Did you know that on average, moms work 96 hours per week? That’s equivalent to working two full-time jobs plus overtime. Experts say being a mother can be financially and emotionally stressful (1). In fact, most moms aren’t getting the proper amount of rest they need.
Society expects women to commit and give fully to their families, yet little is said about the need for moms to find time for self-care. This is why many psychologists suggest that mothers take time away from their kids and go on mom-cations so they can nurture themselves and avoid a burnout down the road (2).
Moms Deserve Breaks Too!
A mom-cation is a special time that mothers break away from their usual routine to relax. For moms who are stressed out, this involves a lot of “me time” and self-care. While this may seem selfish, research shows mom-cation actually benefits the entire family. Dr. Silton, who is a psychology professor says, “it’s very important for kids to see that balance that ideally needs to be achieved in a family situation.” Children who always see their parents especially their moms struggling to cope with daily activities may find it difficult to deal with adulthood (3).
Motherhood is a full-time job that involves doing the laundry, managing appointments, getting involved in school activities, preparing meals, and so much more. Studies show that moms are so caught up in their routines that the idea of vacation just for themselves makes them feel guilty. Most women consider a mom-cation an unnecessary luxury that they can’t afford (4). However, you need to understand that being a mom is just as stressful as a regular job (if not more) and it’s important for you to take a break.
Creative ways moms can enjoy their well-deserved breaks
Spending a few days away from the kids is a dream come true for many mothers. You don’t have to worry about dinner, bedtime, and homework. However, a full-blown vacation can be difficult to plan due to time constraints or a tight budget. (5) For now, if you can’t book yourself a mom-cation, here are some simple but effective relaxation ideas that you can use to incorporate “me-time” into your schedule as a mom:
Plan to rest for one morning each week. When you’re single you look forward to the weekends but being a mom changes all that. Your weekends are parked with activities for the kids, so you should plan to take time off at least one morning every week. During this time, you could go for a yoga class, read a book, or just relax with a cup of tea in bed.
24 hours monthly breaks: if you can’t take one morning off each week, try planning for a full day off every month. It’s normal for moms to constantly worry about what’s next on their errands list. However, taking one day off each month to enjoy yourself will calm your mind and help you think more clearly.
Organize your chores: you might think it’s best to do all your chores daily but allowing them to pile up can actually improve your sanity. You should designate special days for each task like laundry or cleaning days. Breaking it down into smaller chunks will allow you to do more productive things.
Plan your mom-cation intentionally. While it’s okay to take breaks at home, it will be much better if you actually go somewhere relaxing. A few days of calmness, silence, relaxation and time spent doing what you like will make a huge impact on your sense of wellbeing. You could either plan your own mom-cation or join an organized workshop in your area.
When you get back from a mom-cation, you’d be well-rested and refreshed, ready to handle whatever chaos is waiting for you at home. According to one mother who’s gone on a mom-cation, “I came back and I was a better mom. A more patient mom. A better wife. You learn to appreciate what you have at home because you got that break from it all.”
Even if you just spend two days away from home, it can greatly improve your mental and physical wellbeing. This is definitely something worth trying!