Take the Break!

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I have read no more than 100 articles/posts/blogs regarding the importance of taking the vacay. And I couldn’t agree more. Except, I have discovered we, and I mostly mean me, need some clarity around the word vacay. To most, it connotes a big family excursion complete with all things large, like tropical waters or big roller coasters, or enormous cruise ships. There are months worth of planning that include a packed itinerary to satisfy the wishes and desires of all involved. 

However, while these vacays are important and necessary and deserved, it is so much more valuable and needed to take smaller, shorter, specialized breaks as frequently as possible in order to fully refresh, relax, and recharge. Here are some examples of breaks our family attempts to participate in as much as the calendar and our bank accounts will allow.

Breaks our family take

The Significant Other Break

I put this first. Because it is the one that often gets overlooked. Thoughts like “they are only young once so we have to do it all with them now” many times wins over “adult time”. But I am here to tell you, from very recent, first-hand experience you NEED this break. You know the expression ain’t mama happy, then nobody happy? Well, what better way to make mama happy than to allow her to rest, recharge and reconnect with the one that shares her passions and love and desires. 

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were blessed by his company with a one-week cruise, and it was HEAVEN on earth. Long days in the sun with literally nothing to do. The opportunity to sleep in each day for a week. Uninterrupted conversations over dinner. Reconnecting over laughs and deep thoughts and shared experiences. Truly a difference maker! We came back craving our children while also being reminded of all the things we love about each other.

But if a long week or an exotic location is not possible, it IS still possible and necessary to get that break. Drive an hour away (Kiawah, Beaufort, Georgetown) and have dinner and drinks and an uninterrupted night’s sleep in a hotel for just one evening. OR send the kids to the grandparents and enjoy those very things in your own home. It isn’t really the location that matters, it is the undivided attention you can give each other to allow you to connect and remember all the things you love about each other. 

The Fourteen Trip

A few months ago, I stumbled upon this article. It was like some divine interventionist put it in front of me because we were facing some challenges with our then 13-year-old. So I made it a priority to start planning a trip for just him, following his 14th birthday. We would not be taking his sisters. Just him, my husband, and myself. Traveling to the mountains of Colorado to do all the things he loves and not the other way around. Hiking and mountain biking and being in nature. Eating pasta and quesadillas and grilled cheese. Letting him pick the movies in the hotel rooms, the breakfast spots, and the itinerary each day.

Let me tell you, it was SO GREAT to connect with him in that way. To focus solely on him, during a time that is filled with confusion and frustration, was something I will never regret and always treasure. And, again, if your budget or your time does not allow for something cross country, find local things that are special to your child and leave the others at home.

Mom Time

Alone or with friends. work or pleasure. Adult time for YOU. Doing the things YOU most enjoy. Again, this can be exotic, or nearby. In your home or a hotel around the corner. For a few hours or a few days. I promise you will love yourself and your babies MORE by stepping away for this break. AND I promise they will love and appreciate YOU more. 

The Big Family Getaway

And although I love all the other breaks, this will always and forever be my favorite. Looking back at our lives as a family, my most cherished memories are trips we have taken together. Because you remove the norms. And the routines. You force them away from their friends and their devices and their habits. AND you force yourself to do the same.

You open their eyes and yours to new worlds and new experiences and new traditions. Snowboarding for the first time. Swimming with dolphins. Those fireworks over the Magic Kingdom. Laughing together. Playing together. Just being a family. Now, if you don’t have the time or resources for the BIG break, consider those quick and close ones. You can find togetherness and breaks from the every day if you just journey across the state or even across the town. Find those new experiences to do together and make them become a habit and an expectation. You will never regret spending the time or the money or the planning because these memories will be lifelong and everlasting.

I know it is hard to break away. You worry about savings. You worry about disruptions to schedules. You worry about everyone’s well-being whether they are with you, or apart. But you know what? When a few months have passed after the break, you will not regret it. You will not wish you hadn’t. You will only relive the best parts. So do it! Do it now! The only break you will regret is the one you didn’t take!

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