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I haven't gone on vacation by myself since before I met DH. I've traveled for work so I've been away by myself but always with work responsibilities. 

I'm finding that I'm getting inpatient with DD. I think I need some time by myself. I've been with her all day/every day since March of 2020. 

Have any of you done this? Did you feel guilty? I feel guilty even thinking about it. 

I don't even know where I would go. 

If you did it, did you feel rejuvenated when you got home? 

 

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I didn't do it when my kids were young. I should have! Don't feel guilty. Impatience is a good sign you're in need of a break. 

Before kids, I did a number of retreats, usually at convents. I assume that's not something available to you in Covid times. 

I know some people book a hotel room for a weekend. Read, sleep,eat, swim, watch movies...

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Yes; no guilt; yes very refreshed.  In previous years I have gone away for a long weekend.  In my case it was a meditation retreat, but I think that staying away and just walking on my own for the weekend would have been good too.  I haven't done it since 2019 because of the pandemic.  Previously I went to one of these two places - it's basic accommodation so not too expensive:

https://www.holyisle.org/

https://www.samyeling.org/

(I'm not Buddhist but both places are welcoming).

 

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Do it!!!

I had gone for long weekends the few years before covid.  I wish I could go now - so desperately needed.  I went to a place I love, got a massage, shopped, watched tv, read, would bering my laptop and work on organizing my digital pics, ate yummy food.  I only went about 1.5 hours away, but I loved it.

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After my dad had cancer and was on the mend, I went alone to visit my parents (they didn’t want me there during the treatments, long story.). Even though I wasn’t alone-alone, it was a welcome change from the routine and responsibility of being a wife/mother.

It was very refreshing and centering to lay those responsibilities aside. I can only imagine that being alone-alone would be even better, esp if you’re introverted. But I very much enjoyed being with my family. We didn’t do anything other than hang around the house and shop for groceries at Walmart. But it was nice to just sit around chit-chatting and eating dinner together. Very calming. I did feel calmer and more patient when I got back.

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Pre-covid dh would take the kids to his mother’s house for three days twice a year. It was wonderful and refreshing. When I pick Ds up from college next month, I’m going up a day in advance and staying in an Airbnb overnight.  I really need those breaks.so, I say do it. 

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I've gone away with friends (beach, NYC, scrapbooking events, etc.) and to visit friends/family by myself. I don't think I've gone and just been on my own, but I may have and don't remember. If that's what you need, GO! Don't feel guilty.

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I usually add a few days on either end of one of the big homeschool conventions to give myself a break.  The one I usually go to isn't until August this year and I just mentioned to dh that I may need to get away earlier than that.  I usually do feel a bit guilty but not guilty enough not to get away!

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To fully enjoy going away without your family one has to have a good mindset about coming home. Go, enjoy, relax. Don't have any expectations about the state of the house or what the others did while you were away. 

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No, but I've never sought it out. I would in a heartbeat if I needed it though. Dh and I get away just the two of us almost yearly and that is something where we spend a lot of time together but also a lot of time doing our own things in each other's presence. So, for me it fills the need to be alone.  

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I have only done it a few times, and it was never really by myself, but to visit extended family. They are exhausting in their own way, but at least it was different. I very much long for a break from my home routine and yes, my family. I've never heard anyone come home from a break like that and say they regretted it.

But yes as Starr says, keep your expectations real for  your return. Don't dread it, but don't be surprised if things are not as you'd planned. 

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I've done it a few times. Once when my oldest was almost two for just under a week (my DH tried to make me feel guilty...RESIST!!) and then two years ago for two weeks (DH didn't even try). Oh shoot, and once more for my 25th college reunion. I love my family but I enjoy being with other adults too. I always come back feeling more like myself and less like 'Just Mom (tm)'.

Edited by Sneezyone
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I once had to pick my son up from a camp that was many hours away from our house.  So I spent the night in a town nearby by myself the night before the camp was over.  It was AMAZING.  And all I did was just stay in the hotel room.  Except for when the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night.  Then I went into the parking lot with everyone else.

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Absolutely! Zero guilt, because it's good for everyone. I feel more myself and more patient and energetic as a mom when I return. Dh and daughters learn to do more for themselves when I'm gone, and seem to appreciate me more when I come back. 

I've booked anywhere from 1-3 nights at a local hotel--sometimes a suburban hotel that's inexpensive but has a pool or saltwater jacuzzi, and sometimes a lodge by a lake that's a bit more spendy, and has hiking trails, pool & jacuzzi. I'm an introvert and writer so I bring my laptop and books and some easy food for the room, and also go out for great dinners or get takeout (seafood or whatever I love that someone else in the family doesn't like). 

I've also visited family solo and gone to New Orleans for a conference that interested me but was not work-related, and included plenty of time for music festivals and dining out, and to Philadelphia to visit a museum for a writing project. I lived in Philly in my 20s, so it was also a nostalgia trip. 

Doing whatever I want, whenever I want, is so delicious. As moms we don't often simply get to hear and follow our own desires, and it's so replenishing to rediscover who I am, what I like, what I want. It's not self-ish; it's self-care, and that's a good thing to model for our kids.

I always take a whiteboard or huge pad of paper so I can brainstorm and make mind maps. At various times this has helped me plot a novel, figure out what I wanted in my marriage, and how to resolve one of my daughter's health issues. I guess what I'm saying is that having space to feel and think for yourself isn't just about what you have for dinner; there are times it has helped me clarify values and priorities and next steps that have been turning points in my life and for my family's wellbeing. That doesn't happen every time, and my goal is just R&R, but the benefits can go far beyond that.

I haven't gone on a solo retreat since the pandemic but since I just had my second Pfizer shot I started looking online for options a few weeks from now. 

Have fun playing and exploring what appeals to you! For me the planning and anticipation is half the fun. I like to scope out restaurants and hiking trails in the area, and other than that mostly spend time swimming, hot tubbing, or being an introvert in my room. What appeals to others may be completely different. Probably some extroverts would rather travel with friends, but in this season of my life it's a joy to be on my own and not having to negotiate anyone else's needs or wants.  

ETA: The first few times I did this I definitely felt guilt about being away and spending money on myself when money was really tight, but not anymore because I see how good it is for everyone. When my girls were younger I did a good amount of prep beforehand, including meals in the freezer that worked for their health issues, setting up playdates/rides/sleepovers if needed, and a detailed calendar for dh. Now that my youngest is 15 I just try to do a basic grocery shop, check the calendar and do some laundry before I go. 

Edited by Acadie
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For most of the time the kids were young, my husband worked crazy hours on top of a long commute -- rarely got home much before 10p.  A lot of stress, a lot of burnout, a lot of kids & me getting sick of each other (both directions tbh), and a fair degree of resentment on my part.  Leaving the kids *with my husband* wasn't really an option because he worked long and constantly, including over all weekends.

In those years I *often* orchestrated trips with other women with their kids, no husbands.  Typically 2x a summer.  With different women -- my SIL, my cousin, several different female friends. Usually at family nature camp/ AMC hiking camp sorts of places, or other not-expensive someone-else-deals-with-cooking kinds of places.  This lifted all the driving & cooking & time management & herding the cats that was my lot in those days, allowed the kids run around with someone other than me, and let *me* connect and interact with Actual Grownups, which was the most restorative for me.  That was the mechanism that most often worked most regularly.

 

My parents were awesome about taking the kids for a week every summer... but that usually was the only time I was able to snatch time with my husband, so we usually did something just the two of us in those weeks. But as the kids got old enough to attend camps and other programs in farflung states, I often was able to leave 1-2 kids with them as I took the other one up to Maine or NH or somewhere to drop them off at whatever they were doing, and sort of sneak in a night in a hotel by myself, ahhhhhhhhhhh. 

 

Once -- only once -- when I really was pretty much at the end of my rope I just told my husband in a Very Firm Voice: this is it, I'm off for four days at the end of (April or whatever), you figure it out spanky... and planned my retreat.  He didn't really believe I would do it -- there really was no precedent -- and didn't make any particular plan (which made me both extremely anxious and also more ridden with guilt), and he really seemed Quite Astonished when I reminded him a week or so out what time I was leaving, and he scrambled for a plan (which ended up being: he deposited them at his sister's, which pretty much just shifted my whole problem to someone else... so yeah, a whole lotta guilt on my part)...

...but I did it anyway.

Looking back: I should have done more of that. It *felt* very transgressive and irresponsible and self-indulgent. In hindsight I see better: it only felt that way because nobody was making space for me to do it; I had to speak up for my own needs. I should have done more of that.

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It’s ironic that you’re asking this, because I just did this. I planned a week away at a beach within driving distance with my family for my youngest’s spring break. At the last minute, no one in my family could go due to other responsibilities that they couldn’t miss. But I had blocked off time from work and still really wanted to go, so I did - I spent a week at the beach by myself and it was absolutely amazing - life-changing actually. I slept in, ate what I wanted, did a lot of walking along the boardwalk next to the sand, read my book with my toes in the sand, stared out at the ocean, and healed. I have had a lot of very big and stressful things in the last 5 years, and so I finally had the uninterrupted time to process a lot of things, take a good hard look at my life, and make plans for the future. It was seriously the most incredible week, and I feel like I am in a much healthier place now because of it. 

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5 minutes ago, PinkTulip said:

It’s ironic that you’re asking this, because I just did this. I planned a week away at a beach within driving distance with my family for my youngest’s spring break. At the last minute, no one in my family could go due to other responsibilities that they couldn’t miss. But I had blocked off time from work and still really wanted to go, so I did - I spent a week at the beach by myself and it was absolutely amazing - life-changing actually. I slept in, ate what I wanted, did a lot of walking along the boardwalk next to the sand, read my book with my toes in the sand, stared out at the ocean, and healed. I have had a lot of very big and stressful things in the last 5 years, and so I finally had the uninterrupted time to process a lot of things, take a good hard look at my life, and make plans for the future. It was seriously the most incredible week, and I feel like I am in a much healthier place now because of it. 

Wow, I'm so glad you had this solo retreat on the beach! Sounds serendipitous and amazingly well-timed for you. And totally agree that it can be life-changing.

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Somehow I can't step away from this thread, lol. 

I've found that impatience and irritation with my kids is an excellent sign that I need to change something. It could be that my expectations for them or the ways I hold them accountable need to change, or that I need a break or better ways to manage stress, or at one point it meant that my oldest needed to switch from homeschooling to brick and mortar school. Anything is possible, but something is asking to change, and there's probably no better way to figure it out than to get some space, enjoy yourself, and listen. 

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Such a timely thread    I just wrote  blog post about the day I crashed on a couch and did NOTHING all day.

I am currently planning an overnight get away with a friend....and if she can't go, I will still go.....and get this, I am leaving at 7am on Mother's Day and will be home the next night.  I am going to a friend's cottage and will have a balance of alone time and some friend time and some hiking time.

After my now ex-husband was arrested, this friend let me use her cottage for free for an overnight get away.  I just couldn't handle anything else.

All that to say, DO IT.  Even if you borrow a tent and camp for a super low cost get away or rent a nicer place to stay,  just do it.

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It sounds glorious.

I haven't gone away by myself (unless you count those long walks in the national parks), but I've sent my kids away on various overnight camps and field trips over the years.  There is nothing wrong with people needing a break from each other IMO.

Sometimes I imagine going on some sort of spa retreat.  I don't know that I'll ever get to do it though.  I always have work.  I hope I can retire and do those things before my body says no.

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I will say that even one nice long day spa experience is worth it. 

The problem is that I don't know how that really works with Covid.  My idea of rejuvenating "me time" does not involve wearing a mask.

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1 hour ago, Acadie said:

Somehow I can't step away from this thread, lol. 

I've found that impatience and irritation with my kids is an excellent sign that I need to change something. It could be that my expectations for them or the ways I hold them accountable need to change, or that I need a break or better ways to manage stress, or at one point it meant that my oldest needed to switch from homeschooling to brick and mortar school. Anything is possible, but something is asking to change, and there's probably no better way to figure it out than to get some space, enjoy yourself, and listen. 

Actually DD is switching from homeschooling to brick and mortar next year. So that decision is already made. But it does feel like we are on the cusp of many changes which is probably adding to my stress. 

And DD keeps asking and asking and asking about when she can a phone. Apparently every other kid has a phone. Actually I shouldn't be sarcastic about that because it does appear that DD is the only kid in her friend who doesn't have a phone. What a world! 

But I'm tired of being asked, KWIM? 

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I once spent 6 months physically training for a 5 day, 40 mile hike in a remote part of the US and my husband and kids weren't invited. I went with my hiking group, so it wasn't exactly alone, but the first 5 hours in and the last 6 hours out I paced myself between the fast group and the slow group so I could be alone for hours at a stretch with no one in sight or ear shot. The rest of them did a short side hike to play in one of the waterfalls on day 3-I stayed in camp by myself to read Lonesome Dove, my favorite book. Cellphones don't work there.  No technology. No cars. A helicopter flies in once every few days.

No guilt.  No apologies. Not even for the hour a day of training, planning sessions, and several days of training hikes in between.  No guilt about the gear/supplies purchases or my share of the mule rental that carried it while I took a day pack.

Plan you break and enjoy.

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10 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

 

Have any of you done this? Did you feel guilty? I feel guilty even thinking about it. 

I go often to India alone. DH manages the home, kids. I go mostly for my parents or inlaws needs, but I find the gentle rhythms of their life different from mine and it is relaxing. I do feel guilty, but I find it refreshing too.

10 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I don't even know where I would go. 

I would love to go by myself to a cottage by the beach. Go to sleep by the sound of waves, walk in the beach, cook seafood fresh off the water, sit in the sun, lie on a hammock, read to my hearts content while I listen to music.

The beach is my happy place so I make all this happen right down to having a sound machine and app with sound of waves without actually going to the beach.

10 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

If you did it, did you feel rejuvenated when you got home? 

 

When I go to India by myself, it is always for others needs not just a vacation. But I get to travel by myself which I love, eat my mom's cooking, wake up to the smell of my dad's coffee, eat with my brother, walk in my childhood beach, see friends. I actually do no get a lot of time by myself but something about going back to where I grew up centers me, relaxes me, resets me. DH goes to India by himself too. 

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10 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

 I don't even know where I would go.

Do you generally prefer going to new places or familiar places?
Does your budget allow for distance or staying closer to home?
Do you find car or plane travel less draining? 
Do you tend to feel refreshed in settings of mostly nature, mostly cities/towns, or both?
Do you prefer to rejuvenate with physical activity or physical rest?
Do you prefer to rejuvenate with mental activity or mental rest?
Do you rejuvenate indoors, outdoors, or indoor/outdoor spaces?
Do you have a hobby or particular interest that has a destination known for it?

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For practical reasons that wasn’t an option for me when my oldest kids were all little but once I could I did and I felt zero guilt. 
 

What example of motherhood and adult woman do you want your daughter to have?  Personally, I want all my kids to know that being a mom doesn’t mean women stop having interests and friends and that they shouldn’t feel guilty about that. 

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24 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

<snip>
 

What example of motherhood and adult woman do you want your daughter to have?  Personally, I want all my kids to know that being a mom doesn’t mean women stop having interests and friends and that they shouldn’t feel guilty about that. 

Yes, this. I have done far too little for myself during my years of marriage/motherhood. I had a lot of time to follow my own pursuits before I was married for real (married at 22, divorced by 25, then married for real at 39; I was alone much of those intervening years) and even though I had a happy life as a single person, I was ready to be part of a unit when I got married and had kids and wholeheartedly took on the role of stay home, homeschooling mom while my husband worked the long hours. But now I am really feeling the need to get away from everyone more. For various reasons it's impractical now and sometimes I despair of ever having the opportunity again.  I talk about stuff like this with my daughter often. I don't expect her life to  look anything like mine, and she knows the areas where I have gone wrong, so to speak, in not carving more time and space out for myself. At some point I will need to talk to my son so if he marries, he will understand if his as-yet-hypothetical wife wants to get away and encourage her to do it. (Not that my husband discouraged me; he's pretty oblivious but I have allowed him that luxury. If I am discontent now, it's not his fault.) 

It would have been easier if I'd started getting away alone when everyone was  younger!  🤦‍♀️😁

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40 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Do you generally prefer going to new places or familiar places?
Does your budget allow for distance or staying closer to home?
Do you find car or plane travel less draining? 
Do you tend to feel refreshed in settings of mostly nature, mostly cities/towns, or both?
Do you prefer to rejuvenate with physical activity or physical rest?
Do you prefer to rejuvenate with mental activity or mental rest?
Do you rejuvenate indoors, outdoors, or indoor/outdoor spaces?
Do you have a hobby or particular interest that has a destination known for it?

Good questions. 

I think I'll just go somewhere in about an hours drive from home. 

Unfortunately I'm not able to do any hiking right now because I've injured my knee. 

I'm totally boring because what interests me right now is a nice hotel where I can watch HGTV all day and order room service. 

 

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I do remember a night a few years ago when I was away sort-of on my own overnight. My daughter's boyfriend's high school prom. He lives 50 miles away, and it was impractical to expect him to pick her up, take her to the prom, bring her back, and then go home again. So, she and I got a hotel room in his city. She got ready at the hotel; I took her to his house for meet-and-greet with parents, and photos, then went back to the hotel. First I stopped for snacks for my dinner. I had a billion books, a notebook, some needlework... I read and stitched and ate. At around 2am he brought her to the hotel and I woke up briefly while she came in. It was really nice to just be alone, even though it was at a very pedestrian hotel in a boring area with no attractions. 

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Hmmm after a year spending waaayyy too much time with the same people, I’m afraid if I went away by myself right now I’d be tempted to never return!

Seriously, though, I have done this for an overnight and I have done it for a week. Do it! But you should aim for at least three nights out. I found that one night out only served to annoy me that I couldn’t have more time away. 

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33 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Good questions. 

I think I'll just go somewhere in about an hours drive from home. 

Unfortunately I'm not able to do any hiking right now because I've injured my knee. 

I'm totally boring because what interests me right now is a nice hotel where I can watch HGTV all day and order room service. 

 

Don't underestimate the value of boring.

A hike to Flat Iron through Siphon Draw in the Superstition Mountains took out my left knee.  I've missed that knee.

If you're looking for something for the hike in your soul, you might like the documentary Mile, Mile and a Half. A group of friends (that includes a professional cinematographer) hike the John Muir trail in CA and film as they go.  It's soooo beautiful and relaxing and inspiring. No knee required.

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I would love this. Just thinking about doing it makes me feel extremely guilty! *sigh*

I've never been away by myself. I've never lived by myself.... I moved, 20yrs old and pregnant, from my parents' house into an appt with DS25's father, then it was just DS25 & me, and then I married DH and had four more boys. Alone for a weekend sounds delightful.

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1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I'm totally boring because what interests me right now is a nice hotel where I can watch HGTV all day and order room service. 

 

Pre-pandemic my idea of relaxation was a spa. If I was on a break, I wanted to be intentional with nature, journal, think, eat nourishing food, pray.

Now I would lie around eating soup and dessert (my favorite combo), watching bad TV, taking naps a whole day and call it relaxing, rejuvenating.

Have you had your vaccine shots ? I used that time and symptoms to relax and lay around in bed for two days, watching bad TV and napping. Believe me, it was relaxing and rejuvenating. Friends delivered food for 2 days. We are a core group of 6. All of us felt like a mini-vacation because we delivered food for each other.

Take what you get, do what you have to. It does not have to be intentional or even have a purpose. If you want to sleep for 12 hours straight do it.

Edited by Dreamergal
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12 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

Pre-pandemic my idea of relaxation was a spa. If I was on a break, I wanted to be intentional with nature, journal, think, eat nourishing food, pray.

Now I would lie around eating soup and dessert (my favorite combo), watching bad TV, taking naps a whole day and call it relaxing, rejuvenating.

Have you had your vaccine shots ? I used that time and symptoms to relax and lay around in bed for two days, watching bad TV and napping. Believe me, it was relaxing and rejuvenating. Friends delivered food for 2 days. We are a core group of 6. All of us felt like a mini-vacation because we delivered food for each other.

Take what you get, do what you have to. It does not have to be intentional or even have a purpose. If you want to sleep for 12 hours straight do it.

I've had my first shot and am getting the second shot a week from today. 

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A couple years ago I had the opportunity to travel with DH on a work trip and be a tourist ALONE in Boston for 5 days.  BLISS I tell you.  Highly recommend.  ❤️  

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I have 2 friends that I would do an overnight with every 6 months for years and years, but both of them have recently moved away. I've never done an overnight by myself but I think it sounds lovely.

Just do it!

 

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Do it! Precious time.

I had a trip planned this summer and now dh wants to come. We rarely get time by ourselves without kids and I think it would be mean to say no. But I am still a bit sad about losing the opportunity. 

Edited by ScoutTN
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6 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Good questions. 

I think I'll just go somewhere in about an hours drive from home. 

Unfortunately I'm not able to do any hiking right now because I've injured my knee. 

I'm totally boring because what interests me right now is a nice hotel where I can watch HGTV all day and order room service. 

 

Sounds fine to me! Nice!

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Yes, I have done it many times through the years.

No, I never felt guilty. (I don't understand the mindset that thinks you should feel guilty in this scenario.)

As many others have said, just do it.

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As soon as the kids were old enough to stop nursing and right up until Covid. 

Dh used to take the kids down to visit his parents without me a few times a year, leaving me alone for the weekend at home.  I would do some "chores" but also spend a lot of time eating the foods I want to eat, reading lots of books, and enjoying the peace and quiet.   

A few times a year I would also take a trip up to Niantic CT to a huge used book store.  Sometimes my oldest daughter would come, sometimes I'd take my mom but mostly I go by myself.    Rent a hotel room, shop for books, and of course, lots of reading.   

No guilt at all.   We've never considered dh watching the kids to be babysitting or doing me a favor.  He is/was more than capable of taking care of his children and never acts like it's a burden or inconvenience.  

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