Admit it. We’ve all been there. You have packed the car and are ready to tackle the family vacation, head on! You’re actually looking forward to it (with a sprinkling of dread). Everyone is on board and off you go. Along the way, they expectedly bicker. They sit too close together, causing them to accidentally touch (God forbid) on every bend you maneuver. The tension is mounting. You can feel it behind your waning smile, “Look, kids, a cool sign for this BBQ place!” that’s met with groans.
The Realities of the Family Vacation
So you might spend the following five days or so on a beach in Florida. But you’re not actually on the beach, are you? You’re doing laundry, shopping for groceries, apologizing in advance to neighboring tables of restaurant goers, running for towels, and cheerleading for grumpy teenagers. At the same time you’re taking doctored pictures for social media to prove to everyone (and yourself) what an “awesome time” you’re having in this manufactured togetherness.
As mothers, it’s no secret that it’s always MORE work going away with family than it is staying at home. And even though spending time with family is a great way to build memories together, sometimes, going it alone is so much better.
Solo Vacations for Moms :: It Just Makes Sense
Resting is something that has become so alien to mothers everywhere, for one reason or another. We worry and cannot sleep. Additionally, we wonder if the new baby is still breathing, or we are impatiently waiting for our 16-year-old new driver to come home safely in the car you recently insured for a million dollars! Whatever the reason, it’s well earned, and perpetually needed. Without the family nearby to worry about, rest will come easier.
As the children get older, so do you. You may not think it, but you have also changed, and with change comes a new perspective on life and the needs you will have going forward. Knowing your worth, and believing it, is something each parent, (mother and father), should acknowledge.
You are not stopping because someone is vomiting into a that Kroger bag you keep stuffed in the glove compartment, or needs to use a restroom badly, or is fighting so much that the car needs to come to a halt. No, you are stopping because you want to. There is a mom & pop cafe you want to try, a haunted house you want to inspect, or the Museum of Bad Art you’ve always intended to stop at, but never got the chance to, until now..
Remember those things you used to do before you had a family? Things like sleeping in, reading a book for hours, shopping in an antique store, meeting new people and having a coffee, going out at night, (No less). Before you became the boring old fart you are now, you used to be interesting, fun even. You used to share bellyaching laughs about stupid stuff. So, taking baby steps towards the way you used to be by spending an afternoon with your friends at a mall will go a long way to restoring the Amazon that is you, before the family crumbled you into the shattering blithering airhead you are now. (..I jest, I jest)
Learn How to Speak to Adults Again
Understandably, this may sound foolish. Invariably, we speak to people on a regular basis, right? We work continuously in adult settings, and talk on the telephone to people, sure. But when have you spoken to other adults about something other than your children or their children, or their various medical appointments and sporting activities, etc. Worse still, is having a distracted conversation. Many times, I have spoken to adults but have not been fully present.
Put the phone away and listen. Be present. No doubt, it’s been a while. It takes practice. Try it while you are on your own, while on that vacation you have perpetually promised yourself. It can be heaps of fun!
Or Try a Just-Me Weekend!
Momcation Prep Tips
- A good/reliable babysitter: top of the list for when (not if) your partner is overwhelmed.
- A supportive partner: going away is no fun if your other half is resistant to the idea.
- A clear and organized iterative process: baby step instructions for the ones left behind.
- Appointment scheduling: doctors and dental appointments should be rescheduled for after you get back.
- Solo Trip Packing List
Whether you are going for a childless hour to wander around in Walmart, or to a well- planned out, all-inclusive getaway with your sister to Mexico for 10 days, ( I-CAN-NOT-WAIT!), doing it without our little darlings will be worth it. Because you are!