Moms, hear me out. Take a solo vacation. Seriously. It’s amazing. Whenever I travel without my husband or kids, people assume it must be lonely, or that they weren’t able to tag along for some reason, or (probably) that I’m selfish. But none of those things are true. It’s an excellent opportunity to relax and recharge and come back as a more connected mom.
I am a certified introvert and I work in a highly extroverted job. I’m also raising two of the biggest extroverts on the planet. They always want to go, and do, and be around people. I love doing that with them too because I like watching them grow into who they’re slowly becoming. But, it’s absolutely exhausting. I don’t get that same benefit from the going and the doing and the peopling as they do. I find myself tired, and less than enthusiastic, and worst of all, short-tempered or moody after a while. What works for them just isn’t what works for me.
But also, and I’m guessing many of us are like this, I give my “mom time” 100%, as often as I can. I phone it in for sure sometimes (there is only so much energy available in the world to listen to yet another Pokemon discussion), but I like to play and travel with them, to snuggle up and read books, to go for walks or a bike ride, or just listen to them talk about their day. In order for me to be able to do this as much as I like, I need a chance to turn the “mom” off for a bit and just be “Kim.”
Just over a year ago, I had a particularly stressful season at work. I was completely worn out physically and emotionally. My amazing partner suggested that I take a week-long, solo trip. I thought he was joking, but thankfully he wasn’t. I planned a super on-the-cheap mountain getaway in a tiny Airbnb and spent 5 glorious days not talking to anyone. Seriously. Other than ordering food, there were no words. Good night’s sleep, hot shower, hot *food* (moms, seriously, when is the last time you got to eat fresh, hot food?!), doing activities I wanted to do in a schedule that worked for me… it was heaven. It absolutely would not have been possible without my husband rocking his solo parenting skills, and his selflessness just made the time away even more special. I’m a mountain girl who now lives in the flatland, so just being out in nature was so good for my soul. I came home ready to re-engage and give my family the undivided attention they deserved.
It doesn’t have to be a week, and it certainly doesn’t have to be expensive, but I can’t suggest getting away strongly enough! Maybe you’re more of a “be around people” type, so take the girls’ trip, or add an extra day to a work trip, or sneak away to a hotel in town for just a night. Give yourself a chance to take a break and have fun without someone being dependent on you for just a bit.
It’s a gamechanger.