Here’s the thing about motherhood.
Make a plan
Now, maybe it’s the anxious controller in me, but I need a really solid plan in order to feel comfortable. Anything that I’m nervous about gets planned out. That means leaving detailed instructions for whoever is watching my littles. Not because I feel like they need it, but because it makes me feel better.
Start by planning out the big stuff. How long are you gone? Who is going to watch your children? Where will you be staying? What is your “
Then, the middle. What will the home routine be during your trip? Set out a schedule for your home life so that the kids, and their caregivers, know exactly what is supposed to happen while you’re gone. This can be super detailed or more of an outline, but it needs to be something.
Now, the small stuff. Is there anything that you’re nervous about? Plan it. For example, I like to make a loose schedule of when I will face time the kids because I never want to call and have it go unanswered (that would send my anxiety through the roof) nor do I want to call in the middle of a busy moment like dinner. No matter what it is, if it is giving you any sort of trepidation, plan it out.
Don’t make a big thing
One of the worst things you can do before travelling without your kids is to make it a huge deal in front of your kids. Even if you have to fake it, which you probably will, make it sound like it’s going to be an absolute blast. They are going to feel more comfortable if you are showing that you’re excited for them to get a little break from you. *hint hint* Telling them it’s a vacation for them too makes it a whole lot more exciting.
Grab a drink
This is any kind of beverage that will help you feel at ease. A nice cup of tea, the perfect almond milk latte, or a strong gin and tonic, are all my top choices. The point is that it gives you a moment to breath. A drink forces you to sit down and slow down. So, make sure you get to the airport early enough that you can have your drink of choice in a real cup. Trust me, it makes a difference.
Every day that you are away, get a drink and simply sit to enjoy it. No running off your feet. No chasing rowdy kids to get them out the door for school. Make a coffee and savour it. Smell it. Really! Smell what a slower pace feels like.
I’m not talking about spending a ton of money on spa days and shopping sprees, unless that’s your jam, but I am talking about making sure you give yourself a little something extra. The guideline is simple. What haven’t you done, or rarely get to do, now that you have kids? I have a few go-to choices, like heading to the mall and slowly shopping the isles of Sephora. Finding an early yoga class and walking back to the hotel with a coffee in hand. Having a sit down lunch. Wasting an hour in a book store. Staying up late and then sleeping in.
It can be small but it has to be a choice. Make the choice to do something that is completely about your happiness in that moment. Then remind yourself that your children are doing the exact same thing back home.
Keep this in mind
Mom guilt is real, and it can be brutal, but travel is also vital. Whether you’re jetting away for work or getting a few much needed nights away with your partner, try to remind yourself that your little ones will be okay. This is one of those things that go hand in hand with making sure you have an identity outside of motherhood. Do the things you love. Enjoy yourself. The mommy grind will be right where you left it when you return.