If you’re a mom who never takes a break to take care of herself, you are in dire need of a girlfriend getaway. A cup of tea or a girls’ night out with friends is great, but there’s nothing like a vacation to rejuvenate your body and soul. That’s why girlfriend getaways can be a great way to recharge your mom batteries.
Ideas for Getaways
Your idea of fun could be action-packed outdoor adventure or lounging around, watching movies and catching up. What matters is that your mom vacation should first and foremost be about taking care of someone you rarely get a chance to pamper: yourself. Here are some great vacation ideas for friends:
- Go on a yoga retreat. Prices vary, depending on where you want to go and how long you stay. At a typical retreat, you may find yourself doing 3 to 4 hours of yoga a day, eating healthy food, and getting spa treatments with your friends. It won’t be long before you become very used to being relaxed. Find the right yoga destination for you.
- Plan a hiking trip. Make sure the trails aren’t too difficult for anyone in your group. Depending on everyone’s ability and interest, you can hike for a few days and turn it into a camping trip or alternate hikes with other activities like sightseeing.
- Rent a cabin. Whether by the sea or in the mountains, hanging out in a picturesque cabin with friends can be a great way to catch up, relax, make dinner and watch movies -- all the things you rarely get a chance to do with your girlfriends anymore. By splitting the rental fee, you can also make it more affordable for everyone.
- Hit the town. If you love the excitement of a city, plan a trip centered around shopping, restaurants, museums and other adventures your favorite city has to offer.
Tips for a Happier Escape
- Start slowly. You don’t have to plan a week-long getaway. If the idea of going away for several days in a row is more stressful than enticing, then plan a short jaunt. Two or three days of zero responsibility may be enough to help you feel refreshed and ready for your life again.
- Expect some anxiety. If you miss your kids and your husband, that’s perfectly normal. So is feeling guilty about taking time for yourself. If you try to squelch those feelings, you’ll just end up feeling even more miserable. Instead, call your family, cut yourself some slack, and do something with your friends. You may find that it gets easier to enjoy yourself as you get more involved in activities.
- Remember the benefits of alone-time with dad. Your husband may not do things exactly as you do, but that can be a good thing. Your kids will not be irreparably harmed if they eat pizza every day or watch some extra DVDs. The important thing is that they’ll get to have special time alone with dad.
- Grade-school age kids can take on some responsibility. Your grade-schooler is no longer a dependent baby or toddler. You can enlist his help in taking care of the house while you are gone. Weeks before your departure, talk about the ways he can help dad around the house and fill in for you during your absence. Challenge him to make the house even neater than ever or give him a special project he can do with his dad while you are away.
- Don't call it a "getaway." Your grade-schooler may interpret that word to mean that you are getting away from him. Instead, emphasize the fact that this is a trip for you and other mommies who need to rest and relax so that they can be happier. Explain to your child that this is as important to you as playing with friends is important to him.
- It’s good for them to miss you! You know that old adage about not missing something good until it’s gone? One mom I talked to told me that her son said, “Mommy, I’m so glad to see you, my stomach is fluttering around my heart.” It can almost be worth going away to see how much your kids miss you!
- Still struggle with pangs of guilt? Don’t think about your vacation as something you’re doing just for you -- think of it as something you’re doing for your entire family. If you’re rested and relaxed, you will be a much better mommy, wife and caretaker.
Tips Ease Your Transition Back Home
- Getting back into the swing of things can be tough. You can easily lose all the relaxation you achieved on your girlfriend getaway the minute you walk in the door and have to deal with a messy house, cranky kids and a husband who’s eager to hand over the reins. To prevent a rough landing back home, try these preventive tricks:
- Ride out the emotional roller coaster. Kids can fall apart when they see you because they’ve been holding it together. Your grade-schooler might ignore you when you walk in, or he may even be a bit snippy with you. Remember when he was a toddler and he’d throw a tantrum when you came home after being gone a while? This is the big-kid version of that. Ride it out, give him some space, and he’ll come around before long for a hug.
- Talk about your time apart. When you have a quiet moment with your child, talk about what he did while you were gone. Tell him about your adventures. This will help reinforce the message that separate experiences and time apart can have some upsides, such reuniting and sharing stories of your individual adventures.