Yes, I really, really did and I have zero regrets! In fact, everyone is happy for it. Let me set the scene: For a few months I have been running myself ragged with work and dealing with life responsibilities and I realised that I needed a break. I was snapping at everyone and I had no motivation to do even the things that gave me pleasure (no writing or reading was done). I was just working and taking care of my son and I stopped being me. My husband noticed my changed mood and after a long conversation, I admitted I just needed a break to reset. I joked about taking a weekend trip somewhere and he surprised me with saying he thought that that was a great idea. He told me ‘while I know you love us, I know we both can be a bit much and I think you need to spend some time away from us to truly give yourself a break.’
So I decided that I would take a ‘staycation’ to a local hotel for a weekend all by my lonesome. I pulled out my calendar and the hubby and I found the best weekend that would work for everyone and I booked my stay.
Okay, no, it wasn’t as easy as that line seems to indicate. I hemmed and hawed and my brain tried to tell me why I should not use the money on such a ‘frivolous’ exercise when we need other ‘things’…and bills…and, and…responsibilities! I literally tried to talk myself out of why I should do this, while simultaneously understanding why I needed it. I spoke to friends and they all said that if they had the opportunity they would take it up in a heartbeat, so I needed to stop acting a fool and just do it! So, I did it. I got paid for a job and made sure the bills were paid and I booked my room. The ease of booking added to the guilt and stress I felt, but also to the excitement. I was actually going to spend a night alone…heck two nights alone for the first time in maybe 7 or 8 years. It was mind-boggling and confusing and exciting.
But, I did it! I left without much prep aside from reminding our son not to give daddy any trouble, do his share of the weekend chores (he has to fold and pack away his clothing), and I made him something special to eat when he came back home that afternoon. I have never been one of those women who were afraid that my husband could not take care of my son in my absence so I did not need to meal prep (he can cook), I did not need to do ‘pre-laundry’ (he can wash: in fact he does it during the week, while weekends are mine), I did not have to leave a list of chores that needed to be done (yes, men don’t see everything that need to be done, but I knew at the very least the house would not be a disaster zone when I came back). In any case, I was able to let go of all the minutiae, gave L and hubby a hug at reception and told them I loved them and checked in. I went up to my gorgeous room, collapsed on the bed and smiled for a while.
I must say that one of the things that helped me not to just call and cancel my weekend was primarily my husband who acknowledged I needed a break. He was able to admit that I do so much for them both and never get breaks…not true ‘away-from-the-family-for-a-significant-time’ type of breaks anyways. He supported it all, he even asked me how much I wanted to be ‘bothered’ by him during my weekend- I told him I would message whenever and he could respond. This worked well. I sent morning voice notes to him and our son and goodnight messages as well.
Now, I was only away for two nights (Friday evening to Sunday midday), but it was the reset I needed and I absolutely recommend it! I was able to spend time without hearing ‘mommy’ repeated, or being asked to ‘watch what I can do’, or asked for the millionth time for some sort of sustenance (the kid eats every minute I swear). I marvelled at the fact that I sat in bed and wasn’t asked to move, I ate when I wanted (and in bed too haha) without wondering if I would have to share (you know what I mean); I lounged in bed until I was good and ready to move. Best of all, I was able to get up and go for a walk or do something (like use the pool) without having to think of the safety/pleasure/care of the tiny human.
It. Was. Magical.
I slept, I ate, I took walks and watched the water and the boats and best of all, I wrote. I did things that I couldn’t have done if I had my family with me and I basked in it. I felt re-energized and I was able to ‘unplug’ and relax as best as possible, while still missing them (but not obsessing about what they were doing).
I was reset and I came home at peace and was happy to see the two guys in my life. I have been able to jump-start some more writing since I came back, and I plan to do another momcation again whenever I can.
So, if you can afford it, check yourself into a nice bed and breakfast or hotel for a weekend. Tell the family don’t call unless there is an emergency and allow yourself to unplug. If a hotel/b&b isn’t in the budget maybe spend a weekend with a friend or take an afternoon off to your favourite place. Moms need time-offs and breaks too and don’t talk yourself out of the notion. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for spending cash on a momcation because you have kids, or the idea that you need to have your husband and kid/s strapped to you 24/7 to have the title of ‘good mother’. Good mothers are those who also take care of their mental health, and taking breaks and time off is a part of that.