Parenting is exhausting. This we probably all can agree on.
Many of us love the fact that we find ourselves in the adventure of a lifetime, and we might see our children as the biggest blessing. Still, show me a parent who doesn’t find it tiring from time to time and I will show you a liar.
For all the talk of self-care that’s out there, I think a lot of us do not know what, exactly, we can do to take care of ourselves amidst the overwhelming reality of carrying the mental load of parenthood and maintaining a household. Add to that the guilt we can feel when we take the tiniest break, and you have a recipe for self-care (or lack thereof) disaster.
What to do about it
In the last couple of years, I have started making time for something I do not think I’ll ever stop doing: I occasionally take an overnight “mom break” away from my house. My husband, knowing that I love staycations and hotel stays (I do drop plenty of hints), has started gifting me a night away at a nice hotel. How cool is that?!
(I know not everyone can actually leave their house for the night. Some folks do not have a partner at home or the ability to secure overnight help. Others may have a partner on an opposite work schedule. For some it may not be financially feasible. There’s a host of additional valid reasons why taking a mom break might be out of reach. But a variation of it could be in the cards for you, and it could be just what you need every once in a while. A more budget-friendly way of doing this is to add a it to a wishlist that multiple family members — like parents, adult siblings, etc. — can contribute to for a birthday, Mother’s Day, or another gift-giving holiday!)
Where to go
One of my favorite spots is on the coast in the North Shore of Massachusetts. In my book, nothing beats a sunset over the water. Most recently I stayed at The Cove in Rockport, MA, and last year I went to the Beauport Hotel in Gloucester, MA. I highly recommend both — which are very different from each other and provide distinct and wonderful experiences. That said, any boutique inn or bed and breakfast, or even an Airbnb (although they don’t often allow one-night bookings), can do the trick.
Time to let go
The idea is to have close to 24 hours to yourself in a relaxing environment, with no expectations other than to let yourself do whatever you feel like doing. If you must leave detailed instructions at home ahead of time, do so. If you must check in before your kid’s bedtime, do so. You know yourself and you know what needs to be done; but whatever is not absolutely necessary, try to let go of it for this one night! And focus on you!
Ready? Get to work dropping those hints or putting the request for a “mom break” in a wish list. If the gift needs to include having family, friends, or a sitter come stay at your house for the night, get someone to pencil a date! And once you’ve got your gift and can book your night away, pack that bag with cozy jammies and socks, a bath bomb if the hotel room has a tub, a couple of books, and a journal! And have a wonderful, decompressing, and relaxing break… because you deserve it!