It's Not Always Smooth Sailing

So, as I sat, reclined on our couch in the living room, after 9pm on a weeknight, excited about travel and all the information I’m preparing to share with you on this blog about traveling together as a family and how great and awesome it is, my six-year-old provides me with material for this particular blog post.  It’s not what I had initially planned to write, but hey, if it’s one thing being a mom has taught me, from the moment a routine ultrasound appointment turned into an unexpected admission to Labor and Delivery, is that life, especially life with children, is unpredictable. 

After my six-year-old started fussing and carrying on about seemingly everything and the kitchen sink – a familiar occurrence around bedtime – I sent him to his room because I knew that he was behaving that way because he was sleepy.  He then started crying loudly, over and over sobbing, “I’m afraid of the dark!  I’m afraid of the dark!”  Did I mention that this was all being done loudly?  Yes – yes, I did?  Ok.  Well, I mean, really dramatic, you know! 

My thought in that moment: “Oh boy… really???” 

So I say, “I’m here trying to tell people, ‘hey, go with your family, make memories, when my behind wants to leave you right here?” 

Does that make sense?  Well, yes, it does.  While I wholeheartedly love and believe in traveling the world with my family, I also believe in self-care, and self-care can sometimes mean taking time away from the children and from the family… whether it be a day or more when the children are with Grandma while Mommy gets to lounge around and do nothing, or Mommy goes to get a mani-pedi and see a movie with a friend, or Mommy truly does take a solo trip. 

It’s so very important that we ladies remember to take care of ourselves!  I often hear and have said that we are no good to anyone else if we don’t take care of ourselves.  While that’s true, I encourage myself and each of you reading this to also acknowledge that we are no good to ourselves if we don’t take care of ourselves.  We want our families to benefit from us being present, healthy, and well-balanced, and we should also simply want the benefits of that well-balanced life for ourselves.  The unpredictability of motherhood and life in general can be draining, so it is important that love and care be poured back in, which comes, in part, from self-care. 

That all being said, I write this particular post to say that it is OK if/when you ladies choose to vacation without your children, and even without your husbands, at some point.  If that’s what caring for yourself requires in that moment, then do it!  It will allow you the mental, emotional, and/or physical space you need to feel refreshed.  It will also make the next time you see your family even more special. 

For me, there is nothing quite as relaxing as lounging on a cruise ship to the soothing breeze and sounds of the ocean.  I’m a pro at planning that sort of self-care, better known as a vacation.  However, day-to-day self-care can be a challenge for this mom of a two-year-old and six-year-old.  Well, I am a work in progress. 

What do you do for self-care?  What are your thoughts on a wife/mom traveling solo?