I’m sure that many of you saw the recent articles about the benefits of “momcations”, and I think it should come as no surprise that taking a little break from the demands of your children every now and then is a good thing for moms. I’m the first person to applaud another mom for getting away for awhile, but for me this has always been difficult. As a stay at home mom with no family around, I’m with my kids ALL the time. I have also breastfed both of my kids for an extended period of time, and since I’m home with them most of the time I don’t do a whole lot of pumping which has made the idea of getting away feel difficult. When Everett was young we had a family friend who lived in Portland and would babysit for us and since she has moved away we found an awesome and convenient babysitting service (Spilt Milk Nannies) that we use for occasional date nights. I also recently started getting my nails done every few weeks to have a little scheduled time away and if you read my last blog post you saw that I’m starting to work out again and using the childcare at the gym to have that time for myself. Date nights, workouts, and mani/pedis are all great but we need more than a few hours away to really recharge.
When Everett was 16 months old I went away for a weekend for my best friend’s bachelorette party. Bryston stayed home with Everett and they had a great time together- it was a very good thing for all of us! After that weekend, Bryston and I always planned to leave Ev with my parents and take a vacation on our own, but life (and cancer and pregnancy) seemed to always get in the way and it never happened. The second time that I left Everett with someone else overnight was when I went to the hospital to give birth to Arden and that definitely doesn’t count as a momcation. So now here we are, 15 and a half months later and I just left Arden and Everett with Bryston for the very first time.
After months of feeling like I just needed a break, I made the sort of last minute decision to go to a Beautycounter training in LA. My parents live in Southern California and my mom is a Beautycounter consultant on my team so she went to the training with me. I signed up for the training and then booked a flight and really didn’t think too much about the trip until a few days before I left. I wasn’t even gone for a full 48 hours and I was completely confident that Bryston could handle everything at home, but the nerves set in as I got ready to head to the airport. Bryston suggested that I take Lyft instead of having them drive me and I almost cried- they ended up driving me. Once I said goodbye and got settled at PDX I got over my nerves, when you’re so used to having your kids around all the time it’s a little unsettling to be out in the world by yourself. I bought a kombucha and a Honey Mama’s chocolate bar (thank goodness for awesome “healthy” treats at PDX) and boarded my flight. I had picked up Rachel Hollis’ book Girl, Wash Your Face and every mom knows what a treat it is to just be able to sit and read a book on an airplane!
Side note: there was a family that was trying to fly standby on our flight. It seemed like they weren’t going to be able to fly, but at the last minute I saw who I assume was the grandmother and a probably almost 2 year old boy walking down the aisle to the row directly behind me. It took them a few minutes to get settled and the boy kept kicking the seat of the young guy who was sitting next to me. At one point he sort of looked over and rolled his eyes at me. I decided to hold my tongue, but if he had continued to act annoyed or had said anything to me he might have gotten an earful about how difficult it is to fly with children and how to shut up and deal with his slight annoyance. The little boy settled down and I didn’t hear another peep out of him for the rest of the flight- the toddler behind us was also quiet.
So as I was saying, I got to read Rachel Hollis’ book (such a good motivational read!) and listen to a couple of Balanced Bites podcasts and it was a completely lovely and uneventful flight. My mom and stepdad picked me up at the airport and I enjoyed an uninterrupted night of sleep before Saturday’s training. After the training my mom and I checked out Erewhon, a health food store in Venice and ate lunch there. We finished the day with a walk to Main St. and happy hour at a local restaurant before heading back home to sit in the hot tub and plan my grandma’s 80th birthday and my sister’s baby shower that are coming up in 3 weeks! After another uninterrupted night of sleep I woke up early to head back to the airport for another lovely, uneventful flight- I finished the book and watched To All The Boys I Loved Before on Netflix (such a great, feel good movie!!). Then I walked out of the airport and was greeted by my beautiful little family! Bryston did a great job taking care of things at home, the kids were awesome, and I got to recharge and come back motivated to work on my Beautycounter business, build this blog, and keep crushing the mom/wife game!
So I’m making a plan, my kids are now old enough to handle time away from me (and let’s be honest- this is really about my own feelings, they would’ve been fine long before now!!) and I need to make this a priority! I am committed to spending 48 hours (or more) away from my kids every quarter. In an ideal world I would love to have 2 weekends away for me (who’s coming with me?!), 1 weekend at home where Bryston or my parents take the kids somewhere else, and one getaway with Bryston (I figure he should get to come at least once a year). Luckily, I already have my next solo getaway planned for late January or early February when my baby niece decides to make her appearance!
I’ve been working on a bigger post on my overall philosophy on self care. It’s a topic that gets a lot of attention but I hope that I have some new ideas. The post is one that could be a forever work in progress because I think my philosophy on self care is certainly still a work in progress. But at the heart of it, it comes down to treating yourself just as well as you would treat anyone else who you love. So give yourself a break, you deserve it!