Mom’s job can be tedious and energy draining with little praise or positive feedback from her “employer”. Along with the pleasures of raising children come many monotonous and energy-draining tasks. Taking a day off – let alone a week – for a bit of rest and relaxation may seem near impossible. And, even if she can get away, the anticipation of what she might find upon her return is enough to stop her from going in the first place.
When you’ve reached that point of depletion and are unable to refuel, here are some thoughts and suggestions for an In House Vacation.
Plan Ahead. Write your vacation on your calendar – in pen. In the days prior to your vacation, do the things you would normally do prior to leaving town. Make sure everyone’s laundry is washed, dried and put away. Give your house a good cleaning so you can “return” to a clean home. Go out to eat the “night before you leave” so there aren’t any dishes to do.
Think Ahead. What are some of the things you’d like to do on your vacation? Plan some special events. Go to the movies with a friend, get a massage, go on a day hike, or just spend some time reading. You don’t have to spend money on your vacation.
Take the Time. This is probably the most important element of an In-House Vacation. The time you normally spend preparing dinner or making beds or doing the grocery shopping? Take that time for your SELF during your vacation. Spend those childfree hours doing things for you. For some of us, it’s just the morning hours. For others – you have the whole school day.
Ask for Help. Solicit help from extended family or friends (or your spouse). Arrange for friends to drive your children to and from school. Schedule some play dates after school so you can grab a couple more hours. Schedule your sitter a few more nights than usual and take that opportunity to enjoy some time with your spouse.
Include some don’ts. Don’t wake up early. Perhaps your spouse can help get your children ready for school in the morning. Don’t do the dishes. Let your children eat on paper plates for the week or reward them for doing extra dishes. Don’t even look at the laundry. If you’ve planned ahead, everyone should have enough clothes to last them the week you are “gone”.
Stretch it if you can. If you have the means, arrange for the sitter to be there during the evening hours. A week of not having to prepare dinner, help children with nightly showers and bed time routines, and not having to clean the kitchen once everyone is in bed can do wonders for mom’s energy, drive, and motivation.
Be creative when creating a vacation in the comfort of your own (chaos) home. With some planning and thinking ahead, you can create a week of taking it easy and carving out moments for your Self. It is possible to return from an In House Vacation feeling replenished, rejuvenated, and re-inspired for the role of Mom.