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5 Reasons Every Mom Should Take a Solo Trip

Photograph by Twenty20

I recently spent four days and nights away from my family. ALONE. I traveled solo to a creative retreat where I took classes and hung out with bunch of crafty women, most of which had also left a family behind. Before I left I was wracked with guilt and worry, but when I returned I realized that my entire family had benefitted from my absence.

Here are just five awesome reasons you should take a solo trip:

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You'll learn that they can survive without you. You might already know this intellectually but it's another thing to put it to the test. My husband totally rose to the challenge of caring for two boys while I was gone. And my kiddos thought it was fabulous. Things didn't get done exactly how I would have done them and I learned that that was more than OK. They created their own system that worked for them, and with help from my parents, they didn't just survive, they thrived.

Mom guilt is so rude. And once you head out and come back with a clear head and full heart you'll realize that it's also invalid.

They'll learn just how much you do. Of course your family appreciates all you do, but until they have to pick up the torch they may not fully realize the breadth and depth of that work. Give them a chance to fully appreciate you by letting them spend a little time in your shoes.

You get a chance to miss each other. You can't miss each other if you're never apart. When you spend every waking moment with your toddler and all hours that don't involve school with your kindergartener you don't really miss them and they don't get a chance to miss you. A little break allows you to fully appreciate how much you adore spending time with your family, and they get a chance to feel the same about you.

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You'll return refreshed and reinvigorated. The first thing I noticed when I hit the road for the long drive down the California coast was the lack of chatter. I was alone with my thoughts in a way I hadn't been in years. In those six quiet hours I was actually able to clear my head and I got out of the car feeling more calm and in control. Then I got the chance to spent time with an incredible bunch of women—we made things and laughed so hard we cried. We were free from the usual responsibilities of life and it made it easy to have fun, I felt like a 20-year-old again. The quiet and the camaraderie was just what I needed and I came home to my family with my cup full.

You deserve it. Mom guilt is so rude. And once you head out and come back with a clear head and full heart you'll realize that it's also invalid. A solo trip isn't a purely selfish endeavor, it's good for your whole family. You've earned a break, take it and enjoy it fully, guilt-free.

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