“Secure your oxygen mask before assisting someone else.”
If you have ever flown on an airplane that is what you are instructed to do if there is a loss of cabin pressure. Funny line from a recent flight – the flight attendant said, “After securing your mask, if you have more than one child to assist, pick the one with the most potential.” 🙂
As mothers, we sometimes forget that our physical and mental well-being are just as important as those we care for. God’s design for women is to have a natural tendency to care for and nurture. We must remember that for us to properly care for others, we need to take care of our own well-being. We should embrace our roles as women and mothers, but also know when to speak up and express our needs.
Earlier in the year, I recognized that I needed a little break from the monotonous world of being a stay-at-home mom. I also knew a good friend of mine, (Tara) could use the same. Tara had recently moved from Wichita to Orlando and had no family or close friends there to be her village as she raises 4 super cute kids. We figured out a weekend that would work for a mom’s weekend getaway on the beach about 2 hours from where Tara lives.
The weekend that fit our schedules happened to be Mother’s Day weekend. Part of me felt a little guilty about being away for Mother’s Day, but the rest of me realized that being away on Mother’s Day meant I was truly free of my mom duties. Let’s be real, rarely do moms get to fully relax and enjoy Mother’s Day. We spend the weekend squeezing in multiple events to celebrate all the moms in our lives. It’s just how it is and our nurturing nature wouldn’t have it any other way.
There are many reasons why I think mommies need to have a strong network of girlfriends and to make time for each other:
- Moms need downtime. Sometimes it’s just going to a hair appointment by yourself, grabbing coffee with a friend or daddy taking the kids on a Saturday morning so you can sleep in and get ready without an audience while you shower.
- Investing in relationships. If we do our jobs as mom right, our kids will eventually move out and be self-supporting adults. When that day comes we are left with our spouse and our friends. The time you invest in your marriage and friendships now will determine your happiness in your life down the road. Positive, healthy bonds we develop with our spouses and girlfriends will last a lifetime.
- It’s good for our kids. Our kids need to separate from us. My kids have always done well being left with grandparents if we are both gone and they are fine if Dustin is gone, but I had not been away by myself for 4 years. It was really hard for Nina (my 8 year-old). She cried the night before I left and she cried at school the days I was gone. Never mind that 3 days before I left she said her life would be better without her parents. Oh, the hormones!
- Allows dads to be dads. Dads need to play a strong role in parenting. It was great for Dustin to handle things without me. He always does a great job. They had a loose schedule of events and some food in the fridge. Tara’s husband gracefully managed to get 3 kids to soccer pictures and games by 8 a.m. Saturday morning. They went Mother’s Day gift shopping and he took all 4 kids out to eat a couple of times. Let’s be honest, dads are more fun. They let the kids eat just about whatever they want. They look past the clutter and mess and just create, build and live in the moment with the kids. Moms have a harder time letting loose with the list of ‘to dos’ that is constantly running through our minds.
So, what did Tara and I do during our weekend? A lot. We did anything we wanted to do and did it at our leisure without interruption. It. Was. Amazing! We were at the beach for less than 48 hours and here is all we accomplished:
- Souvenir shopping. We had to grab a few things for the kiddos back home.
- Ate yummy seafood
- Watched beautiful sunsets
- Soaked in the hot tub
- Slept in until 9 a.m. TWO days in a row!
- Sipped yummy coffee. Get this…while it was still hot!
- Ate a yummy salad for lunch ON THE BEACH!
- Lounged on the beach all afternoon only getting up when we needed to use the restroom. We didn’t have to assist anyone else with potty breaks!
- Enjoyed frosty beverages on the beach and they were FREE! It’s like the hotel was paying us to be there!
- Collected seashells
- Watched HGTV while eating cheesecake in bed
- Drank mimosas in hammocks
- Ate a fantastic French Mother’s Day breakfast
If you need proof that this was an amazing trip, just look at these pictures! We stayed at the Sheraton Sand Keys in Clearwater, FL – beautiful location and lots of activities. Tagging along with us were two small puppies – Daisy and Pickles. They had a blast and sent pictures of their adventures back to our kids.
Another thing we did was just talk. We talked about everything under the sun without interruption! It. Was. Amazing. We covered all kinds of topics like:
- Our kids. It was hard to not talk about them, even if we tried not to.
- Decorating – paint colors, furniture, etc.
- Parenting struggles – covered them all
- ‘Snagging’ – the constant nagging our kids do for snacks! When will it end?
- Tape – really kids, how do you go through so much Scotch tape?
- Balancing working from home and being a stay-at-home mom
- The dishwasher! How we loath the dishes. Every penny we spent on this trip was worth it just to get away from dishes!
- Dreams of future kid-free vacations
- Laundry – the never ending piles and wondering if our husbands did any while we were gone. Yes, they did!
- Our messy vehicles and how our kids could live off the crumbs they leave behind in their seats
- Friendship and its importance.
- How great it was that we planned this trip and how much we needed it
I highly recommend scheduling a mom’s getaway. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive. Just call up a girlfriend or two and make your getaway happen!