V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N. It’s a word that should be synonymous with R-E-S-P-E-C-T. That’s not the case for most moms, though. Amid the hectic schedules of afterschool sports, instrument lessons or shopping for projects (or groceries!), moms rarely take the time they need to be away from family or child responsibilities for a short period of time. Well, I’m here to say that they should vacation without kids!
Renew yourself (self-care)
Longtime readers know that I’m a true advocate for moms to take time for themselves regularly. I’ve had my share of feeling selfish about it, but I know that I have to advocate for myself as a busy mom as much as I do for clients and my family. Taking a vacation without kids is no different! In fact, NOT doing so could be extremely detrimental to your mental and emotional health, as well as the emotional health of your family relationships.
I determine when it’s time to take some time away by considering my stress levels, sleeping patterns, etc. Likewise, it’s so important to check in with yourself regularly, moms. If you’re frequently asking questions like, ‘why am I so tired?’ or ‘what’s with the added stress lately?’, I think it might be time to hop on a plane or train for a few days with some friends (NOT kids!).
Reconnect with others
Genuine relationships are practically gold for us moms. While we all try our best to maintain our friendships with fellow moms, the realities of family needs can often thwart the best of intentions. However, if you’re away from those needs—i. e., on a great vacation without kids—you can more appropriately renew those genuine friendships with good conversation and quality time, and fun-filled, you-centric activities.
Because I know “mom time” is precious for us all, I look to take an annual trip, usually around Mother’s Day, with my best girlfriends. Our time isn’t spent doing anything other than drinking some margaritas, letting our hair down, and laughing life’s stresses away! But that’s so important to do. Besides, I find that most times it’s not what you do, but who you do it with that makes new experiences fun!
You know what else happens when you vacation without kids and opt to go with other moms? UNDERSTANDING! There’s a commonality between us as moms that cannot be understood by outsiders. It’s like we all know what this time means, and we share a collective exhale! Even if we get calls from home about a missing sock or misunderstood instructions, I know we will understand various issues in ways a significant other or child will NEVER get. And trust me: you need that more than you probably realize going through your normal day-to-day.
Re-energize relationships (or romance!)
Here’s one of the most important reasons you should consider taking a vacation without kids once in a while: time away from the kids can help ignite the spark in your marriage or intimate relationship! Even if you are a single mom, you will definitely have a greater chance of meeting someone special when you’re not having to check temperatures (or homework), give baths, and prepare meals.
Throughout the course of having kids, couples tend to lose much of themselves in family responsibilities. They also focus more on sacrificing for kids versus taking time for themselves. Taking that vacation without kids will give you ample time to rediscover your love for each other. It will help replenish affection that may not happen as much with little hands opening doors at, say, “inconvenient” times.
Please know that these few reasons don’t account for the many other reasons why getting away for a vacation without kids is necessary for moms in the thick of parenting. I know more than anyone how “mom guilt” creeps up at the thought of doing anything without kids. I totally get it. The kids are very important. And yes, they do need you. But you know what? YOU need you! If you don’t hit the internal reset button, life will do it for you—and you don’t want that. Summer is around the corner, so consider taking some time for yourself, mom. You’re more than deserving of it!