I think mommy away time is invaluable for the entire family. I have been away over night 2 times since I have had kids. The first was on a 3 night trip to Lisbon with a friend. This was EPIC. So much fun but I must admit that it was a little much for the first time. I thought about my son constantly and probably talked about him more than my single bff really wanted! The second was really recent. I went on a 1 night trip with a mommy friend, only 1 1/2 hour away. At the time I thought that only one night was better but now I’m not so sure. It probably should have been 2 nights. It’s so important for a mom to get away over night.
I’m always shocked at the reaction I get when I tell moms that I go away for the night.
- “and you don’t have family around to help”
- “what will your husband do? “
- “and your husband takes care of the kids?”
- “does he cook?”
- “I could never be away from my kids for even one night”
- and my favorite: “Your husband lets you do that? “
Moms need to have at least one “away night”every year. Honestly I think it should be way more often but financially it’s not always possible.
- Mom gets away. This is important for 2 reasons. Moms need to get away! We need time to relax and refocus. It makes us better moms! It also allows moms to separate from their kids a little. My kids are the most important people in my life, they are my whole world, but this isn’t forever. They need to become independent beings able to function on their own and this needs to happen faster than any new parent wants to admit. Separating a bit or “cutting the apron strings” is important. Now before anyone calls me neglectful, all I’m saying is that it’s good to relinquish control for a little while.
- This also leads me to the next HUGE reason mommy’s need to get away: Dad. Again, there are few things that will happen. First, Dad will understand what a mommy does all day. They should know, but often they don’t. Or maybe they don’t fully grasp the fact that it’s very common for moms to have not gone to the bathroom without a small child on their lap in years. I know that work is stressful ( I wasn’t always a stay at home) but taking care of kids all day is a different kind of stress and it’s really important that everyone can understand what Mom is handling on a daily basis. Second, he will have some quality bonding time with his children. This is really important! My husband spends about an hour with the kids in between the time he gets home from work and their bedtime. Multiply this by 5 days and It’s a very short amount of time.
- mommies need to understand that other people can handle things. I have seen to many women get themselves into this “I am the only one who can take care of the kids “mindset. All this leads to is burnout. Two years down the road mom is crying because she has to do everything and is getting no break and no support and dad is confused and frustrated because he was never aloud to help with anything and this is all taking him by surprise.
- The kids need to learn that there are other people who love them and can help them. If I had to identify myself with one parenting label it would be attachment parenting or gentle parenting. I am a co-sleeping, baby wearing, breastfeeding kinda mommy. That being said, I am not the only one my kids should turn to if they need help. I am with my kids all day, every day. It’s really easy for them to run to me for everything. Although I love feeling important and valued it is also important for them to know that there are other people in the world that love them and can care for them as much as I do.
So why is all this so difficult for a stay at home parent?
Our kids and house are our whole world. The parent who works outside the home has a way to be valued that is very tangible. You work. You get a pay check. Stay-at-homes don’t get this. It’s like our entire self worth is in the fact that we are needed by our kids. This is a very dangerous thing. If a mom feels that her husband can’t cook, clean, take care of the kids it leaves mom with a huge job that at some point she will fail at. I’m sorry. I consider myself Super Mom, but I know that I can’t handle everything.
If parenting is a job, I deserve a break from time to time. I breast fed my daughter for about 15 months. I was attached to her at the boob, literally. My husband and I weaned her in Dec. (I say my husband and I, but honestly he did all the hard work) and I went away for a night with a friend 2 weeks later.
It was only 1 night and we were a 1 1/2 hour train ride away, but still. I was away!!
I was missing my kids like crazy by the time I got home but I thoroughly enjoyed my “away time”.
My kids learned that they could go to daddy with some of their problems. My husband learned that having 2 kids under the age of 4 is a very difficult but rewarding thing to experience every day. I learned that someone else could handle things if I am gone. I also learned that although I sometimes miss the calm and quiet life I had before I had kids I wouldn’t trade a minute of it.
And I think that’s the most important part of mommy away time.