If you're a mom reading this you might be thinking "of course I need a vacation, I don't need anyone to tell me that" This is true. Every mom who works or stays at home knows that they need a break every now and then. But after going away for the first time since having my baby girl, I realized a few things about the importance of getting away.
Every mom has a different capacity and every child has different needs. I know some moms who appear to be able to go on for months without needing a break. For myself, I learned quickly that if I go longer then about a week without any sort of even a small break, I will become overwhelmed, anxious, irritable, and exhausted. Having good margins in my life is extremely important to my physical and emotional health. I've also learned 5 reasons for going on a vacation.
1. To Remember Who You Are
Having a baby can sometimes make you feel like you've lost yourself. Your identity is now primarily "mom." Your time and independence is taken away overnight. The first night I was away I flew to my best friends wedding in Canada. It almost felt like I was coming out of a fog that I'd been in for 16 months. It felt weird to be able to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. But it was also SO good for me. It was also a great bonding time for my husband and daughter who don't usualy get that long of a period of time together.
2. It's Good for Your Marriage
It's healthy to get away even if it's by yourself, but alone time with your husband is also so important. While Ben and I often go on date nights, there is something special about getting away for a few days alone. We recently had the opportunity to go to New York without Ellie. It was such a refreshing weekend for us to reconnect and share some fun experiences together without having to constantly think about Ellie. Even one night away can be beneficial for your marriage if a full out vacation isn't in the budget.
3. Mental Rest
Speaking of constantly thinking about Ellie, we all need a mental break. What stuck out to me the most my first night away was just how freed up my mind was. Yes, I needed physical rest, but I think what I needed most was a mental break. I didn't realize how consumed my mind was with thinking for Ellie all day until I got away for a few days. No wonder we can't remember anything! Our minds are so full of thinking for our children.
4. Physical Rest
Physical rest is a no-brainer. Moms need physical rest. A chance to sleep in, take a nap etc.
5. A Chance to Miss Your Children
I'm going to be honest, I don't miss my child when I put her to bed (I know some people do) and if I'm being super honest, I didn't miss her a lot when I was away. (yes I do love her) But I will say the second time I left her for four days I was very ready to see her when we got home, and that was good for me. As a stay at home mom and with no family nearby, I don't get the frequent break that I would have if I was working somewhere else or if the family could stop by and watch Ellie every now and again.
I've heard from other moms that when you have your first child you go through the biggest adjustment with the loss of your independence. I whole-heartedly concur. With every dropped nap, I feel a greater loss of my time and independence. While it's a sacrifice that I've chosen to make and do willingly (most of the time) it is a sacrifice nonetheless.
If you're feeling constantly overwhelmed, frustrated, exhausted emotionally and physically, it might mean it's time to get away for a little while. It doesn't have to be a long trip, it doesn't even have to be for one night. But I think even taking one whole day just to re-charge can be extremely helpful to yourself, your husband, and your whole family.