A few times a year, moms need a break. And I'm not talking about a coffee break, a trip to the spa, or a girls' night out kinda break. I mean a break break -- where you leave town for a few days without the kids and remember what it's like to be an adult again.
And I know what you're thinking: Leaving the kiddos is tough, mainly because it stirs up all sorts of unnecessary feelings of guilt -- either because you feel horrible for wanting to be away from your kids, or because you're afraid they will miss you so much they'll cry their eyes out for the entire duration of your little getaway.
But guess what? Neither of those things is cause for feeling guilty. They'll be just fine without you for a few days, and leaving your kids does NOT make you a bad mom.
I know one or two moms who have never left their kids overnight, like EVER -- and I honestly want to look at them and say, "What the hell are you waiting for?" every time they tell me they simply can't bear to go anywhere without their children. It's like they think they're a better mom than those of us who do take trips without our kids -- and boy, are they wrong.
If anything, getting a little downtime makes you a more capable parent, or at least that's how I feel every time I manage to escape.
Actually, I just got back from a quick work trip to Texas, and even though getting on that plane and leaving my son was a little tough -- being away for a couple of days and socializing with other adults was exactly what I needed.
I feel refreshed. I have a new sense of motivation. And I remembered what it's like to feel like "Mary" again -- not just "mom."
And that's something every mother deserves. That being said, here are 10 reasons you need to go ahead and book yourself a trip whether it be for business or pleasure.
- Uninterrupted sleep -- I figured I'd start with the most important reason first. Um, hello? Getting to sleep through the night in a hotel room without anyone waking you up at 3 a.m. begging for a glass of water or crawling into your bed and kicking you for the rest of the night is absolutely priceless.
- No curfew -- No kids waking you up at the crack of dawn = mama can go out for a few after dinner cocktails without having to worry about being up in a few hours.
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder -- Yes, I know it's cliché, but it's so true. As much as we love our kids, they tend to drive us a little nuts sometimes. But after some time away from them, we miss and appreciate them even more and are so much more patient when we return.
- No agenda -- Well, ok -- there may be an agenda if you're on a work trip. But odds are good it won't involve making lunches, doing the laundry, paying the bills, and shuttling kids to and from activities. Not having to cater to anyone else's needs but your own is definitely something to be savored.
- Going to the bathroom alone -- 'Nuff said.
- Being able to carry a small purse -- Your shoulder deserves a break too. Since you don't need to have crayons, juice boxes, snacks, wet wipes, an extra set of clothes, etc., in there -- you can get away with a cute little clutch that doesn't scream, "I'm a mom!"
- Dressing up -- C'mon, going out of town gives you an opportunity to throw on something other than yoga pants. That alone is cause for celebration.
- Sitting down for an entire meal -- OMG. Going out to dinner and not having to get up from the table to fulfill requests for second helpings, to take anyone to the bathroom, etc., is one of the best simple pleasures in life.
- You get to be "you" -- As I said earlier, one of the best parts of going away alone is getting to be "me" again -- not "Mommy." Yes, you have children. But you have your own identity too, and you shouldn't neglect it.
- It's beneficial for your kids -- If you want to teach them to be independent, they need to be ok with being away from you. And if you stick to them like glue and refuse to go away overnight, you're probably doing them more harm than good.
How many times a year do you usually go away without your children?
Image via Mary Fischer