True confession time: I feel a crazy amount of jealousy when I see my single friends and my friends who don’t have smaller children on their carefree traveling adventures. I would sit on my couch stalking their Facebook pages and almost be in tears because I would have given anything for their traveling lives.
And something happens when you get sick of being sick—you do something about it.
So I planned a trip to the Bahamas. By. Myself. That's right, solo. No kids, no spouse, no one but me, myself and I. And I had the time of my life.
This too can be you, mama. Here are some steps to get started…
1. Realize that your entire family is getting on your nerves.
This has to be every single person, including your spouse. It won’t work if you’ve got a soft spot for one of your kids. Everyone has to have you this close to running away. Bonus points if even the dog is in the literal dog house.
2. Find yourself wishing you could be traveling like some of your friends.
This is an easy step. Just open your favorite social media channel and sure enough, you’ll find someone humblebragging about their very fabulous trip in some very fabulous city, state or country.
3. Start feeling sorry for yourself.
I know this sounds terrible, but that feeling will morph into something greater. For now though, it has to be a just a smidge of self-pity.
4. Get proactive and serious about the idea of going on a trip by yourself.
Remember that self-pity? This is where you kick it in the butt and consider doing something for you.
5. Research like crazy.
Pinterest will totally be your best friend at this time. I recommend creating a board just for your trip. Listen to podcasts! Follow travel bloggers. Join groups of travelers and connect with other mothers who are also traveling for work and fun. Settle on a location and get excited.
You need this trip. You deserve this trip.
6. Break the news to your partner that you’re going on a trip.
Depending on your spouse, this may be the hardest step. Stay strong, my sister. You need this trip. You deserve this trip. You are GOING on this trip and you’ll need your partner to get on board. If you don’t have a partner, skip on to step 8.
7. Convince partner they will survive with you.
If your partner is anything like my husband, some freaking out may be happening. Convince them that they possess all that is needed to do what you do day in and out. During this step, you may have to also convince yourself of this.
8. Start looking for flights.
You have to do this almost immediately. Booking the flight makes it almost official. Until you book it, this trip is just an idea. Book now and figure everything else out later.
9. Slowly start getting your house together.
It doesn’t matter if you flight is weeks away or months away, you’ve got to start getting your home life together. You have to meal plan, organize the kids’ clothes, make arrangements for work and childcare. Basically you should go ahead and clone yourself.
10. Book your accommodations.
Doing this makes the trip even more real. Aren’t you excited? OMG! You’re going on a kid-free trip!
11, Make plans...or no plans.
Depending on where you’re going, you may want to have jam-packed itinerary. Or you may not want any plans at all. But even with no plans, you still have to have some idea of how you’ll spend your time. It increases the excitement!
12. Get the village on the same page.
Need to call your mom to help? Your sister-in-law? A nanny or babysitter? Whoever they are, teach them your ways if they don’t already know them. Make sure that anyone and everyone who will play a part while you’re gone can work together. This will bring you a heap of comfort when you’re on your trip.
13. Ignore the buzzing annoyance of Mom Guilt.
That mofo likes to pop up around this time. She’ll tell you that you don’t deserve a trip and she’ll make you question what kind of mom leaves her kids behind. She’ll regret to tell you how much this will do to your soul and how refreshing it’ll be for you mentally. Go back to Step 5 if you need a dose of excitement.
14. Start packing.
Trust me on this, you’ll want to do it over time versus waiting until the night before you leave. You’ll be frazzled beyond belief a few days before your trip so the sooner you get to packing, the better.
15. Let the kids know.
Depending on the age of your kids, you can have them help you pack. Make a game out of it. Instead of making it this sad experience, let them know how you can't wait to tell them about the adventures you have. Packing can totally be a bonding moment.
16. Leave your family.
It sounds dramatic, huh? I know, I know. This is the hardest step. This step will have you in your feelings. This step may produce waterworks from just about everyone in your family. Make it quick and know that everything after this step will be much easier. Take a deep breath and dive in.
17. Get on the plane.
Or ship. Or whatever. Just get on.
Have I encouraged you to take a solo mom vacation yet? Come on, what are you waiting for?!