Let’s face it, a mom can get burned out mentally, physically and emotionally simply from trying to juggle it all. A constantly busy schedule with a lack of downtime is often the culprit, leaving mom feeling raw, reactive and even - sometimes - kind of desperate.
Does a whole half-day to yourself sound impossible? Well, maybe not! Half a day away adds up to just six hours of you-time. And, if your kids are school-age, six hours is the length of a typical school day anyway, making a half-day retreat the perfect chance for you to slip away from the siren call of chores, bills and shopping.
So 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, even if it sounds like an indulgence. And don’t worry about the cost - just 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 a mini-getaway for mom work? Let me break it down for you.
3. Plan your escape. Make sure each child will be cared for, whether at school, with the sitter or at an extended playdate with a trusted friend. Prep your spouse. Once he understands that the goal here is a happier helpmate, there is no doubt he 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 the decision. They will soon 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 also your bag with items you don’t want to forget. Get up early. Get the kids up a little early. Keep everyone on track and get out the door on time. No need to remind the kids what you are doing on your special day. Just give them a kiss, tell them to have a great day and you’ll see them after school, as usual. After all, making time for mom should be normal, not abnormal.
1. Keep in touch. So long as you have your cell phone, and assuming it’s a regularly scheduled day, there is nothing for you to worry about. Keep your phone in your pocket but resist the urge to check it constantly. 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 just because you are taking some time to relax. Truly. And if your day is interrupted, don’t let it discourage you. Relax and enjoy any amount of time you can get this time, and then try again next week or next month.
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 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 giving 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.
Message to working moms – Work at home or away from home? Then you really deserve a half-day just for you! Some working moms might have a couple of personal days left at the end of the vacation year that can be cashed in on a Friday or a Monday. And work-at-home moms can usually squeeze a five-day workload into four days to give themselves an extra weekend day once in a while. Plan ahead, communicate what you need with superiors, and get your day on your schedule ahead of time to make sure it actually happens. Otherwise, relaxation for mom is likely to fall off the bottom of the list.
Seven relaxing ways to spend a mom getaway day
1. Spa trip. How about a massage and a hot tub soak?
2. Long lunch. Bring a really good book or a stack of magazines.
3. Shopping day. Your favorite location, try on as much as you like with no interruptions.
4. Museum tour. Seen any good exhibits lately?
5. Movie matinee. That rom-com nobody wants to see but you? Now you can.
6. Salon day. Hair, nails and toes – make a day of it!
7. Go antiquing or junking at nearby shops and thrift stores. You’ll get inspired to update your décor for less.
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. Her latest book is Permission Granted, 45 Reasons To Micro-Publish.
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