Whether you are getting ready for a work trip or weekend getaway without the kids, as a mom it seems like a great idea and there is a part of you that gets so excited to have a little time to yourself. Even if it’s a work trip, it sounds more relaxing than the crazy schedule at home between school drop-offs, pickup, dinner tantrums, and bedtime. After all, when away from home, you get alone time that any mom is eager to have. You get the bed to yourself, the chance to sit down and enjoy a quiet breakfast, and the chance to catch up on tv shows you haven’t seen in ages. What sounds even more exciting is a tropical gateway with just the hubby; happy hour all day in the sun, what more can we ask for? Well that is until the mom guilt kicks in, and you have thousands of thoughts racing through your head. But I love them so much? Will they be ok? What if they get sick? What if something happens? They will be sad if I am not the one picking them up from school? Stop right now.
Leaving the kids is not stress-free by any means. At first, you get excited. Excited to go and then excited to pack— last minute of course. As a mom, you do not have the luxury of only getting to pack and hit the road; you have a list a mile long of things that need to be taken care of at home that bring your stress level to its highest. You need to prep food for the time you are gone, make sure all laundry is done, pick the kids clothes for each day, make sure the snacks for school are ready, and bathe them one last time, just in case. Then when you think you will be going to bed early the day before the trip, you start laughing cause that is the most insane lie you tell yourself. It’s 9:00 PM and you are running around the house doing finishing touches for whatever the kids might need, writing little notes to leave them and still packing the shit your husband gave you last minute while he is snuggled in bed, snoring away. At about 11:00 PM you realize your nails are not done, so you go for it, and sit there in a middle of the night waiting for them to dry, while you set your alarm for 3:00 AM. As a mom no matter how early you start preparing and how excited you are for alone time, that list before you doesn’t seem to end, and it seems as if relaxation will never come. Take a breath, it will be okay.
As you are getting ready to leave, the guilt outweighs the excitement you are having. Throwing mom guilt to the side is more difficult than anyone without kids can imagine and it’s real. We stress, overthink, and over prep, however, at the end of the day the kids will be okay. They too need time away from us; maybe to keep their sanity. They will have fun and will still love you as much as before you left them.
Taking the time away, especially for a romantic gateway with your husband is important to your mental health, relationship and family. As a mom, we get so wrapped up with our role in taking care of our kids, we forget who we are. The everyday routine also takes a toll on your relationship with your husband who loved you before kids, and sometimes getting away from it all is a good reminder to remember what made you fall in love in a first place and find each other in the everyday shuffle as life happens.
Getting away from the everyday monotone of kids, laundry, house and just taking a breath will do wonders to who you are not only as a wife but as a mom, and importantly you as a person. Kids will get a relaxed refreshed mom, and your relationship with your husband will give that spark.
Taking a weekend getaway or having a date night at least once a month is a priority. If possible once a week, have lunch or dinner together, and set a rule that there will be no work talk; it’s like a little relationship rejuvenation. You will actually hear what your husband is saying versus agreeing without actually hearing what they have to say because there are kids yelling in the background.
Personally, my husband and I have been taking two trips a year alone; short but sweet. We get so sucked in by work and kids that on most days we don’t have a conversation other than about just that: work and kids. The work aspect gets even more difficult since we run a company together. There is a point at the end of the day when work comes up and many times we have to say, “Stop”, there has to be that line— the disconnect, between work and family life.
With that said, there are many benefits to taking a break from your kids. You will come back more calm and have a little bit more patience then before you left. You find yourself, not as a mom and wife, but just you. Through it all, underneath the everyday chaos you are your own individual. You will catch up with your husband on life, and get some laughter and peace that gives your relationship a small refresher course that will strengthen it and give it hope until the next adventure. The need for the unrushed time together is great in a relationship. As moms, we rush from the time we wake up to time we go to bed; putting breaks on busy schedule is gold, and just enjoying time alone as husband and wife is the goal. Once you realize how amazing you feel when you get back from your trip, you fall in love all over again with your spouse, are relaxed, gain more patience. This feeling of serenity will slowly minimize the mom guilt.
Mom guilt will always be there in some shape or form but remember to take a breath and the feeling you had when you went away. All the benefits you gained, will make it more than okay at the end. The kids will be happy to have a relaxed mom, and your husband will enjoy the attention, while away even for few day. So take that trip.