My twins were 16 months old and my oldest daughter three when I had one of the best weekends ever. As a full-time stay-at-home mom, I’d been in pure survival mode for the past few years. Survival mode meant that I needed to keep the children alive, keep myself alive, and anything else just didn’t happen.
The house was a disaster, I only showered when absolutely necessary, and sleeping more than five hours straight was a fantasy. I mean, I actually fantasized about it. Life with my three little daughters was crazy. In the midst of the craziness, I had completely forgotten my former life as a regular person. I put my head down and just got through the day. Hour by hour at times.
Meanwhile, my husband was also having a busy year in a vastly different way. He’d been away for two bachelor party weekend trips and two guys’ ski getaways. He even used a few of his paid vacation days to go skiing and hunting – on weekdays. The idea of taking an entire day to go and do something fun baffled me.
I’ll admit I was extremely jealous and wanted to consult my stay-at-home mom employee handbook to see how many paid vacation days I got every year. Maybe I was bitter. Or maybe I was just exhausted. Either way, I spent many day dreams thinking about what I would do with an entire eight hours off.
My husband is a great guy. He’s very hands on and helps out a lot. He also wants to see me happy. I started telling him about my fantasies. I might have complained a little about his weekends away and days off. Sometimes I joked about them, sometimes not. He encouraged me to plan a girls’ trip and was game for a full weekend of kid duty.
I love my girlfriends, but the idea of planning a weekend for all of us, talking for hours, and consulting everyone on what they wanted to do just made me feel even more tired. After he’d brought it up a few times, I finally told him the truth.
What I really wanted was a weekend alone. By myself, with no one to talk to, empathize with, or plan around. No one asking my opinion, sharing a room with me, or even looking at me. He thought I was crazy.
I went for it and picked a weekend. My weekend. My husband was on board (with Grandma on stand-by) and I booked myself a two-night stay at a hotel 10 miles away from our house. As my weekend got closer, the guilt set in – classic mom guilt that told me there was no way the girls could go 48 hours without me.
I sheepishly mentioned my plans to a few mom friends and got the feeling that it did sound a little crazy. They all sort of half-laughed (this wasn’t a joke) and looked at me like they wanted to support this idea but thought I was insane. I pushed it all away and focused on how amazing it was going to be. This was happening.
I enjoyed every single second of packing my own suitcase. Just my suitcase. No one else’s. It took me about three minutes. The drive to the hotel took 15 minutes. I walked in with an air of someone important. I decided to pretend I was on some super serious business trip.
I checked in, and the person behind the counter asked me if I’d traveled far. “No, not too far!” I smiled and acted like checking into a hotel, alone, on a Friday night was something totally typical for me. I walked to my room, opened the door, and sat down.
Now what? This was the strangest feeling I’d had in months, maybe years. I could literally do whatever I wanted. Anything at all. The world was an open book. I sat in the silence and just took it all in.
The silence felt so good.
I decided to order room service. I found a chick flick on TV. I put on my PJs. When the meal came, I ate it slowly until I was completely full. I watched another movie. I fell asleep at 9pm and slept for 12 hours straight. This felt more amazing than any fantasy I’d had.
I felt slightly weird when I woke up. It was so quiet. I had the entire day ahead of me to do with as I wanted. This was an astounding thought.
I took advantage of the hotel spa and booked a massage. I took the longest shower I’d probably ever had. I sat outside on a lounge chair in the sunshine reading. For hours. I ate more food. I took a nap. I didn’t speak more than about 15 words out loud the entire day. Then I slept some more. I texted home a few times, but didn’t call. Everyone there was good, so I let them be. It was incredible, all of it.
On Sunday I woke up exhilarated. Another long shower and meal was followed by a much needed trip to Victoria’s Secret for a bra that actually fit. I spent time getting measured and talking to the salesgirl about all of my adventures in nursing twins. Finding a bra that actually fit was a true joy.
I felt fulfilled. I felt lighter. I felt rested. I was ready to hug my babies, soak up their smells, and delight in their little voices. I was ready to go home and smile at my husband and perhaps even show him my new bra. This mom was refreshed, renewed, reawakened.
I still fantasize about doing it again one day, but I don’t need it as much as I did in that moment. My children needed it, and my husband needed it, too.
Every mother should take a weekend, or even just one full day alone. Put the mom guilt aside and enjoy every second of it. Those seconds aren’t wasted. They are truly necessary, for everyone’s survival.
Enroll Now for the Chance to Test Free Products