On a whim this summer, one of my best friends and I booked flights to Orlando. We were going to surprise our other best friend who lives there. Our reasoning was that since all three of us had turned 30 within the past six months, we needed to get together to celebrate.
I might’ve had a side-reason though…. I NEEDED to get away.
Since my honeymoon five years earlier, I hadn’t taken any sort of vacation. We never “Baby-Mooned” or went on any other relaxing trips after getting married.
Two wonderful little boys later, this Mom was at the end of her rope.
With my husband’s full blessing I clicked “book it” on my airline’s website and immediately felt a sense of relief. In just a couple short weeks, I’d be on a plane to Florida for our girls’ trip.
The day we were scheduled to leave, my baby woke up with a strange rash all over and a low-grade fever, and I had two important appointments that couldn’t be missed. The guilt of leaving town started creeping in. My mom stepped in and took my son to his doctor (he was fine; just a run-of-the-mill virus) as I drove to my appointments.
Tears streamed down my face the whole drive. I felt so guilty and selfish for booking this trip and leaving my babies for four nights. What kind of awful person was I to want to get away from the darling boys who call me Mom?!
But you know what – it was the best thing I could’ve done for my family this summer!
My boys and my husband didn’t just “survive” while Mom was gone. They genuinely thrived. The three of them went on adventures and outings and made precious memories together. My boys have always had a wonderful relationship with their dad, but this trip brought them all together in an even deeper way.
In the meantime, my batteries felt fully recharged. For four days no diapers were changed, no little hands or faces washed, no meals were cooked, no laundry done, no 5 am wakeup calls. I took care of me and only me.
Being in Orlando we naturally went to Disney World. When the fireworks were going off over Cinderella’s castle and the song “You’ll Be In My Heart” played, I started tearing up thinking about my two littles back at home. The next day I met Mickey Mouse. I wiped away more tears as the little boy in front of us hugged Mickey’s leg. I couldn’t help but think about how magical my own boys would find this experience.
Yes, I missed them. I missed them so much; but if I could go back to the day I left, I would tell myself, “They will be fine. You’ll be fine. You will all be so much better for this.”
As moms, we run ourselves ragged. We put ourselves last on the priority list too many times. Why? Out of guilt? Because that’s how our moms did it? Peer-pressure?
Mama, if you’re reading this thinking, “I need a vacation too, but there’s no way I could ever leave my family,” I’m here to be the first one to give you permission. Not that you need my permission at all, but sometimes hearing someone else’s perspective can help us.
My friend and travel partner was that person for me. I texted her that day of our flight and told her my feelings. She – a wonderful mom of two herself – gave me permission, in a sense, to take this time for myself.
So Mama, take that vacation! Whether it be a late night solo-trip to Target to recharge, or a weeklong stay in Maui, do it. YOU ARE WORTH IT!
I fully believe that taking those few days for myself has made me a better mom. It reminded me that I am still Clancey. Yes, I am Mom to two little boys and wife to Chris, but I am still Clancey.
Would you consider taking a trip to recharge? Or maybe you already have! Tell us all about your plans or experiences in the comments. Let’s open a dialogue for moms to help them find the courage to ask for a little break.