Raise your hand if you’re exhausted. *raises hand*
Raise your hand if you’re burnt out. *raises hand*
Raise your hand if you love your kids more than life itself, but you just need a hot minute AWAY from them. *raises both hands frantically*
I’ve only been a mom for three and a half years, but man, does it feel like longer sometimes. (Maybe because I spent two years prior to that trying to become a mom, or maybe just because motherhood ages you rapidly.)
I love my three-and-a-half year old and 15-month-old fiercely, and I love that I get to spend so much time with them, since I work part-time. But, in three-and-a-half years, I’ve taken approximately zero vacations for myself. Meaning, I’ve had approximately zero days to not be in charge of someone else’s food, hygiene, and sleep.
That’s over 1,200 days straight. Twelve hundred days of cleaning butts, making meals, wiping noses, and arguing about socks with toddlers.
So when my husband invited me to join his two-day work retreat at Horseshoe Bay Resort in the Texas Hill Country, I was on the phone arranging childcare faster than you can say “sleep-deprived.”
And let me tell you: It was so worth it. If you’re like me, and have been chained to your sweet, wonderful, adorable, exhausting children for far too long, do yourself a favor, and take a momcation, STAT.
How to Make the Most out of Your MomCation
1. Make no plans.
This is very important. Don’t go somewhere that you’ll want to sightsee, or explore, or participate in activities. You need to be able to sleep in as late as you want, lay in bed for hours on end, have a drink at 1:00 in the afternoon, and do whatever you dang well please. If you decide you do want to do an activity or venture out, that’s great. But don’t go somewhere that you’ll feel like you have to get out and see and do.
On my momcation, I laid around in bed until 10am, moseyed on down to the pool around 11:00, headed back to the room around 2:30 to cool off and take a nap, then landed back to the pool around 4:30 before meeting up with my husband for dinner.
I even ended up getting on my computer and working a bit here and there, and was actually able to be quite productive, but because I CHOSE TO; I didn’t have to work.
2. Embrace isolation.
As moms, we pretty much sign away any dreams of being alone at the moment of conception. We spend nine months with the baby inside us, then another year with the baby constantly attached to us: nursing, burping, bouncing, sleeping. After that, they’re clinging to you, climbing on you, following you around the house, and just wanting to be near you All. The. Time.
So isolation is essential in a successful momcation. Sure, your spouse can come (I’m sure he/she could use a break, too), but don’t be afraid to do your own thing.
Our situation was perfect. My husband had to get up early and go out to his work activities and training all day, and then in the evenings, when they were done, we got to spend time together.
My first day there, I truly went into isolation mode, almost subconsciously. I’m an introvert, so it comes naturally for me. Aside from my mom (who was watching our kids), I didn’t answer phone calls or text messages or video messages. I mostly just zoned out in front of the TV, and mindlessly scrolled through Instagram before going to bed early.
By day two, I was ready to communicate with the outside world again, so I answered messages and returned phone calls, even FaceTimed with the kids a couple times, but was still physically by myself for the majority of the day, which was exactly what I needed to feel refreshed.
3. Throw away the guilt.
This applies to essentially every aspect of motherhood, and the momcation is no exception. There will be 1,000 opportunities for you to feel guilty throughout your little getaway. Whether it’s not getting to say goodbye to your baby because she’s still asleep when you leave, or your toddler stubbing his toe within an hour of you being gone and only mama’s kiss can make it better, or grandma having to be up all night when both your kids refuse to sleep…TRY to push that guilt aside–there’s plenty of time for it throughout the rest of your entire life as a mom. Taking time for yourself does not make you a bad mother, or selfish, or any of those other negative words flying through your brain.
In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s necessary, it’s rejuvenating, and it makes you a better mom.