Updated: Apr 13, 2021
I have discovered the Momcation and now I want to encourage every mom to do it! It was amazing and I am already planning my next one!
I've been raising kids for 16 years and this was so needed! A few weeks ago, after an explosion of tears in my therapist's office, she suggested that I take a weekend all to myself to recharge. I swear to you, it was like Charlie finding the Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. I walked out of her office with the energy equivalent of a bell-kick on my way to the car! I haven't taken much time to myself in years - let alone, to be "prescribed" time ALONE felt so exciting and scary and magical all at the same time. Since becoming a mom, 2 things that I never even noticed before I had kids suddenly became very valuable to me:
1. Being Alone
Time has become my most valuable resource. What do I want for my birthday? Time. Christmas present? Time. I prefer to have free time, which is a valuable commodity for a mother. The second most valuable thing a mother could have? Being alone. We love our children with our whole being, but having someone hanging from you or asking you to do something, make something, fix something, wipe something, hold something...drains you of your energy. And if I have learned anything from my mindfulness practice, it is that we MUST take care of ourselves and our energy. We cannot pour from an empty cup! So if we want to be able to have the patience and love and caring that is needed to parent in the best way we know how, we MUST take the time to replenish our energy. We have to take a break to fill up our cup! For many of us, me included, we did not see our mothers do this, so this might be a new concept. My mom never took a break, if memory serves me correctly. I am certain that she could have used one, but it wasn't possible or commonly done in the 80's, so it wasn't even something that she ever considered. "Good moms" didn't take breaks back then. "Good moms" just gave and gave and sacrificed for their kids. Breaking with this idea and remembering that I am a good mom BECAUSE I am taking a break took a little work. I hesitated for a second, but then I listened to my instincts (and my extremely supportive husband who all but packed my bags and shoved me out the door!) So if you are reading this and there is any doubt in your mind if taking a break would make you a good or a bad mom, I'm here to tell you, you will still be a great mom if you take a weekend to yourself! You will, most likely, be an even better mom if you take sometime to recharge yourself!
So my husband and I checked the calendars, and I planned my getaway! Off to the beach I went! I packed all the food that I loved - not having to worry about picky eaters or different diets. Just my food! I made myself my favorite breakfast the first morning:
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes
Moms, do you know how magical it is to make WHATEVER YOU WANT to eat?!? You're not eating scraps off a plate or leftovers or something you really weren't in the mood to eat. You are 100% eating what you want. I put on some really good beach music from my UCSB buddy, Jack Johnson, and savored every single bite! No interruptions.
I walked on the beach, meditated, did yoga, watched the sunrise and did not once rush back to make breakfast for anyone. I pick up shells and looked for the elusive whole sand dollar. ONE DAY! One day I will find another whole one!
And I lay in bed, cozied up, read my book, and wrote in my journal. I found myself to be, not only more focused, but more creative when I had extended alone time. My brain had time to settle on something longer than a few minutes and marinate in ideas and thoughts more thoroughly. That was the most surprising to me! I hadn't realized that just having extended time to think and ponder would allow me to access more creative thinking simply because I didn't have any distractions or stress. In hindsight, it seems so obvious, but at the time it hadn't even occurred to me!
Oh, and my favorite beach house past time, PUZZLES! I would say that an RBG puzzle was just about perfect!
(Thanks Becky Restum!😘)
And of course, what mom's weekend away is complete without a good soak in the tub with an awesome book? (The Archer by Paulo Coelho)
So mamas, let go of any guilt you may have, get out your calendars, and remember that a weekend, a day, an afternoon, or even just a good old yoga class, not only benefits you, but your whole family. Recruit some help with the kiddos! Call your girlfriends, mom, mother-in law, husband, and neighbors and get the help you deserve to take some time to yourselves! Remember that we are writing history for our children. Let them see you take care of yourselves. Let your daughters learn what mental health and self care looks like. Let them see you at your peak happiness instead of frazzled, stressed, overbooked, overworked, or drained! Our children deserve us at our best and we deserve to be living our best life. Let's make Momcations a regular thing! We deserve it!
I know that not every mom has the means or time to getaway, so I have some more mini-momcation ideas that are coming soon! It was so good for me and I know that it will be good for all mamas to take some time, so I am going to come up with a few various ways you can get a mini-getaway without spending much (or any money) or leaving your home!