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Relaxed, Refreshed, and Ready for Anything: Half a Day Away for Mom

A mom can get burned out mentally, physically, and emotionally from trying to juggle it all. A busy schedule with a lack of downtime is often the culprit, leaving mom feeling raw, reactive, and even desperate. Does a half-day to yourself sound impossible? Maybe not! Half a day away adds up to just six hours of you-time. If your kids are school-age, six hours is the length of a school day anyway, making a half-day retreat the perfect chance for you to slip away.

If you have never considered the possibility of a little escape before, maybe it’s time to try. Planning a half-day getaway may be just what the doctor ordered. And don’t worry about cost - spend whatever you can afford. In a few short hours, you can reclaim your sense of self and return home feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready for anything.

How does the countdown to a mini-getaway work?

1. Plan your escape. Make sure each child will be cared for, whether at school, with the sitter, or at an extended playdate. Prep your spouse. Once your spouse understands the goal here is a happier helpmate, there is no doubt they will be supportive. Communicate calmly and clearly about your decision to take a little time for you and no one will question the practicality of your decision. Your spouse will discover soon enough that when mom is happy, the whole family is happier, too.

2. Prepare the day before. Have the morning routine smoothly planned. Prepare lunches the night before. Pack the kids’ backpacks and your bag with items you don’t want to forget for your getaway. Get up early. Get the kids up a bit earlier. Keep everyone on track and out the door on time. No need to remind the kids what you are doing on your special day. Give them a kiss, tell them to have a great day and you’ll see them after school. After all, making time for mom should be normal, not abnormal.

Keep in touch. As long as you have your cell phone, there is nothing to worry about. Keep your phone in your pocket but resist the urge to constantly check it. If a child comes down with the flu or skips a nap and becomes inconsolable, you are only a phone call away. But don’t expect imminent disaster or it might undermine your fun. Chances are very good that the world won’t stop spinning because you are taking time to relax. If your day is interrupted, don’t let this discourage you. Relax and enjoy whatever amount of time you can get this time, and then try again next week or next month. The more you practice, the better you will get at taking a half-day away.

Escape on a shoestring

You don’t have to spend a lot to take a day to yourself. Six hours to yourself is relaxing, no matter how much you spend. Pull together your escape bag. Pack a lunch. Check out some magazines from the library. Window shop. Eat at a bakery or sandwich shop. Check out free or low-cost museum days. Take advantage of matinee prices. Or just meander around a nearby city or town without a plan. If you end up walking around the park, enjoying the day, and phoning friends because it’s something you never seem to have time to do at home, embrace it. Your primary goal is taking good care of you, whatever you decide that means, and gives everyone else a chance to take care of themselves without you. It’s important for every mom to practice relying on others, so this ability doesn’t get too rusty.

Christina is a diligent, multi-tasking work-at-home mom, but she can tell when it’s time to get the heck out of dodge.

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