We all know that time away from our children and families is good for the soul. And our health. And our sanity. Not only that though – taking time to plan a holiday that doesn’t involve thinking about how the kids will be entertained, shows our children that their mom is an individual with her own wants and needs (which certainly doesn’t include endless replays of the Teletubbies).
That’s why, once the fog of newborn drama is behind you and your kiddies can function without you for a couple of days (or even weeks), taking a momcation is hugely important. But getting there can involve logistics that can be exhausting to tackle on top of all your other mom duties. So, here are five tips that will help you start planning that perfect momcation.
Sound odd? Well, it’s not. There will always be reasons to stay home: “Johnny has his music concert that week, I can’t possibly go away” – but think carefully if these are essential mom tasks or whether you’re just using them as an excuse. Surely Johnny will love showing off his music skills to his grandparents? Isn’t there a concert next term too? Commit to the trip by paying a deposit for your accommodation or booking a flight, and you’ll be one step closer to packing your bags.
2. Sort out their care
If you’re their primary caregiver, you obviously need to ascertain who’ll be looking after them in your absence. For writer and blogger Belinda Mountain, this involved giving her husband significant warning that she’d be away for 10 days, and that he needed to clear his work schedule in order to do the school lifts and other child-related chores. “I also roped in my good mom friends and asked them to help out on occasion by arranging playdates in advance,” she says.
Whether it’s committed grandparents or other family who’ll be moving in, your partner who’ll be stepping up, or friends you’d do the same for – sorting their care out is paramount, especially if you want to feel comfortable about their wellbeing while you’re away.
3. Leave the kids with a bit of fun
The thought of mom going away can be made a lot more appealing to your kids if there is something to look forward to at home. And, bear in mind that the concept of time can be difficult for your little ones to grasp. Parenting blogger Hayley Malan says that before she left on her recent momcation to Spain she made a little countdown calendar for the kids with a treat for each day. “The treats were obviously a hit, but at the same time, their excitement grew as the number of sleeps became fewer until Mom eventually got home,” she says.
4. Do as much or as little as you like
It can be tempting to try and pack in as many sightseeing activities as possible but try to resist! Chances are that as a busy mom you’re low on sleep, haven’t drunk a warm cup of coffee in five years, and wouldn’t mind the chance to finish reading that novel next to your bed.
Include a few top things you want to do while away, but be sure to include a lot of free time for relaxing too. Belinda says: “On our recent trip to Greece with my sister (also a mom), some of my best moments were when we took an afternoon nap on the couch, had a lazy breakfast overlooking the town square, and simply took things slowly. I can’t remember when last I had the free time to do this.”
That said, you might be the type of mom who really enjoys being active and experiencing a lot of new things.
For the best of both, choosing to enjoy your momcation at an all-inclusive Club Med resort in any of their destinations around the world gives you access to a wide range of land and water activities (included in your holiday package) so you can be as active as you like. You’ll also have access to many amenities within the resort to relax and recharge to the max.
5. Make tech your friend
You will miss them and they’ll miss you, so use technology to bridge the divide, as long it doesn’t upset them (very young kids may struggle to understand why they can hear your voice but you’re not physically there). Hayley says that video calling, voice notes, videos and pictures helped her communicate with her kids when she was away. “They loved seeing where I was and what I was getting up to and I could still hear about their day, just like I normally would,” she says.
Besides making you appreciate your little people more, being away from your family could also boost your relationship with your partner. A study in the Wisconsin Medical Journal concluded that women who took holidays at least twice a year were “less likely to become tense, depressed or tired, and are more satisfied with their marriages.”
If you’re debating whether to book that momcation or not, Hayley says it best: “I was a little anxious during the days leading up to my recent trip because it was the longest time I’d been without them, ever! But looking back, it was the best thing I could have ever done for myself and the kids!”