in the dappled sunlight by a lake overlooking the imposing Drakensberg mountains (which unexpectedly are not forested but rather grasslands), I’m so happy we did.

When I tell mom’s that they should go away for the weekend, everyone says, ‘I’d love to but I feel so guilty.’ I always pooh-poohed the idea of being guilty, but leaving on Sunday taught me something different. I left a mess. In fact we began are getaway with a ginormous tearful (my tears of course) fight. And I’m glad we began that way because the inevitable getaway fight was over at least. And what did we fight about? We fought because I was on the edge of an abyss of hysteria. So tightly strung that a fly in my face would have brought me to tears.

Why? The truth is I’m finding it harder and harder to leave the kids. For three days of awayness it takes me an hour to put a schedule together. Call and sms my kindest, sweetest, most supportive lift scheme moms to cover for me. And of course convince my amazing mother in law to take the three Princes, which she always does, no convincing needed. (Wicked mother in-laws are the stuff of fairy tales in my life. I have wicked other things.) The kids’ schedule is so demanding, I felt like a CEO taking leave. From the detailed instructions of what not to forget for school, like show and tell, sports bag etc. to how to put them to sleep, all at their different times. (Because if you put three Princes to bed at the same time, they have a noisy, Princely party through the night.)

And yes there is guilt. Guilt that the Princes are going to miss me. Although what’s so bad about them missing me? Really if I think rationally it can only be good. We as parents need more appreciation. Guilt for my poor mother in law who sounds exhausted on the phone when I call after ‘Happy Hour’. The Princes are fine all in bed, but she is certainly not. The guilt, guilt, guiltedy guilt builds up.

But it’s worth it… Picture this. Waking up when you want. Eating without having to dish out to three hungry mouths, or get up for the water, tomato sauce or to get a dish cloth to clean up the latest spill. Having evenings to read, write and have yet another cup of tea. Drinking wine with your meal and not having to worry about a hangover. (I can’t get past two glasses of wine without falling asleep. Instead of becoming a better, happier version of me I become sleeping beauty. Why?) Taking long, long walks with a picnic lunch and being able to climb down a steep hill to sit at the bottom of a rushing waterfall in the hug of a cool rock cave. And no one but ourselves complaining, ‘When are we going to get there?’ Heavens just the five-hour drive to the Drakensberg without all the toilet stops and voracious fighting and yelling in the back, was a treat.

So it’s worth going away. It’s worth the guilt. Even parents deserve time out. Especially because it does bring the two of you closer – even with the glass ceiling fight. And the Princes they’re well taken care of and happy. And as I said maybe when we come pack we’ll be more appreciated. I at least appreciate what I do more, that schedule was mad!

So my advice to all moms and dads, go onto the internet now. Begin organising your babysitters. Even do a kid swap if you don’t have amazing mother in-laws available. I think anyone would be willing to take care of your kids for a weekend if you took care of theirs in return so that they too can get away.

Just for the info. We’re staying at Cleopatra Mountain Farmyard. It is absolutely beautiful here. We have a blue and white room, with a fire-place and two bath rooms (to prevent anymore fights). It has the most inspiring herb garden and vegetable patch. The service is next to none and there’s 500 acres to walk around on the farm alone, guided by Uju a super friendly golden retriever. Another option which we considered was Montusi, recommended by a very good friend of mine. It has very good rates for self catering and is also a boutique hotel.