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How to Take a Mom-cation

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This conversation just happened in my house.

Me: I think I’m going to take a few days to myself.

The Hubs: Great! Where should we go?

Me: I said "me," not "we."

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Before I had kids my dream vacation involved the hubs and me swimming and exploring some tropical location or taking in every nook and cranny of a new city. But now that I’m the wife of one and mother of two, my dream vacation involves me going to a hotel down the street from my house, putting on a white robe and not moving for three or four days while I alternate between watching anything on Bravo and reruns of Pitch Perfect. Oh, and in that dream, I’m alone. And by alone, I mean no kids, no husband—nobody but me.

The thought of doing anything on vacation that involves moving more than the finger that controls the remote doesn’t seem like a vacation anymore. That’s because life as a mom is busy. And by busy, I mean exhausting. Sure, you love your family, but the one thing life as a mom lacks is real downtime.

And if you’re like me, the opportunity to take three or four days off and go somewhere totally solo is probably not going to happen anytime soon. Being a mom is the one job that doesn’t come with a vacation package. I’ve been trying all year to sneak away from the family for a few days, and my vacation days have not been approved.

So instead of waiting for the perfect moment to take a few days off, I’m trying to inject a little mom-cation into my life until I can get a real and proper one.

In need of some time off, too? Here’s a few tricks every mom can try to inject a little vacation into her life.

Turn off the phone, close your eyes and relax.

1. Give yourself a morning off every week. As soon as you become a mom you say goodbye to weekends. So pick a day during the week that’s your day to recharge. Take every Friday morning off and go that yoga class you never have time for, or use those facial gift cards you’ve had since Christmas 1999. A few hours off every week can do wonders, and you won’t even need to book an airline ticket.

2. Take a full day off once a month. If you’re like me, the ticking clock of “what do I have to do next” is one of the hardest things about being a mom. So, once a month, set the kids up with an after-school playdate or ask the kid’s school if they can stay for extended care. Then take the entire day to catch up on fun. And no, errands don’t count as fun.

3. Don't do household chores every day. As a mom, it’s hard to avoid the laundry pile or the dishes making a mountain in the sink. That’s because when ignored, household chores multiply. But taking a day off from the grocery store and the laundry can do wonders for making you feel like you’ve got time to finish that book or meander through People magazine. Sure, it’s not as fun as reading a magazine poolside in Cabo, but it’s still fun. And yes, you can have a frilly cocktail.

4. Get pretty. It’s hard to justify the time to get your hair done or get that manicure re-done, but it’s really just an hour or two of your day. And since that mani/pedi may be the only time you sit down all week, go for it. You may even ask the esthetician to go slower just so you don’t have to get up.

5. Get back in bed! Once of the best things about vacations is the feeling of having nothing to do and nowhere to be. So, sure, you’ve got to get up to take the kids to the bus stop or get them to school on time, but it doesn’t mean you can’t come back home and climb back in bed. Turn off the phone, close your eyes and relax. Sometimes it feels like a vacation to be alone in your own house. And let’s face it, that never happens!

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6. Take a mom-cation.

After you’ve relaxed at home and tried to take a bit of time off from all those errands and chores, do schedule a real solo vacation for yourself. There’s nothing like a few days of calm and quiet to make any mom realize that the chaos and craziness of life at home is exactly what she loves.

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