Mum-cations. A kid-free getaway with your besties.
Now I’ve called this kind of holiday necessity for some time and now it seems even the phycologists are jumping on board.
Psychology professor Dr Nava Silton finding that “Motherhood can be very stressful—whether it’s financial stresses, time stresses or just trying to get a whole lot done in a very short period of time” she told Fox5. “I think it’s really important for mothers to be rejuvenated and refreshed”
Taking time out for yourself to reconnect and recharge is nothing short of essential if you want to get the best out of yourself and therefore, get the best out of your children.
Now that’s a massive statement I hear you say, and it is! But hear me out. The demands and stresses of motherhood are enormous as a single mother or a happy couple. The mental workload of running a home and bringing up a family is becoming more and more overwhelming. Parents are taking on bigger workloads and most are not counteracting that and asking for help.
In the midst of my separation (read about that here) I was asked to fill out a form that described the mental requirements of running a household with three children and who is responsible for that workload. It went through everything and let me be frank, to see it on paper was nothing short of confronting. I mean I knew what part I carried but to see it staring you in the face was something else. I took this feeling, owned it and at that moment I smiled. I felt some sort of validation, content with the world and life I had committed to and one that I am truly grateful for. I gave myself a pat on the back and immediately wrote myself a permission slip to have a mini-getaway because simply put, I deserved it!!
What does a getaway look like for you? I get messages on my socials from tired worn out mums (and dads) with no family help and where they feel trapped with no way out. Messages from women who haven’t had a break in years. We all have different circumstances and I’m absolutely not one to know or judge what others are going through, I can only speak from my experience.
I’m blessed. I live close to my children’s school in an area I grew up in and to this, I had to make a choice. I don’t own a multimillion-dollar property by the beach, I decided to rent the cheapest house I could find, close to where I felt I could get the most support. The notion of ‘it takes a village’ has been a life saver for me. Whether I was with my husband or not, I desperately need to be close to my family and friends which brings me to my next point, friends.
I have three core, amazing besties that if I needed a break would have my three kids for a sleepover in a heartbeat. They would set tents up in their loungeroom if they had to but they would make it work for me and I would go out of my way to do the same for them. If you don’t have friends or family close by then make some. I understand it can be hard to ask for help but sometimes all you have to do is, ask! If you’re in a situation and feel alone then you can bet your bottom dollar that someone at school is struggling the same way you are. Swap a night out! Even if your kids aren’t friends or in the same year it doesn’t matter. If you can’ find someone on your own, quietly ask an authority at school, they will know exactly where you can turn.
I live a lot of my life asking the question ‘what would I tell my kids to do?’. I’ve jumped on board to support Telethon Kids Embrace program which is all about making our kids comfortable asking for help. We are losing 1 in 3 Australian kids to suicide. This is INSANE. Perhaps in a small way, if our kids see us asking for help when we need it, putting our needs and mental health first, if we can mentor and show our children that it’s ok, then maybe, just maybe we can make a positive impact on this horrific statistic and save our children in the future.
We must find a way not to be super parents, to ask for help, to seek advice and we must start showing our kids that we are important too. I know that I’m calmer, kinder, and make better decisions when I am feeding my soul and putting myself and my health first.
‘You can’t give from an empty cup’. Even if you only have to fill your cup once or twice a year, it needs to be filled. Ask yourself, would you be a better mother if you made the time to do something for yourself, if you had a break? If the answer is yes then you owe it to yourself and to your kids to move heaven and earth to make it happen.
Whether it’s a 24 hour staycation at Crown, a weekend away with your besties (here we went with The Holistic Hen), a lavish yoga retreat in another country or a simply a weekend alone in your own home with no kids, if you carry the mental workload of the house you need to take a break. If not for you, then for your children.
When was the last time you had a break? Would love to hear your mum-cation stories! And if you haven’t had one I would love to hear how are you going to make time.
More information on the incredible holidays available by The Holistic Hen here.
Editor: Rayne Bryant