Three Day Mom Vacation

I was recently at a friends house letting the kids burn off some energy and my friend is a part time food blogger (on top of mother, wife, and student) so if she says “I’m cooking dinner” – believe me, I’ll be there. We got on the topic of mom breaks and how it’s great when friends or family take the kids for the day or an overnight right? But then they leave and we find ourselves in a crossroads of self care or productivity.  This is a real problem!

My friend declared: We all need a 3 day mom vacation!

So here are the plans for the 3 day mom vacation.

Day One: Run through the house in your pajamas, watch every show, eat in bed, take a long shower… several times. Go on a date or go to something fun for you. Something you never get to do, something you miss doing. Make it the perfect day.

Day Two: Sleep in, then time to conquer all things household. Deep clean, attack the mountain of laundry, (while still catching up on shows) order out so you don’t have dishes to do or have to cook. Do all things productive, all things on that “rainy day list” bust your butt. Whew! You did it!

Day Three: Recover from day two. Finish up the final touches and then one last time- take time for you. Be good to yourself, there is only one you and while you give yourself to others, your partner, children, fur babies, you also need to celebrate you. Do some retail therapy, and take a nap. Then the kids come back that evening and back to the grind we go.

The days are long but the years seem short. Those of us with young children are in the middle of some of the hardest years of your lives. This isn’t forever, it’s just for now and years down the road we will look back and say these were some of the best and hardest years of our lives but we miss them. So enjoy them while you’re in them but don’t forget to take care of you too. 

Plane Ticket For One Please!

I took a vacation this summer and I didn’t take my family. Having young children is hard and you start to lose your identity between all the drop offs, pick ups, activities, kids birthday parties, doctors appointments, household chores and juggling a career. Not to mention growing with your partner through all of these changes as well. I needed a break. I needed some respite. I needed to reconnect with me. Who am I? Who have I grown into as I settle into my 30’s?  I heard everything from: “How will your husband survive?”, to “You must not breastfeed if you aren’t taking your baby!”, and “You’re leaving your children?!”

Yes, I took a 4 day trip out the country to have some me time. This is the hardest (and most rewarding) time in our lives with young children, being an entrepreneur, a wife, maybe in that 

order sometimes… In 10 years when I look back, it will just be a skid mark in my life’s story… but how many of us feel like we are drowning at times? How many of us take the time for self-care? In the last 5 years of my life, I’ve gotten married, moved back into my childhood home,  I’ve carried two humans over 40 weeks each time, I’ve had a cesarean, a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), I’ve breastfed a total of 3 years and counting. My body has new curves, my clothes fit differently, my taste in food has only gotten spicier, my circle of friends has shifted and evolved, and who have I become in all of this?

I took a trip to Canada, to the land of nice people. True story, my friend literally got into a “you go first, no you go first” match with a pedestrian who was in the middle of the street, while trying we were waiting to make a right turn! Her husband took their children up to their cabin for the time I was there. Two mothers, with a total of 4 kids under the age of 6, without children or husbands for 4 days…. what do you do?! You go to the movies!  You get your nails done! You spend over 2 hours eating at an all you can eat brunch buffet with live jazz music and chat with other adults! You stand in line for almost 2 hours just to get on the elevations at the CN Tower, in Toronto.  You go to Niagra falls and eat a fancy dinner, 77 floors above the falls in a revolving dining room, where your waiter is French and you can order escargot, and drink wine. You sleep in. You sleep without having anyone waking you up. You take long showers, and sit on the patio for hours talking, without worry, without judgment, and reconnect with yourself.

One thing doula work has taught me is the art of unbiased support. Imagine if we all lived our lives with non-judgmental mindsets. There would be no more ‘mommy wars”. Instead, when I got on that plane I would have heard: “Good for you taking some time for yourself.”, “Enjoy your vacation!”, and “Send lots of pictures!”

As mothers with young children I want to give you permission to enjoy life, don’t get caught up in the judgment. Take time for you and forget the double standards. Taking a break from all the responsibility is healthy, it’s normal, and we need to do it more often!

When I touched back down in Green Bay I was refreshed. I was reconnected, but who am I kidding– my checked luggage was filled with souvenirs for my kids, 100 oz of pumped breastmilk, and Kinder Eggs. Take time for you, get to know yourself again, and enjoy the chaos that is having young children.

 

Emily Jacobson is a certified doula and owner of Green Bay Doulas. Her certifications include; Labor Doula, Postpartum & Infant Care Doula, Certified Newborn Care Solutions, and Certified Postpartum Placenta Specialist.