You read that correctly. Partners, tell her to pack her bag and get out. Offer to drop her off, even, just to ensure that she gets there and actually goes inside and doesn’t end up back on the porch at 11 pm. Tell her you don’t want to see her until tomorrow (or the next day).
Send. Mama. Away.
It doesn’t have to be for a week. That’s too long. It doesn’t even have to be for more than one night. But hear this – the moms in your life are tired. They need a break. They want a break. It’s so hard to say “I want a break from you and my children” out loud and to your face, but trust me – they want to say it. And sure, it would be nice to drop the kids at the grandparents’ house and run off with her, but that’s a different thing.
This is you seeing her and seeing that a break would do her body (and mind) good. We all need a break every now and then, but there is just something about a night away from everyone that is soul-cleansing to a mama. It’s hard, at first. She’ll wonder if you all will be okay. She’ll walk into the hotel room, alone, turn the air conditioner down to 64 degrees, and flop onto the big fluffy bed. Maybe she lies there for 30 seconds, or maybe she just crashes in her clothes and wakes up just in time to check out – either way, it can be the most mind-clearing experience to a scatter-brained mama. She’ll even get to shower uninterrupted for as long as she wants and make a mess she doesn’t have to clean up.
Send. Her. Away.
Dads, here are a few tips to make this one of the best gifts you can give her:
- Book the hotel yourself. Don’t tell her to book it. Just book it. Get her the king bed on a high floor. And don’t book the Super 8 that’s a mile from the house, either. Save up a little and book her something a tad nicer. I recently stayed at the new Omni in downtown OKC, and it’s amazing.
- Do a little research. Is there a spa on-site? Would she enjoy a massage or pedicure? What about a restaurant? Chances are, she won’t go downstairs to enjoy a steak on her own, but if you gave her a little gift card to the steakhouse, she’d have to use it, right?
- Make it random. Don’t do it for her birthday or for Mother’s Day. Do it on a random weekend just because you want her to know you appreciate her on days other than those.
- Caveat to #3. Check the calendar first. Make sure there aren’t any kids sporting events or family reunions that weekend. There’s not a lot worse than learning you get to do something fun, only to have to cancel it. She’ll be mad. She won’t tell you that, but she’ll be mad.
- Don’t make her feel guilty about it. She’s already going to. Reassure her that you and the kids will be fine. Tell her all the fun things you guys will be doing. Make sure you know their bedtime routines, medication schedules, and anything else you’d need to call her for. Rather than make her write everything down for you, spend the days or weeks ahead of the surprise familiarizing yourself with those details.
- DON’T CALL HER. Chances are, she’ll call you.
- Don’t trash the house in the 24-48 hours that she’s gone.
- Be ready for a big hug, big kiss, and rejuvenated mama to come home to you.
This can be a gift that ends up costing a few hundred bucks. I know that’s a lot. She knows that’s a lot, too. But the added value of you taking care of everything is huge.