I have said it before, and I will say it again: Motherhood is not about making yourself a martyr. We are still individuals outside of the tiny humans that we helped create and bring into this world.
So often I see women wearing the “mommy martyrdom” as if it is a badge of honor. Well, I hate to break it to you ladies, it’s not. All parents need time away from their children. I’m not saying take off and leave them for four or five days (unless that’s your thing, go for it), but a day here or there or once a week isn’t a bad thing.
My oldest is almost 16 years old, it wasn’t until child number 3, that I started to appreciate having the much needed time away from my kids. In the early stages of parenting nearly every offer, I received of “let me take the kids for you” I turned down. I was convinced that I had to be there 24/7 and that someone was going to damage to my children if I let them out of my sight. In hindsight, I was totally paranoid about leaving my kids, and that was not healthy. Down the road, the many sleepless nights, and never ending child attachment, caused me so much harm, that by time number 3 was born, I actually was diagnosed antenatal depression, which occurs before the child is even born. And in my third trimester, my doctor prescribed me meds, because of the many severe panic and anxiety attacks I was having.
It was after her birth that my husband sat me down and told me that I needed to take care of me.
The problem was that even though he said this, and I knew this, it still wasn’t happening. At least not until I reached my breaking point. And one really should not wait until they reach their breaking point before finally deciding, they need a time out.
You prioritize what’s important to you.
As a mother (or anyone), it is important to try and schedule a time to yourself as much as possible. It doesn’t have to involve visits to fancy spas or anything spending money. I could be a walk around the block, a trip to the library, or a stroll down the aisles of Target trying not to spend money (good luck with that). We have to build these simple moments into our routine in order facilitate some type of balance in our lives.
Being able to travel/vacation sans children has been important in allowing me to maintain my own mental health. It’s also been a great way for my husband and I to reconnect with one another.
Top 4 Solo Mom Vacations or Mom/Dad Getaways
Walt Disney World
Planning a romantic getaway to WDW may sound like a hassle. The entire point is to relax and have fun right? Why I love any Disney resort/location for a solo or couple vacation is that you can create your own magic. So if you want to visit the parks, you can! If you’d rather stay in bed and cuddle all day, what better place to do so than the happiest place on earth! Visiting WDW allows you to either be a grown-up or a big kid; the best part is you get to pick and choose when you do either.
A Solo trip to Vegas is one of those trips that every adult must do at some point. We spent 48 hours in Vegas and it was one of the best times ever! The great part about Vegas is that there is so much to do, so if you aren’t a gambler or a drinker, you can still have a blast. The stage shows alone are worth every penny!
Digital Detox & Perfect Seclusion
We took a trip to the Getaway House Outpost outside of Atlanta and it was the best thing ever. If you are needing an escape from work, kids or just the grind of everyday life, I highly recommend one of their outposts!
Our weekend escape was at an outpost in Suches, Georgia in the Chattahoochee National Forest. To say the drive up there was beautiful and serene would be putting it mildly. It was possibly one of the best (and longest we’ve taken as a family).
Our tiny cabin came with everything we needed for a relaxing tech-free weekend. There was a even a cell-phone lockbox in case anyone was tempted. While we didn’t need the lockbox (because our cell phone didn’t have service, nor was there Wifi) it stayed in my purse the entire weekend.
Traveling solo is something I never thought I would do out of fear. I was always afraid something would go wrong, so I opted to only do family vacations. I traveled to New Orleans solo for the last-minute conference, and I’m so glad I did. Stepping out on faith and traveling solo was one of the best decisions of my life. The city is so beautiful and it is definitely a trip that I recommend everyone to take!
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.