Take a break for a fresh perspective on family

Moms, stop looking doe-eyed at your precious little ones as a reason not to get away for a weekend. Stop imagining their complete meltdowns in your absence. Stop believing that the fact no one can care for them quite like you makes it impossible to leave them for 24, 36, 48 hours in the care of their grandparents (aunts, uncles, trusted best friends etc.) Take a break, get away. It will recharge you (and your kids) in ways you might not expect.

My partner and I just returned from two nights in northern Michigan. Aside from the stunning scenery, we had fun doing things we rarely do. We ate meals before they went cold. We slept without being called in the middle of the night. We had complete thoughts and spoke in complete sentences. We cut no one’s food but our own. We left knives on the tables next to the cocktails.

Meanwhile, back home, where my mom and sister had taken charge of their care, the girls had undivided attention, not something we can always give them during every day life. They explored lakes and even received a warm welcome from a local fire department (my mom called and asked if she could bring the kids by and they obliged). They created imaginary jungles in grandma’s backyard. They did more than survive. They bonded with their family. My mom sent a text telling us it wouldn’t break their hearts if we decided to stay another night.

When we returned, worn from staying up past bedtime, we dove right back into family drama. But my stores of patience had been filled. As a stay-at-home mom, the constant scenery is a sure way to burnout. Taking time away gave me a welcome boost in the motherhood department, not to mention a wonderful experience for all of us.

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