Go on that Mom-cation. Having just come back from a long weekend with two girl friends, I can personally attest: Stop making excuses, make a plan, and GO! The concept has been all over the media recently with viral articles such as Psychologists Suggest Mothers Take Breaks By Going on Mom-cation. For both a brighter and darker view of humanity I suggest you read the comments. Going on a girls only mom trip does not mean A) you don’t love your children B) you are a selfish jerk or C) Dad shouldn’t get his time too. What it does mean is that having a 24/7 unpaid often thankless job of motherhood, regardless of whether or not you also have a job outside the home, entitles you to a little R&R every once and a while. Here are a few pointers to help you plan your own such getaway.
A Resort or Even a Destination is Not Required.
So you and ten of your closest girls want to spend the week on an over the water bungalow in Tahiti? Well, I have neither the derriere nor the Kardashian cash to make that happen. For my trip we borrowed a family members beach condo (FREE), but it could be as simple as shipping one lady’s hubby and kiddos to grandma’s and loading up on popcorn and Netflix at her place for the weekend. The point isn’t the scenery, it’s the rest and the late night (9pm) chats without having to wake up 5 times through the night.
Your Spouse and Kids will Appreciate You in Your Absence.
Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder. I think it is so good for my children to witness what a great parent their father is without mommy around. Although this isn’t easy to admit, often as the primary caregiver (because I stay home) I find myself saying or doing things that undercut his wonderful parenting just because it’s not exactly how I may have done something. So what? Our kids benefit from the balance between different parents as long as they present a united front on big issues. It’s also so sweet to miss the little monsters who have my whole heart, but also drive me a little bananas most days. I didn’t check the monitor on my phone every night while I was gone from my phone just to watch them sleeping or anything…
Expect Changes to Your Plans.
At the conceptualization of this trip, we had eight of us interested in going. Three went. Babies and kids and schedules are just this phase of life. Who better to be flexible than a bunch of moms? Would eight girls have been fantastic? Of course. But it would have been a completely different kind of trip. With three, we had deeper conversations and less to work around logistically. My daughter vomited two days before we left because that’s just what kids do.
You’ll Return Refreshed.
Much of this phase of parenting young children feels a little like the movie Groundhog Day. It’s fun to have treats that fill your soul and connect you back with friends on a level that sometimes gets put on the back burner while raising small children. I want my children to see me making time for my friendships. I want them to see their father doing the same. Of course we can’t do this all the time. Our priorities are as they should be our marriage and children. I encourage you though to not let so much time pass without giving yourself a break with friends. Even if it’s just an afternoon away or a night at a friend’s house. It will be well with your soul. And that will reflect on to all those we hold most dear.