As it's often said, being a stay-at-home mom is a full-time job. And just like any other life-consuming work, it can burn you out. That's why the 24/7 mom crew should treat themselves to a vacation for one.
Lauren Apfel writes in the Washington Post about being the primary caregiver of her four children, and explains why it's important to take a break from it all at least once a year to refresh and rejuvenate.
"We are more hard-pressed than ever to give ourselves a proper break: The current climate of parenting tells us that enjoying extended time away from our offspring is indulgence at best, neglect at worst," according to Apfel. With 4-year-old twins at home, she notes that "my youngest are still outraged on the odd night I am not there and Daddy has to put them to bed."
But the truth is, a child will not be traumatized by the infrequent lapse of a bedtime story on your part. While the average paid time off in the United States is just over two weeks, and the average worker holiday lasts about four days, it makes sense for a mom (or dad) on the 24-hour parental grind to get some annual leave.
"Two or three nights away—it doesn’t matter where you go—can recharge your batteries and rejig your priorities in a way that a two- or three-hour visit to the salon cannot," Apfel writes. "The point of a vacation generally is to offer a sustained respite from the stress of the activity that takes up the majority of your time—so that you can return to it with the potential to do better."
Being a stay-at-home parent is one of the most important jobs in the world. The intensity of round-the-clock attendance to children is absolutely exhausting. A little recharge not only does a stay-at-home mom good, but it can make her a better parent.