This year my family surprised me with an excellent gift for Mother’s Day: a Mom Vacation. If you have never heard about it, a mom-vacation is a yearly trip I take by myself, no kids, no partners, and even if I want with no company at all. It is a pause on my responsibilities as a mother. You see, it doesn’t matter how organized I am or how much support I have; there are days and seasons when my work as a mother leads me to burn out. The fatigue accumulates when I compress all my roles and interests in only 24 hours, and a restful period is needed.
Have you ever felt like that?
The other day I read that motherhood adds an estimated 33 extra hours of work during the week. Even if you have a great support system, motherhood can feel like a constant demand for decisions and schedules. Doctor's appointments, meal planning, birthday parties, extracurricular activities, and clean laundry… a family gives unconditionally love but requires coordinating calendars and means with precision. There are days I feel like a project manager in charge of cathedral construction.
“I’ve learned that when I start to feel motherhood as an obligation instead of a blessing, it is time to take some distance and rest.”
I know it is too easy to separate from the mother role, especially when we have little kids. However, the benefits of a mom-vacation exceed the effort, so I made a list of recommendations for packing a weekend suitcase and planning a first Mom Vacation.
5 steps to a first Mom Vacation
Start with a small plan. A 48-hour vacation does not seem much, but I can assure you that it is enough to disconnect, especially if it is the first time you are away from your little ones.
Make time to do something you love. Dancing, shopping, or just reading, the idea is to fill the vacation day with activities to get in touch with the person you were before becoming a mom.
Go to a child-free place. A fancy restaurant or an adult-only tour, enjoy a space that is out of your ordinary routine.
Leave the guilt behind. As a mom, I can write a book on guilt, so I’m sure you understand what I’m talking about. Rest is something that all human beings, especially mothers, need, so we have to learn to do it, leaving regrets out of the door.
Enjoy the hugs on your return. Once your body and energy are recharged, your kids’ hugs will feel more intense and warm.
It doesn’t matter the distance you take or the number of days you travel. The most important thing on a Mom Vacation is to focus your attention on something that recharges your energy. It’s to rest and free up your mind of decision-making. To return being the best version of yourself and enjoy every second of the blessing of being a mom.
Are you ready to plan your first Mom Vacation?
A version of this blog post was first written on Miami Mom Collective under the title ¿Te has tomado unas Vacaciones de mamá? In June 2019.