How many of you Mama’s are tired? Or stressed out? Or, as Bilbo once said, feeling like “butter scraped over too much bread?” I can’t speak for every mother out there, but I can tell you that about six months into motherhood, this Mama needed a vacation bad.
Despite the fear and guilt of leaving my little one behind, I took that vacation. Now sporting a nice golden glow and feeling like a million bucks, I’m going to give you Mama’s some seriously important advice – take that adults only vacation!!
Maternity Leave Is NOT A Vacation
Did everybody hear that? No? Let me say it louder for everyone in the back – maternity leave is NOT a vacation! I have heard this nonsense so many times it’s not even funny. I don’t know what these people assume parenting is, but I can tell you for sure it’s not sitting with my feet up, getting my nails done, and sipping on mimosas. And no, it’s not sitting at home playing with our kids all day either. Raising a child is hard work – one could almost say it’s a full time job. There’s a reason for maternity and parental leave, and it’s definitely not so we can sit at home and “relax.”
Don’t get me wrong, having the ability to be with your child everyday for their first year of life is a blessing. We get to walk through many milestones alongside them, we develop an amazing bond, and we are given time to adapt and adjust to our new role as a mother. However, we all know that motherhood is not all sunshine and rainbows, and the reality is that sometimes we just need a break from the fatigue, stress, and worrying. So don’t feel bad for needing a vacation, and book it!
Skip The Guilt Trip
So, you’ve reached that point where you’re pulling your hair out, you cry at the drop of a hat, and you’re so tired that your dark circles can’t be covered up with make-up. You’ve finally decided it’s time for a vacation. But now you’ve got another weight on your shoulders: guilt.
In the weeks leading up to my trip to Mexico, I had ALL of the guilty thoughts. I told myself I was horrible for leaving my baby behind, that she would forget me, that I would somehow forget how to parent, and so much more. I worried that she would give my mother (who she stayed with) a hard time, or that something might go wrong.
As it turns out, though, all that worry and guilt was for nothing. My baby had a fantastic week with her Grandma – she was given all the cuddles, ate more than she ever has, and even slept better than usual. My guess is she was having so much fun that she probably didn’t even realize Mom and Dad weren’t there. And as a bonus, my mother had a fantastic week too – what Grandma doesn’t want the chance to spoil their grand-baby for a week straight?
So, Mama’s, skip the guilt. Guilt does absolutely nothing for you or your baby. Go on that trip and enjoy it! Don’t weigh yourself down with those ridiculous “what-if’s.”
The Importance Of WiFi
When I booked my trip, I was more than ready for a vacation. However, I wasn’t necessarily ready to go a whole week without seeing my little girl. I think if I had had to go without seeing her chubby little face for 7 whole days, I would have been jumping on a plane home before the trip was over.
Lucky for me, the resort I stayed at had WiFi. So, without having to pay extra roaming charges, I was able to video chat with my mom and my baby whenever I felt like it (which was usually once a day). My mom also sent me a ton of pictures that I could show off to absolutely anybody who would listen. So it ended up that I missed my baby, but it wasn’t unbearable. I will still able to enjoy my vacation to the fullest.
Trust Your Babysitter
This is a given. I would never have been able to leave unless I could fully trust whomever I was leaving my baby with. For me, that person was my mother. My girl had had a few sleepovers at Grandma’s house before we left, and each time had gone very well. My mom and my step-dad love having her over, and I knew that they could handle any issues that might have popped up.
I also knew I could trust that they would respect my wishes. I try not to be too much of a Mom-Zilla, but there are some things that I prefer done a certain way when it comes to my child. It was a comfort knowing my mom wouldn’t fight me on any of those things.
When it comes down to it, having a babysitter that I could fully trust was probably the number one factor in whether I was going to leave the country or not. So, Mama’s, if you’re going to head out on that vacation – choose wisely!
In sum, Mama’s, please remember one thing: your mental health is so important to both you and your baby. We all get tired, we all get stressed out. The difference between those of us who crack and those of us who thrive depends on how well we take care of ourselves. So please, Mama’s – if you need that vacation, TAKE IT!