This may be obvious, but moms need a break. And not just a couple hours for brunch while your phone blows up because someone at home can’t find their favorite socks, but an actual get-away. A day or three to come down from it all and decompress. I know this doesn’t happen often – because it’s a lot of work to hand off the mom-agenda, because life is too busy and complicated to plan it, and because we don’t want to miss out. We don’t want to be away for our son’s preschool drop-off or daughter’s best friend’s birthday party. Therefore, to plan and execute a proper get-away takes commitment, and with all that it demands, we often need convincing.
Despite the hang-ups, there are many reasons we should do it. Put in the work to hand over the reigns – who eats what, what time kid #1 has sports, and when kid #3 has the dentist. All to get to a place where we finally get to breathe, to think about our lives and rest. It is then, that a magical thing happens – we open up the opportunity for the girl to immerge. She is different for all of us, some know her well and others haven’t seen her for years, but we all have her. The girl, who stays up late and takes a nap when she wants to – the one that belly-laughs with friends and lives fairly care-free – the girl who comes back when we allow her the space. It may take a day before she finds her way out, but eventually when the dust settles and details no longer rule our minds, she arrives. And, do you know what? That girl is fun. She’s everything you remember her being, and seeing her again gives the comfort of an old friend. The shadows that busyness have casted over her draw back, and she is alive and well.
Having a break gives us a chance to see who we are again, when we are at our best. When we are relaxed and the only person we have to take care of is ourselves. I don’t mean to say that we can’t be ourselves at home with our little ones, but we often enter into our children’s worlds when they are small. They don’t understand adult humor, so we join in with theirs. They don’t converse about world matters, so we chat about sea creatures and Legos. We revolve around our children because they quite literally need us to survive. And if we have a partner we most likely haven’t seen all day – the evenings can seem all too short. By the time the kids are asleep we are often tired from a day of responsibilities, and are no longer at the top of our game. There just aren’t as many invitations sent to the girl.
Get-aways, either with a partner or girlfriends (both having their own significance), allow us a chance to come down, have some perspective outside our detailed existence, and relax. They remind us what we think is funny, and to be spontaneous. They keep us fresh and engaged, and bring back the girl. While we don’t always need her there, it is important that we touch base with her from time to time. Because when things quiet down, and the children need less, we want her to be there. The girl who grew up with us over the years because we had the time to self-reflect. The one that reminds us what we like, who we love, and what we believe in. And because we never lost touch, we will not be lost after the years of heightened demands because she kept us grounded and confident, reminding us who we are.