I knew “momcations” were a thing. But the thought of taking one for myself didn’t cross my mind until my husband traveled to Orlando, Florida, for a work trip for three days. (But really, it was low-key, small vacation.)
It hit me that I haven’t taken time for myself exclusively since having our son three years ago. Sure, I’ve met up with friends for concerts or fancy birthday celebrations. But, I never spent more than one day away from my family.
A part of me wondered if my husband could hold down the fort for that long. Would he be able to do the grocery shopping, meal prep, and pay attention to our son? Would our son miss me and constantly ask where’s mommy?
Maybe it was mom guilt that talked me out of this momcation each time. Maybe I convinced myself that there’s no such thing as a break from motherhood.
But if these moms are doing it, so can I. So, I decided to indulge in this momcation, too.
I went to Google to see what would qualify as a momcation. What exactly are moms doing with this spare time? With each search result, I found that it’s literally whatever you make it.
To say it bluntly, it’s a vacation from motherhood.
You can travel. You can go on a shopping spree. You can go to the spa. You can do whatever it is you want. It’s your vacation without your partner and without the kids.
I spoke to my husband about it, and he was fully supportive of the decision. We scheduled a three-day weekend that he’d be home from work, so I could enjoy time to myself.
I’m a simple person, so it doesn’t take much for me to find enjoyment. Most of the articles I found about taking a momcation suggested going on a cruise or traveling. But, I decided I didn’t want to travel. I wanted to spend my three days here in my own city.
There’s so much to do around the Charleston area, and as a mother, you get used to finding spots that are family-friendly or convenient. But it was just me this time. I didn’t have to think about family restrooms, kid-friendly menus, or play areas. I only had to worry about myself.
I wanted to spend my time enjoying the simple pleasures around town that I almost always have to do with my son packed up with me.
Going into my first night away, I stayed at the Aloft Hotel near the Tanger Outlets. I checked into my room that Friday evening, ready to begin my time away. And I have to be honest, the first night was difficult. I couldn’t fall asleep.
It was so quiet. I didn’t have the body heat of my husband and son beside me. It was just me, and I didn’t know what to do myself.
But the peace and quiet allowed me time to think about how I wanted to continue my momcation.
I went walking around Downtown Charleston near Waterfront Park. Enjoyed eating at Another Broken Egg and 5Church. I went shopping on King Street and the Tanger Outlets. I got a pedicure at a nearby nail shop. I took myself to see a movie. I went to Rusty Bull Brewery. I walked the Ravenel Bridge. And to close out my momcation, I spent time in my hotel room watching mindlessly addictive reality TV.
It wasn’t much compared to the articles I found about momcations, but I enjoyed every moment of it. I returned home to my husband and son feeling refreshed. I had so much time to do what I wanted within those three days, and it reminded me that there’s nothing wrong with taking a break.
I learned I can still enjoy the things that bring me pleasure. I learned that taking a break from reality is okay. I learned that my husband is more than capable of taking care of things around the house (although he pretends he can’t). And my son welcomed me home with big open arms, and I loved it.