Question for all of you moms of young or school-aged kiddos: when was the last time you took a couple days away to re-charge your batteries, sans kids? Ok, ok, we can practically *see* you rolling your eyes right now. We’ll give you another question; when was the last time you went on a night on the town, got your nails done, or even caught a Saturday matinee away from the fam, guilt-free?
Sadly, we don’t know many moms who can answer even one of the questions without either first giving us a sad, exasperated sigh, or spending many mimutes racking their brains, trying to remember the last time they took even an afternoon to themselves.
It’s a distressing reality that is all too real. Moms rarely get the time they need to reflect, rest, and get in touch with their emotions. Though we don’t want to bag on any great dads out there, we think you’d all agree that moms just end up doing more, even if the best ’50/50′ intentions are instituted.
In fact, you probably don’t need some fancy statistics to prove this, but if you do, a 2015 Pew Research Center poll revealed that moms multitask at an average of 10 hours per week more than dads, and get an average of 3 hours less of leisure time than their partners.
Experts like Dayna M. Kurtz, LMSW, CPT and director of the Anna Keefe Women’s Center at the Training Institute for Mental Health in New York says that, because there seems to be so much extra pressure on women, across the board, ‘momcations’ should be viewed as a necessity.
In an interview for Parents.com, she explains why. “We need to reframe how we think about mothers taking time off from mothering,” Kurtz says. “‘Momcations’ are really a necessity, not just a luxury. They should be considered an integral part of what I call ‘mothercare’—one of a host of activities that restore and revitalize the emotional and physical energy we need to provide healthy, loving care for our children.”
Luckily, there are women out there who are taking Kurtz’s advice. In her article, I Took the Momcation I Desperately Needed, and I Don’t Feel Guilty About It, Babble contributor Joanna M broke down what she did on her ‘momcation’, and explained why she relished every moment of it. Spoiler alert and side note: her solo trip away from her kids sounds amazing!
During my momcation, I did things I could never do if I had my family with me. I read a book. I relaxed by the pool at the Parker Palm Springs resort. I booked an appointment at the spa and ate Duck Fat Fries all by myself. I drove a Subaru Legacy on cruise control through Joshua Tree National Park and didn’t have to worry about having to hear the Frozen soundtrack on repeat.
I recharged my mind and my soul under the California sun and just let me be “me.” My respite was crucial to my intense day-to-day schedule at home.
But I’m not going to lie about not feeling guilty about the trip. Being a mom is all about worrying about your family’s well-being around the clock. Heck, being a mother is the hardest job on the planet and if we don’t take care of ourselves, there’s little chance that anyone else will.
As it turns out, busy moms all over the world are beginning to embrace the concept of ‘momcationing’ in a big way. While not so long ago, women were made to feel guilty for taking this “luxury,” mothers are flaunting their much-needed time off on the biggest platform in the world–Instagram.
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If you search the hashtag ‘#momcation’, you’ll quickly be met with an astounding 30,000+ results of beautiful mommas living their best lives. Some snapshots show scenes from lavish vacations, while others show simple coffee dates with their girlfriends, but the intention behind the posts is the same for all; these are moms who understand the concept of self-care and feel that other women should embrace it, too.
But, even with the growing awareness of this healthy trend, the hashtag is also filled with posts of overworked moms who just don’t seem to be getting the support they need.
The above may just be a re-posted meme, but the message is one that sure did resonate with us–and likely the aforementioned experts suggesting time off for moms. If one mom feels that she does not have enough time to clear her head, much less TAKE A SHOWER without feeling guilty about the time spent away from the kids, then, we say, that’s one mom too many!
Start taking those ‘momcations’, momma–even if yours consists of a nap in which you just dream of a Balinese vacation. Your health and happiness depend on it and, most of all, you deserve it!
We’d love to hear your take on the ‘momcation’ concept. Do you believe that all mothers should follow this? Do you disagree? How do you balance your home and work time with your social and alone time?