For a while, I have wanted to write a piece about traveling without kids. As moms nothing makes us feel guiltier than packing our bags and leaving the youngins to fend for themselves (in the capable hands of another adult of course). Still, there is a lot of benefit to getting away without your children.
Yes remember sleeping? Like had a few many too many drinks slept til 3 PM on a Saturday in college sleeping? Don’t you miss it? I have been going away once or twice a year since Will was a baby and I must admit its the only time I really sleep. At home, I listen for every sound, cry, whimper and feel like at any moment I may be needed. When I travel alone or with girlfriends, I have the kind of sleep that I haven’t had in 6 and a half years. In fact, when people invite me somewhere my first question is always “Can I sleep in?”.
Alone Time is Good for You
Sure you will miss the kids but guess what? Alone time is actually good for you. Taking a break from your kids will actually give you time to remember who you are. Take a nap, sleep in, read a book, take a bath, or the big one; go to the bathroom with no one else watching. Trust me, by the end of the trip, you will feel refreshed and ready to head back to motherhood and tiny people watching while you pee.
It is Good for Them to Miss You
Feeling under-appreciated? You won’t when you return from a weekend away without your kids. No matter how used to you cleaning, feeding and loving them they are, they will notice you are gone and so are their perfectly-cut-crustless-heart-shape-grilled-cheese sandwiches.
Your kids need to miss you a little. It’s healthy. It will make them understand that you are not going to be there every hour of the day and also give them some independence while you are out finding yours.
It is Good for You to Miss Them
No matter what happened right before you leave on your trip within 20 minutes you’ll want to go back. It’s a good feeling to know that even on your best getaways you do still long to be with your family. As mothers, we can get so bogged down by what is going on with our families and in our homes that we sometimes miss the bigger picture of how lucky we are to have children who love us.
Traveling Sets a Good Example
No matter where you go, you traveling sets a great example for your kids on the importance of seeing the world. My kids are always intrigued when I return home to know where I went and what I saw. Keeping up your passion for travel even as a mother will likely ignite the same passion in your kids.
You Need to Slow Down
No matter what your other roles are if you are a mother you probably actually need to slow down a little. I watch many of my friends run themselves ragged taking kids from activity to activity and trying to keep up with all their work. The fact is it’s exhausting to be a mom. The reality is it’s really unhealthy to never take a break. Whether you don’t feel you can leave your kids or you just don’t have a desire too, you still need some time off.
A few years ago, I woman I knew who ran a successful small business died of pneumonia in her early 40s. Yup. You can actually die of pneumonia is 2014 in a first world country. I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia the winter after Charlie was born and it took over a year for it to go away. Every time I visited my internal medicine specialist she would kindly tell me I needed to actually sit down and stop doing things all day. I explained there were laundry and drop-offs and pick-ups to be done. She looked me straight in the face and told me people die from pneumonia because they don’t take the time to heal. It reminded me of the woman I knew and I went home and took things seriously. After a few months of doing nothing, I escaped on a getaway with my sister. Pneumonia that had taken over my lungs was gone after 3 months of properly resting.
How to Get Away
I’ve heard every excuse in the book of why moms, in particular, can’t get away. I am not saying you need to go to Fiji but you do need a small amount time and financial budget that you can set aside to make sure you have a break. My parents have both passed on. My children’s’ other grandparents live in Europe. It’s not easy to get away. Still, once my husband’s work slows down in Spring, I can usually set aside at least one night to slip away to the Scandinave Spa in Blue Mountain.
If traveling solo isn’t really in the budget, have a sleepover with someone you really have fun with. Go to their house, instruct your family to only contact you in a REAL emergency and try and just shut your mind to everything you feel you need to do for at least one night. It’s not easy to turn everything off but it is worth it.