The Benefit of Moms Getaway Trips
Four years ago, a close friend invited my group of friends (almost all moms) to celebrate her birthday in Santa Ynez for an overnight wine tasting trip. At the time, my kids were four and one so I was on the fence about whether to go. Thankfully, I realized that a 40th birthday is a major milestone and my kids would survive without me for 48 hours.
That weekend was transformative for all of us moms. We all work full time and don’t take much time away from our kids out of mom guilt. The thing is, I truly believe we are better moms to our kids because we get away. I’m not the only one because now all seven of us participate in the annual girls trip (six of us are moms) and it is now a two-night trip.
Our annual trip takes place every August, just before our kids go back to school and the madness starts up again. The timing works out best for all of us since our kids have looser summer schedules so there isn’t a huge burden on our husbands for those 3-4 days that we’re gone.
It’s funny, because when I tell people that I go on an annual girls trip, I get one of two reactions. Either the fellow mom also gets away regularly and totally appreciates the benefits of a getaway or they have never gone away and are either jealous or judgey. My thoughts on the judgey moms is that they just don’t understand how beneficial a getaway is for every member of the family, not just me.
If you haven’t taken time away from your family, I can’t recommend it enough. There are so many benefits to you, your husband and kids.
Benefits of Taking A Mom Getaway
If you’re on the fence about a mom trip away from the family, here are just a few of the many perks of a mom getaway.
- You get to reconnect with the real you. I love my kids so much but being a mom isn’t the only part of my identity. I’m not as free or as fun as I’d like to be because kids need structure and sticking to a daily schedule isn’t exactly free. When I’m away from it all with my girlfriends, I return to the old, pre-kids me. It helps me return to my normal self and handle parenting a little more lightly.
- You don’t have to worry about anyone else’s needs. Day in and day out, my primary focus is to care for the needs of others. I provide snacks and food and keep other people clean and handle their entertainment, among 500,000 other mom tasks, usually before I care for myself. One weekend a year, I get to only care for my own needs. I don’t have to dine in a restaurant that has food choices my kids enjoy, I can take a leisurely shower or a nap without making sure the needs of someone else are met first. I only have to feed and dress myself. I can’t express how refreshing this is. It puts me in a different state of mind when I return home and I no longer resent having to always put others ahead of myself.
- You get to spend time with grown people who know the real you, not just the mom you. Now, this is only true if you go away with pre-kid friends, but it is really nice to be with people who know the fun, carefree me, not the stressed out exhausted mom. Even if you go away with friends you met post-parenting, they’ll get to know the real you, not the “mom” you.
- Your spouse/partner becomes more confident in his/her parenting ability. I am guilty of just doing things myself because it’s faster/easier, which probably makes my husband feel like I don’t trust his ability. For one weekend a year, he is the sole decision maker/parent. He has the opportunity to bond with the kids in his own way without my interference.
- The kids form a stronger bond with their dads. I know my kids aren’t the only kids who will walk right past dad to ask me to do something he can easily do. Or, my kids look to me for comfort when they are upset, not their dad. Having one-on-one time with just dad allows them to form a tighter bond with their dad. Now, don’t get excited, they still come to me first when I’m here, but they know that dad is just as capable of handling things if I happen to be busy or away. This is especially great in my case since there are times that I’m too sick to parent and dad needs to be their first choice.
- The kids see me as a whole person. I want my kids to see me as a regular person who has friends and healthy relationships. I want them to be healthy, whole adults and the best way to ensure that they care for themselves is by modeling that behavior. It’s good for my kids to see that mom has a life outside of just being a mom – it is what I would want for them when they are adults!
All of those benefits aside, it can be pricey to take a trip without your family. If finances are an issue, you can still benefit from time away from your family. Here are some lower cost or free things you can do with your girlfriends that allow you to reap similar benefits.
- Use the options you have. For two years, my group of friends did our moms getaway at a friend’s parent’s empty condo in Palm Springs. We brought our own food and drinks and spent the entire weekend in the pool. It was low-cost and easy. The pool was empty because no one goes to Palm Springs in August but we didn’t care how hot it was, we were away, together. Do you have a friend who has a family vacation home? Can one of your husbands take the kids to the grandparents for a weekend? Think outside the box!
- Join/Form a Book Club: Even if you do take an annual trip, a book club is a great way to take time for yourself with your girlfriends. I am in a monthly book club with moms from my oldest son’s preschool. We have been at it for almost five years! My book club nights are the highlight of my month and my kids get to see mom doing something with her friends. As a bonus, it also allows them to see mom reading books, which helps them appreciate reading.
- Schedule a Pampering Day: If you can’t commit to a monthly book club or just don’t enjoy reading, coordinate a pampering day with a few mom friends. Either do a day at a spa or send your husband and kids away for an afternoon and do an at-home session with your friends. You can do at home face masks and do your nails together.
- Volunteer With Mom Friends: If you are feeling a little burned out from having nothing going on other than your family (which of course is hugely important), consider gathering a group of friends and doing a volunteer activity together. Maybe you spend a day volunteering with Habitat for Humanity or maybe you do something for your child’s school, it doesn’t matter what the activity is as long as you do something together. While volunteering may seem like you’re just giving more of yourself up, the truth is, people who volunteer usually are happier after doing it. It can also help you bond with new friends and even better, it teaches your kids to give back to others.
I love my kids, but there is more to me than being a mom. Unfortunately, in the day to day, that gets lost. Taking time away with my girlfriends helps me reconnect with myself and allows me to appreciate my family. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Or, even better, my brother-in-law likes to say, “Happy wife, happy life.” I really think this is true because when I am burned out and unhappy, I can’t be a good mom to my kids or a good wife to my husband. Taking time for me lets me be a happy wife/mom.
Do you take time away from your family?