Let’s face it, you can get burned out mentally, physically, and emotionally simply from trying to juggle it all. A constantly busy schedule with a lack of down time is often the culprit, leaving mom feeling raw, reactive, and even sometimes, 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.
If you have never considered the possibility of a little escape, 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 the countdown to a mini-getaway for mom work? Let’s break it down:
1. 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 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.
3. 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 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.
Christina Katz is a diligent, multi-tasking work-at-home mom, but she can tell when it’s time to get the heck out of Dodge.
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 give 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 need to schedule 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 half day away on your calendar ahead of time to make sure it actually happens. Otherwise, relaxation for mom is likely to fall off the bottom of the list.