I’m taking a weekend trip with four of my high school friends soon and couldn’t be more excited for two nights away with some of my favourite women (and mums). This will be the first time leaving my youngest child overnight and I’m so grateful that he will be with my husband. With our first child, the guilt of being away nearly made me cancel everything—even date nights—pretty regularly, but things have changed for me with baby #2.
Maybe it’s the fact that I have two little ones. Maybe it’s that I have complete trust in my husband and know he is beyond capable of handling our children. Or maybe it’s the fact that I work from home now and am the primary caregiver for our children, but either way, I don’t feel an ounce guilty about this trip. I’ve learned that I deserve a break and my friendships need my energy, too. Here are the five reasons I’m taking off for a friend holiday this summer. If these reasons sound familiar, maybe it’s time for you to take a holiday without the family, too!
- I haven’t slept through the night in 16 months. Pregnancy discomfort and needs keep you awake those last months. Then your new beautiful baby sleeps in several rounds of 1-2 hour stretches. Then they sleep through the night, right?! Wrong! My baby still hasn’t slept through the night at 13 months old and wakes up at least three times a night. Needless to say, I need a couple of good nights of sleep. It’s time! I deserve it.
- My friendships are important and I can’t expect them to stay healthy without giving them proper attention. My female friendships are a huge part of my life. I have extremely close high school friends and very close college friends. Those friendships need tending. I can’t expect them to remain strong without any time together. Typically, the time we do have together involves our fun and active children. It’s a great time, but it also means we can’t chat, catch up, or listen to more than a few words at a time without interruption. Friendships matter and this time is an investment in the long-term health of these relationships.
- I am a better mum and wife when I have time to recharge. This one has become increasingly clear to me. A night out with friends, a quiet peaceful run alone, and a quick pedicure at the spa all recharge me. I’ve found that I’m happier and more energetic after a little “me time.”
- My husband is fully supportive. I’m aware that not everyone is so lucky. But when I first asked my husband about this trip, his response was simply “Yes! Go for it.” He’s an amazing husband so I should not have expected anything else, but his resounding “YES!” made it much easier to book the trip. If you’re experiencing resistance from your husband to take a trip without the family, work on communicating as to where the uneasiness lies. Is he stressed about having to care for the kids on his own? Consider lining up help for him over the weekend so he has time to run errands or take some time alone. Is he simply jealous? Hey…that’s OK. A fun weekend of R&R is totally something to be jealous of (I’d feel a tinge of jealousy if the tables were turned!) It’s OK to feel that way, but as long as the courtesy extends both ways, remind him that a trip without the family is on the table for him in the future, too.
- I am the primary caregiver for our children and I work. I work about 30 hours a week from home as a freelance writer, blogger and consultant. And I’m also the primary caregiver for our two children. I take care of all household needs, maintenance, all medical appointments, play dates, groceries, snacks, and things for our kids. My husband works HARD and this split works for us. But sometimes I need a break, and this is my chance.
Why ruin something good with guilt anyway, right? Just the thought of a couple of nights of sleep and long evenings chatting with these women has me feeling relaxed. Off I go!