STEP 1 DON'T LET GUILT EAT YOU OUT !
ARGHHH That guilt just compress your heart every time you think of doing anything without your children
That guilt will stop you right in your tracks doesn’t it ???
This is all about limiting beliefs that you carry..
Let’s start with asking yourself these questions
Did you mom never or rarely take time off ?
Is the image of motherhood shown to you growing up was one of a mother stressed, overwhelmed and tired ?
If you answer yes to any of these questions. I only have one answer for you.
Guilt is brought on by your limiting beliefs and Limiting beliefs are not your truth.
Deep down, you know you are worthy of rest. You are aware that on some level that you cannot continue on the way you are now and live a life that makes you happy and fulfilled.
Your feelings of guilt, shame, anxiety, and stress are your body’s way of saying that this way of motherhood doesn’t feel right to you. If it did, you would be feeling light, calm, and full of purpose. Rest doesn’t have to look like a trip to Tuscany right off the bat (even though being in Tuscany with a big slice of pizza and a glass of wine is DEFINITELY the goal), but self-care can no longer be ten minutes of peace in the bathroom scrolling your phone. That’s not a break; it’s a bowel movement.
STEP 2 PREPARE YOUR TRIP BEFORE COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR FAMILY
How you’re going to support your partner with childcare while you are away. Whether your partner is hands on or not so hands on. Feeling supported is key to a smooth Pre mommy getaway. SO do your homework first.
Which dates you would like to getaway
Where you’re going and for how long
How much the trip is going to cost
Arranging for a Family members or friends to come at certain dates and times.
Pre-arranging babysitting services.
Setting-up playdates with other dads and kids.
Looking to see neighborhood events that will be fun for the kids, or, getting a list of movies playing at the theatre.
STEP 3 COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PARTNER AS IT IS ALREADY HAPPENING
Asking for a break gets easier the more you do it. Still, the first conversation can be daunting. Here’s how best to approach it based on my experience. When you go into the conversation with your partner, it has to be loving.
Let me say it one more time for the people in the back. It has to be loving.
Meaning, you have to be mindful of the timing of the conversation and the emotional space you’re both in before you start talking. It’s important not to be threatening in this conversation. Or passive-aggressive. You can’t guilt your partner or do any “you got this so I should get that” kind of thing. Tit-for-tat is a game that nobody wins in a relationship.
You need to come from a position of non-negotiable in this conversation, and it has to be a loving non-negotiable.
If you’re in a heterosexual relationship, it’s essential to think about how some men work. Some , not all Men, won’t respond well to threats and aggression or overly emotional pleas. They will shut down on you before they’ve had a chance to listen.
If you approach the conversation lovingly (after a good dinner and maybe or a glass or two of wine), you will have a much higher chance of your spouse hearing your needs and supporting you.
Remember, you are both parents, and you are both continually deciding – consciously and unconsciously – how you are going to run your family. You get to co-create and re-create what a healthy, happy family means to you. Bring your partner in as a collaborator and communicate your needs with love.
STEP 4 COMMUNICATING WITH CHILDREN
When I think about making self-care a daily habit, I am reminded of an expression my grandmother used to say: “Kids will get used to whatever you get them used to.” It’s true. If you do anything repetitively as a parent, it isn’t long before your kids adapt to the new routine. Mom going away sometimes is just another thing your kids can and will get used to – for them “normal” is whatever is consistent. It’s like potty-training your kids or getting them to eat their veggies, brush their teeth, or go to bed. Whatever you do repetitively will become a habit for your kids just as much as it becomes a habit for you. Of course, communicating the first time you’re going to go away is the hardest for everybody.
STEP 5 PACK A WEEK BEFORE YOUR DEPARTURE
Your spouse's stress will go up as the days to your trip begin to countdown. It’s best for you to be fully prepared a week before you leave so you can tackle the little fires that will come up for your partner and kids in the days leading up to your trip. Your panic was having the conversation with your spouse and kids about needing to getaway. Remember how nervous you were and how prepared you needed to be to have these talks? In the days leading up to your trip, it’s your partner's time to panic. Expect them to be a little frazzled and have nervous questions.
Don’t go into guilt as these requests and questions come up. Do pack early so you can be available to support your family as they work through their preparations for your departure.
BONUS STEP: LET IT GO AND ENJOY
Whether you’re starting with a day-trip or are getting away for a few days, for the first two hours of your self-care journey, I encourage you to turn off your phone. You need to reset, and continuously refreshing your screen looking for messages from your spouse or staring at pictures of your kids is only going to make you feel anxious. If you really can’t do 2 hours the first time, commit to 1 hour of completely unplugging with your phone turned off. Keeping your phone off for the first two hours is also a gift to your spouse. They are going to have the biggest reaction to you going away in the first hour after you’ve left. That’s when they are most likely to call asking where things are or panicking about dinner. After they’ve had an hour alone with the kids where Mom is unreachable, they begin to realize, “Hey, I can do this. Everything is cool!” That confidence builds quickly, and it is a gift for you to not meddle in that first hour so your spouse can find their way. While we’re here, Mama – it will be their way. Your spouse is not going to parent the way you parent. You may not agree with every decision they make. You need to let go of the reins. Did your kids eat hot dogs and chicken nuggets for four days? Did they miss their bath three nights in a row? Have they memorized full episodes of Paw Patrol? Do they think bedtime is 10 PM now? Let it go. Your kids were safe. Your kids were loved. And you got your much needed break. Having the rules change for a few days while you get some rest is worth the price tag!
Hey Mama! Congratulations! You’ve been dreaming about this trip for a long time. You have acknowledged your body’s need for rest and your spirit’s need for fun and rejuvenation. Signing up for this course and taking this trip is an act of self-love. I am so proud of you for making this commitment to yourself and honoring yourself in this way. The only thing left to do is enjoy your trip, bask in it, and reconnect with the woman who was there before kids. Have fun with her. Celebrate. Rest. Sleep. Repeat.