Momcations – what is it and why is it needed?
Can we talk about the elephant in the room? I know that could mean lots of things, but I am thinking in particular of the fact that Mom burnout is a real thing. Until there is a true and fair division of labor among Moms and Dads, Moms are going to require some time away. Momcations can help with Mom burnout. Dads require one too, but they typically have an easier time getting away.
What is a Momcation?
A Momcation according to the Urban Dictionary is “a break from one’s motherly duties”. Typically, they mean a few days to a week away, but that may not be possible until your kids are older. (I had a really hard time being away from my kids for more than a few hours until they were in school – and that is okay too). However, even a break of a few hours can work wonders in terms of your not becoming experiencing Mom burnout.
Momcations can help with Mom burnout by getting you away from all of the responsibilities that typically go with being a parent for a brief time. We all can get overwhelmed with the sheer number of tasks required to take care of a household, let alone adding the care of dependents. Children are called dependents for a reason – depending on their age they are entirely DEPENDENT on you for everything. Naturally, this can be a bit exhausting at times.
Why is a Momcation Needed?
As much as we all love our kids (and I love mine more than anything), there are times when you just need a break. Whether or not you work outside your home for a living, you can be exhausted from the demands of your job, household and all the juggling. Or if you stay home as a full-time Mom and are always “on”, you probably need a break including some adult time.
Parents.com’s article “Why You Should Book a Momcation” quotes psychologist Nava Silton, PhD. She spoke with Fox News 5 NY, noting that, “Motherhood can be very stressful, whether it’s financial stresses, time stresses, just trying to get a whole lot done in a very short period of time. I think it’s really important for mothers to be rejuvenated and refreshed.”
How Do I make it happen? Momcation Ideas for the Various ages of your kids
Every stage has its good and bad points. There are many excellent parts about the baby stage – for example, baby snuggles and being totally enamored of your child. The only bad part is the 24/7 nature of being on the job at this stage which can wear you out physically in no time. Napping when the baby naps can be a small win. Hopefully, you can rely on your spouse or parents to watch the baby for a bit so you can take a break.
It has been many years now, but I can still remember vividly the delight I had in even going to the grocery store by myself. You just need a small block of time – even an hour is good. So, when someone offers, you should try to do it. Take care, especially with your first child, as there is really no way to be prepared for how physically tired you will be. Building up your “reserves” of energy by taking a break can work wonders to avoid getting burned out.
Toddlers are such fun. Adorable, exciting, every day is like Christmas as they discover the world. Of course, now they can sleep through the night, but their energy more than rivals the Energizer Bunny. I had two girls 20 months a part, so 2 toddlers at the same time. Everyday my house looked like a bomb had gone off. After a while, I defaulted to the once a day clean up. You can easily get exhausted just from trying to prevent them from writing all over the walls, taking all the books off the bookshelf, flushing their toys down the toilet, etc.
Breaks for Mom (and Dad) are a good plan at this stage too. Once they are old enough to attend preschool, you may find yourself with a few hours to do errands, work on a project, etc. Take advantage of those found hours and do something that restores you to YOU.
Once they are in old enough to go to school, they are also old enough to entertain themselves for awhile (with you in the house of course!). So, this can give you pockets of time throughout the day when you can work on what you need to do. Of course, your kids will still come to you and ask you a million questions before lunch time, but when they are gone to school all day, you will miss those interruptions.
Now is a good time, for both your future independence (Mom and kids), to plan date nights with your spouse or time out with your friends to rediscover who you are again. It is easy to lose sight of being anything other than Mom after you have done it for a while. It is okay, it is all part of the parent journey. You will find yourself again.
Middle and High School
At this age, your kids are pretty self-sufficient in terms of taking care of their day to day needs (yet they still refuse to put away things unless prodded repeatedly- what is that?). Days can go by when it will seem like they only need you for rides, things they have forgotten, etc.
BUT, your kids do need you more than ever – just on a totally different level. You are more their therapist, life coach and (still) disciplinarian now. They need you emotionally and to help them navigate and figure out their place in the world. However, don’t be surprised if this doesn’t come across in their day to day interactions with you. (Not cool, Mom).
Most likely, you will need a break from their pre-teen and teenage attitudes and mouths. Hopefully, you can get away for a weekend or two a year to be with real adults.
Mom Burnout is real – momcations can help with mom burnout
All of these ages go by so fast. You might think you should just be there always. But, Mama, go slow on that notion. Please be on the look out for any signs of Mom burnout. Mom burnout can look like irritability or the need to indulge in “numbing out” with food, drink, games on your phone, etc. If you ever find yourself screaming at your kids, you are long overdue for a time out for you,
Mom burnout is real. You aren’t a bad parent – just human and tired. There is no shame in asking for help, as we have all been there. Women have done this parenting gig successfully forever, taking breaks is okay. Your kids will love and appreciate you even more when you come back from a quick hour or later a weekend away.
And, then your kids and you can see all the beauty in being a family again instead of just all the work. So, Mom, go and enjoy yourself, and when you get back from your Momcation, you will be a more patient Mom in return.
Resource List for Moms
If you need some help in other areas of being a Mom, here are a few resources for running a house and taking good care of you. Actually, this whole website is geared just for that, but I will select a few.
- Easy Ways of Household Management for Moms
- Back to School for Moms (Routines and Me Time)
- Summer Activities for Kids that Keep Mom Sane
- 7 Self-Care Areas for Women You Need to Know
- How to Have Fun Again When You Forget How
What do you think about the idea of Momcations? Are you ready to plan your hours or days away? Let me know in the comments below. Enjoy!