Want to take a kid-free vacation, but can’t get over the mom guilt? Here are some truths that you need to remember about being a mom!
In a week, I’m headed to Napa with four blogging friends for our Feed the Soul retreat. Since we’re from all over the US, we wanted to get together and see each other in person and spend a weekend taking a step out of normal life, relaxing, and master planning for our blogs.
The way this trip has come together has been almost too much to believe—we easily found a weekend we all had free, our husbands were supportive of a weekend away for all of us, and our itinerary pretty much fell into our laps. We’re staying at the beautiful Silverado Resort in Napa and the Calistoga Spa Hotsprings in Calistoga, eating at delicious restaurants, and doing activities I still can’t believe we get to do!
But as I’ve been planning to leave my 8-month-old twins for four days, I’ve felt this icky mom guilt creeping in around the edges of my mind. What kind of mom am I to leave my babies for four days? To go off and have fun with my girlfriends, getting a massage, sitting poolside in a floppy sunhat, sipping pinot noir on the Napa Valley Wine Train, floating across Napa Valley in a hot air balloon? It all feels a little, I don’t know, frivolous. Unimportant in the grand scheme of the hard work of raising my children.
After much thought, and several conversations with my husband and my postpartum counselor, I decided that this trip is the exact opposite of frivolous. It’s important. It’s restorative. It’s life-giving. Here’s what I’m telling myself every time that guilt starts to creep in. And moms, if you’re feeling the same way about doing something for yourself, I hope you’ll tell these things to yourself, too.
You can’t pour from an empty cup
While there are so many things about motherhood that are beautiful and captivating, it does require you to give, give, give. And after a while, you may find yourself empty. I feel that way some days. Like I have absolutely nothing left to give my boys, or my husband, or even myself. Taking some time away with my friends will fill my cup, and allow me to pour into my boys and husband when I get home.
You’re still you
Just because you’re a mom, doesn’t mean you aren’t the person you were before you had a baby (or babies). I still love to blog. I blogged for ten years before the babies were born and I don’t want to stop just because I’m a mom. I can’t turn that part of me off. So investing in my blog and blogging friendships is something that is important to this part of me. And it doesn’t have to be a blog. Nurture whatever passion you had before kids came along. Take a class, plan a trip, get together with friends. You’re still you, even though you’re a mom.
You’re not selfish
I want to go on this trip, so much. I want to sleep through the night for four nights straight. I want to enjoy my friends, drinking wine on the hotel porch until late into the evening, without worrying about getting the boys home and to bed. I want to go a whole day without getting poop on me. And for some reason, I was thinking these things were selfish. They aren’t. No one wants to get pooped on. And we all want to spend time with friends. Sleep, oh, the sleep! We all want to sleep. You aren’t selfish for wanting these things. You are normal.
It is a gift
More than anything, this trip is a gift. It’s a gift to myself, to my family. It will give me time to not only relax and sleep through the night, but to prioritize and figure out what I want to do with my blog, outside the daily whirlwind of being a mom and wife. I know a trip like this isn’t possible for everyone, but any time you can do something for you, look at it as a gift. A blessing. You should never feel guilty for a blessing.