On the heels of the mid-January deep freeze, I, like many of you, am daydreaming about summer. With my hands wrapped around my laptop for warmth, I sit wrapped in a blanket, exploring virtual dream destinations for a family getaway. I’m comparing packages, reading hotel reviews and thinking of the soft sounds of waves and my children’s quiet squeals of joy…
Wait. That doesn’t sound like joy. That sounds like whining…. And now yelling….
“I don’t want to play school AGAIN!”
”It’s MY TURN to be the teacher!”
“You’re not the boss of me!”
It seems that my kids have descended into complete cabin-fever-induced mayhem faster than you can say Lord of the Flies.
I delete Harry Potter parks, Disney cruises and family-size beach houses from my Google search and replace it with “best girlfriend getaways.”
It’s time to get busy planning Momcation 2018.
While not a new concept, this past summer was my first experience with momcation – a delightful kid-free, ladies-only getaway with two of my dearest “forever friends” from college. Given that we live in three different cities, all work, and are all married with kids, it took months of planning to zero in on a timeframe that didn’t interfere with family vacations, work commitments, birthdays, and back to school. But we did it – sneaking off for an extra-long weekend at a beach-front hotel in Ft. Lauderdale.
For four glorious days we read books on the beach, sipped frosty cocktails by the pool, and ate at restaurants that didn’t have kids’ menus. We laughed until we snorted and our eyes watered, reminiscing about college hijinks and vacations we had taken together before marriages and kids. We had great conversations about juggling careers and families — with more similarities than differences. And, of course, we missed our families.
Then: Puerto Rico, 2004
Now: Ft. Lauderdale, 2017
For me, our momcation was a long-overdue chance to spend a few days reconnecting — not just with two of my best friends, but also with myself. Outside of a rare overnight for a major event, working-mom guilt had kept me from going away for “fun” until that trip. That was foolish. Turns out, everyone was just fine without me for a few days, enjoying special Daddy time, and I came back refreshed, rejuvenated, and with a renewed sense of the importance of time spent with dear friends. What seemed like a luxury when we were making those original plans is now, in my mind, a necessity.
If you haven’t yet, carve out some time to treat yourself to your own momcation. It can be the beach or a nearby fun city, or even a tent in the woods (well, not for my one of my friends — she knows who she is — but maybe for yours!)
As the saying goes, it’s not where you are but who you’re with that matters – in this case good friends and the non-mom part of YOU that too often gets lost in the storm of dance lessons, scout meetings, meal planning, soccer games, Play Doh, and Peppa Pig.
Now, I’m off to settle my band of hooligans and restore order to this school-delay ravaged household so that I can get back to browsing locations for this year’s momcation… or perhaps momcation(s)?? Cheers!