We've Gotta Have it
For Mother’s Day, Leave Your Kids Behind
Give yourself the gift of remembering who you were before you were a mom
Have you ever come across a meme that speaks your truth? Here’s one that recently stopped my incessant Instagram scrolling:
“Can we normalize “mommymoons?” Sporadic weeks out of the year where moms escape for several days to engage in their pre-parent tomfuckery?”
Better yet, I thought, let’s make that “pre-parent tomfuckery” a Mother’s Day gift to ourselves. A week, a weekend, or even a day away from partners and children, to decompress, celebrate ourselves, and honor who we were before becoming a mom. Mother’s Day itself might not be the ideal time, because presumably there are breakfasts and brunches and dinners that, while tedious, mean the world to little kids. But do yourself a favor and commit to a family-free getaway at some point in the near future. It might be difficult, but wave goodbye to the kids and get outta town.
I am a mom of three littles. Since giving birth for the first time in 2016, I have taken an annual trip with my besties, leaving my children at home. Some of those trips were long weekends that took me thousands of miles away from home. Others lasted a day or two and required nothing more than a 90-minute drive. No matter how far I travel, I always return feeling happier, feeling more like myself. This is important because, on most days, I’m so busy working and tending to the needs of my family that I fail to ask myself an essential question: What do I need?
Going on these trips is not an easy undertaking. First comes the guilt. The antiquated gender norms I’ve tried to skirt still force me to doubt my decision to go away. It’s bad enough that work takes you away from the kids so much. Now you want to abandon them for days so you can have fun? Next up, logistics. Who will handle school bus drop-offs and pickups? Homework duty? Transportation to appointments or extracurriculars? I am lucky to have a supportive husband, as well as family members willing to pitch in when needed. I wish more women could enjoy these privileges.
I have found that to truly reap the benefits of a modernized mommymoon, I must travel to new places with old friends — friends who knew me before I had kids. These friends were there for my pre-parent tomfuckery, so they know exactly how to recreate it. Our time away usually revolves around exploration, adventure, and food. Sea kayaking? Sure. A hike through a rainforest that ends with a cliff jump? Let’s do it. A multi-course dinner with wine pairings? Bourbon-spiked ice cream? Yes and yes. A night out dancing at a global music festival? Of course.
These little moments accumulate, helping me find joy in myself and my relationships outside my immediate family. These trips ensure that I don’t lose myself or my friendships to my relatively new roles in life. Because before I was a wife or a mom, I was simply me. And remembering who I am and giving myself what I need can only make me a better partner, and a better parent. So, take my advice. Give yourself the ultimate Mother’s Day gift — a mommymoon, redefined, with time and space to just be you.
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