Me-Time Matters: Why Stay-at-Home Moms Deserve a Vacation

I became a stay-at-home mom just before becoming a mom for the 2nd time. It was something I always wanted to do, and it just made sense when my entire income was going to pay for daycare. It was an easy transition because being a mom was my life. Yet it was hard because I had to learn my place outside of being a mom. Before, I was a mom and a teacher. I earned money, and I saw my worth, I was praised and appreciated, but it was harder as only a mom. 

During my first year home, my best friend from high school got married and I accidentally discovered one of the most important things to this season of life. Taking a vacation from my job. This is my full job, no matter the arguments from myself or others. Being a mother is a choice, a lifestyle, a commitment, you don’t get paid. Whatever that makes it, I do still deserve a break. We all do!

As I mentioned, my first break happened accidentally/planned. I knew my best friend was getting married. I took on the commitment of matron of honor knowing the responsibilities and being pregnant, but I had been looking forward to this moment. I had to guess what my dress size after birth might be. Plan the shower before birth, and the bachelorette after. That dress size was guessed really well thankfully! The baby sent me to the hospital the day after the shower, I almost did not make that and the Maid of Honor yelled at me because she didn’t like how active I was at the shower. She did not want me to give birth on her floor, and now I suppose that was a legitimate fear. The girl’s trip was planned locally, thankful for everyone who considered my leaving a newborn. We only went an hour away and I prepped milk in the fridge and everything else that might need to be considered so we could have the best weekend. I did it for my friend, and that is probably the only way I would have gone. I would have felt selfish taking a trip otherwise. Doing it, as a commitment that I had made showed me that everyone survived just fine without me present and it was refreshing for me. I treasure getting to be a part of all my bestie’s memories, just like she wants for mine. 

Fast forward a year and another best friend invited me on a weekend for my birthday. I definitely was not sure, and it seemed a little selfish, but it would be rude to turn down a gift. This time it was a few hours away, and we had a blast. Everyone survived, another weekend away was fine and I was able to sleep in, eat in restaurants, climb lighthouses, and just do whatever I wanted. 

Every year since I have checked in with the Home School Principal (Husband) and have my PTO booked for vacation. It’s a joke I make because I am not asking for permission, but it’s important to coordinate with your partner, just like with work. Different people go on trips, the same people sometimes, any place, but we just get away. Most of the time, we stay in the state, but I ventured to New Orleans once too. As the children get older, it’s easier to go a little further. I have enjoyed various FL Islands, Food and Wine Festival, Orlando, New Orleans and look forward to more. 

This year there were two weekends and it was shocking. One was a working weekend at a homeschool conference for the 2nd year in a row. Think of this as a work conference for homeschooling and less of a vacation, but still a change of pace. The whole family could join me, but for now, it works best as a mom trip. They might join me in a few years’ time when they want to enjoy the activities too. The conference is always in an amazing resort that is only affordable to me at conference prices. I spend the day in sessions. Learning new things and getting inspiration. Shopping around the booths and meeting people. Then the evenings are for girls’ dinner and the last day is just for reading by the pool. It’s refreshing and educational. If this is the first way you take a homeschool mom break, do it! 

The final mom trip of the summer was with my home school co-op. I have been vocal about my mom vacation for a few years now and the idea came up that it was time to take our own together. One of our lovely mamas had a family timeshare that they kindly organized for the weekend and we all carpooled up. It was a weekend of sleeping how and when we wanted. Eating what we wanted and mostly sitting at the pool and reading without worrying if a child was drowning. It is a strange concept because even as we get to spend time together every week, we are always watching, being prepared for a question, cleaning a cut, or feeding someone. We are together, but cannot give 100%. We have all known each other for years and we know lots about each other, but it was a whole new experience to be able to enjoy each other’s company without children to monitor or lessons to teach. 

I will always encourage mom’s weekends away if you can pull it off. Timewise, it might take a little planning, but getting away for 2 nights in a year can normally be swung. If not, start with a whole day and one night away. If financially it does not seem attainable with one income, share a room! When I get the conference room, I have budgeted for it and whoever I bring pays for my gas and food, so there is no additional cost for me. When we book a place for a vacation, we normally try for a huge Airbnb to share. Splitting the cost normally makes it very affordable. We go grocery shopping before we stop and often splurge for just a meal or two. Shopping if we want, but that’s a thing you can enjoy and not spend if you need. We also look for a pool or a beach and that makes the entertainment free. As each year goes by, my budget is normally a little more flexible as I save, but I started this very frugally, and we all still try out best to be frugal so that we can keep doing more fun things. 
Lastly, if you feel like it’s selfish, it’s not. You are not forgetting all your responsibilities, you are just taking a break, like you would from a 9-5. You get to breathe and sleep and do whatever you never get enough time to do and then you come back ready to get back to it! I like to think I come back better.

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