Every year for Mother’s Day, I look forward to spending the day with my kids. In previous years, I recall seeing other moms without their kids and thought to myself it was strange that they were alone. For me, it had always been the norm to celebrate Mother’s Day with my kids.
After being in a pandemic for over a year, I think we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and many of us are starting to re-introduce ourselves to the favorite activities we once had. With Mother’s Day approaching, I can’t help but reflect on my early years of being a mom, and how I’ve evolved.
The more kids I had, the less time I had to myself. Which led to thinking of how nice it would be to have a night out or alone time instead of an all-day adventure. While I certainly appreciate Mother’s Day existing for the sake of celebration and acknowledgement, let’s be honest, Mother’s Day should be EVERY SINGLE DAY. So can we normalize being OFF for a day or two? Or the idea of having some time to gather my thoughts for a few hours?
Yes, having some alone time is easier said than done. If you’d asked my philosophy on this topic years ago, I probably would have had some cookie-cutter, conservative stance on motherhood and time apart. ‘Mom Guilt’ is very real, and anyone that tells you otherwise is not being honest with you or themselves.
Mothering is hard work and often times a thankless job. But now, four kids later, I can confidently say that I deserve and warrant myself some much deserved ME Time.
This year, I encourage you all to ease into your Mother’s Day, or in my case, Mom-cation, with some helpful pointers that I’ve accrued over the years (obviously, personalize these to fit into your lifestyle).
Organization is Key.
My household has a family calendar that keeps everyone in the loop about upcoming events, sports games, appointments, that sort of thing. We also have a family group chat since my oldest have cell phones.
Here are a few tips I use when planning to vacation:
- Make sure calendars are up to date.
- Reach out to your “village” – whether that is a babysitter(s) or family members well in advance. It’s important to respect other’s time when asking for extended help and giving advance notice. I normally ask 2-3 months in advance, depending on the length and complexity of what my husband and/or I are doing.
- Book the trip based on my village’s availability, not the other way around. Trust me. Nothing is going to cause more anxiety than scrambling around at the last minute looking for someone to watch the kids.
Set your village up for success.
I provide my village with as much information and resources prior to departure so everyone (including myself) can feel confident and comfortable while I’m away…AND this cuts down on confusion – phone calls and texts asking, “Where is XYZ or what time should I go there?”
Make sure to:
- Write down everyone’s favorite foods, allergies, and medication time/doses. (I text and write out everything on paper for the refrigerator).
- Stock refrigerator with snacks and drinks (don’t forget to get some items for your sitters).
- Leave money for eating out, if needed.
- Meal prep.
- Organize clothes for the entire week.
- For the babies, I use these storage containers from Target here. I love these because it leaves out the guessing game in deciding what to wear. Here is a video.
- Lay out any specialty clothing and shoes needed, such as uniforms. You could label simply with a sticky note or again, in a plastic bin.
- If you have older children, show them how they can be helpful around the house and/or with little ones.
- Clean household lightly.
- It is helpful in leaving your home organized where items are easy to find, and they enjoy their time there. Sitters, whether immediate family or not, are a blessing and not to be taken for granted!
Check out the palm trees.
Please share any ideas that you use when planning your Mom-cation!