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9 Reasons to Take a Mom Sabbatical

Photograph by Twenty20

Think of all the things you might do if you had more time for yourself. Maybe you'd write a book or go back to school. But these types of things don't happen when you're busy planning your kids' summer schedules, shopping for school supplies and making meals. Before you know it, you've joined several committees at school, been chosen as team mom for auxiliary sports and have picked up a leg of the carpool. Your calendar is filled with your children's activities and needs, squeezing out the things you want and need to do for yourself. And moms never get a day off. Never!

The reality is, moms may want to take time off from their children, but they can never find a way to manage it, and if they do find a way, they feel too guilty to follow-through. That said, think about taking a sabbatical from mothering anyhow. There are countless upsides to taking a break from motherhood; here are 10 of them:

RELATED: 7 Questions Not to Ask a Mom on Sabbatical

1. Sleep

You're a mom, therefore you're sleep-deprived. Boldly give yourself time to sleep until you wake up naturally. It will likely take a few days for your body's mom clock to turn off. So the first few days you will probably awaken with your mind moving toward caring for your children. But after about the third day of being without children, you will start to tune into your natural waking time. The thoughts and to-do list will subside, and you will find rest and rejuvenation.

2. Better parenting

Any mom who takes extended and uninterrupted time for herself discovers a new appreciation for motherhood and new ways to improve as a mom. Being away from your children will allow you to reflect and plan methods to level-up your parenting.

3. Creativity

Time away from your children will get your creative juices flowing. When you have space to think about artistry and all the years you've put it off, being solo for a bit will spark your creativity. You'll have not only the time to pay attention to that thing that you've put off for so long, but you'll also have the energy and enthusiasm too!

You deserve your attention. You deserve your time. You deserve time to be with you.

4. Noisy sex

When was the last time you had loud screaming sex? You can't remember, right? Every now and again a mom just needs to cut loose and let out a huge sensual holler. That can never happen with the kids around. With a couple of weeks of downtime, who knows what passions you might unleash?

5. Gratitude for solitude

Before becoming a mom, you probably never appreciated time alone. (Admit it, it wasn't fashionable, but you were pining to be a wife and mother. All that alone time was indistinguishable from lonely time—with an idea of glorious motherhood dancing in your head. A little more demanding and a lot less idyllic, no?) A mom sabbatical will give you time to appreciate your time and your space. For the first time in ages you'll be able to use your time as you desire for your needs. And this time around, you'll actually use that time responsibly because you'll know that it is limited and precious.

6. Brain space

If there is one thing motherhood has taught me, it is how consuming it is. My brain can be overflowing with a million thoughts about past, present and future things my son needed then, needs now, will need tomorrow and next year. A mom sabbatical has cleared away most of the relentless worries that were background noise in my mind. Brain space is something most moms don't even think about. They don't know that they want it until they actually get it.

7. Sexting

You've never sent a nude photo or a dirty text because your children co-own your phone, and you'd die if they saw or read something that suggested you're a woman. (You can't lay your phone down for one moment before one of your children has removed it to watch a video or listen to their favorite song.) Extended time will allow you do with your phone whatever you desire. And you'll have time to erase the evidence before your children get to it.

8. Walk around naked

My son has been around my naked body for most of his life, but as he grows older, I've felt the need to cover up when he's around. The sabbatical has given me opportunity once again to leave the bathroom door open and my body uncovered. Every woman should have a season in which to lounge around her house in her birthday suit in peace.

9. Rediscover womanhood

Motherhood changes you entirely, inside and out. You don't know how much it changes you until you are without your children for a time and feel the confidence of your womanhood, not motherhood, re-awaken within you. Being someone's mother can make you stop apologizing for being smart, beautiful and wise. When your children are away, you see that these new ways of being are not just activated by motherhood, but much more qualities of womanhood. You own them when your children are near or far.

RELATED: 5 No-Frill Ways to Get Me-Time

You deserve some time to be alone. You just do. You need it. Motherhood is not your core, nor is it your identity. You deserve and need time to once again experience who you are separate and apart from your children. You deserve your attention. You deserve your time. You deserve time to be with you.

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