I teach a college writing course online. For a few days, I had a conference for all online instructors. I had to get on a plane, fly far away, and leave my boy at home. This isn’t the first time I’ve left him for a week, but this was the first time I left him with my husband and not my mom. I don’t know what made this trip so different. I couldn’t sleep the night before I left. I felt guilty for leaving a few days leading up to the trip. I wasn’t nervous about leaving him with his dad. My husband is a great father and spends a lot of time with Porter. When my son is with my mom it’s like a vacation for him. He is so entertained the whole time, he doesn’t have time to realize I’m not around. I think I was worried with him staying home and me leaving, that he’d be sad the whole time and miss me too much. He was fine, of course, and had a blast with Dad!

I planned two extra days at the end of my conference to stay in a hotel and do whatever I wanted. If I wanted to sleep in – I did. If I wanted to eat out – I did. I went on a walk, saw a movie, met up with old friends, and a whole lot of other stuff that I hadn’t done alone in a long time. I had an epiphany while on one of my walks: sometimes, moms need to go away so they don’t leave. I wasn’t in Hawaii, New York City, or at a resort. I was in a small town in Idaho in a mediocre hotel. I was, however, alone and free for two straight days! I did whatever I wanted for two days without worrying about how it would affect my family. I reconnected with myself and had enough quiet time to remember my interests, passions, and dreams. Turns out, I still have all those things!

The point of all this is leading up to the trip, I felt so guilty about leaving my son and doing something for me. Even though it was a work trip and a hotel in a small town, I felt guilty. Once I went, though, I realized how important it is for me to take time for myself! My husband told me it was important. My friends told me it was important. My mom told me it was important. I didn’t believe it until I took the time for myself. I have a new commitment to spend at least one night away alone a year. Taking time for myself makes me a better mom, wife, and friend. I’m recharged and ready to tackle this toddler-bed-transition without pulling my hair out!

Any other moms out there take momcations?


By: Michelle Donner at Poppies and Peonies Floral Design