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I tried my first mom vacation,  here is how it went! 

Jan 17, 2023

 

Ok! So first of all, for the last 15 years of my life I have never gone on a vacation without the kids. Truth is I freaking love my kids. I know they will be home with us only for a stage of life. And even though some days I need  a break from them. I freaking love my kids. I don’t look forward to the day they will be out of the house. I aslo know that since I started having kids at a very young age I could possible by an empty nester for the next 40 to 60 years depending on how long I will live. But lately it wasn’t them who needed a break it was me. It was time for a mom time out. So I tried a completely out of the ordinary unexpected, movie not hopping on a plane in order to do it, mom vacation. 

Recently I hit a point in my life where I was having so much anxiety. I tried everything like I had done in the past whenever I have had depression. I haven’t taken any medication for depression in years. 

Since the ending of the last school year I had been so burned out. I was tired of driving around all school year. Then summer hit and I thought I would relax but I didn’t. I was doing accurate so I coudln’t even be in the sun which is something I absolutely love. I had to balance being at home with the kids while they drove me insane or driving everywhere to activities to keep them occupied. 

We then went to Italy to visit my family for a month and while we had the best time of our lives. I still struggled some days finding reasons to be grateful and pushing away all the fears. I couldn’t tackle the stresses of life. I wasn’t motivated to take on any new challenges like I had in the past. This time I was done with doing hard things. 

Our family went on a short vacation to Florida for some business for my husband. We stayed at a very safe place. This was another attempt for us at trying to have a relaxing weekend before going back home. Sure enough I spent it bickering with my husband about how he left his hair on the bathroom floor I had just cleaned, and stressing at the pool about my kids drowning or asking the to behave within the complex. The only silence I would get was at 11 pm at night when everyone went to bed. And by then all I could think of was how miserable I felt inside.

So I ahd an idea. At first I couldn’t believe I was even thinking of doing this. But sure enough I finally said it. I told the family that I wanted to stay behind while everyone else was going to go home.

See years ago, I went to Europe with the kids for 6 weeks while David had a very long break. He sure worked a lot. But he said he had so much time for himself he became a new person. He still owed me those 6 weeks. I had banked them real wisely and was saving them for the right moment! Haha! I had found one! 

I put everyone on a plane and cried as they left regretting what I had just done immediately. But I knew I needed it. The first day I had to spend it catching up on all of our emails and little tedious things even though I was on vacation. There was also a tornado warning so I had t head to the store and purchase water and food in case of a lock down. I was alos terrified I had made the stupidest decision ever and now on top of that I was going to die! Haha. Luckily nothing ever happened. 

I thought I was going to go shopping and eat out. Yet I had zero desire to do anything. The best gift to myself was the one to stay home and have nothing to do and no one asking me to move. 

Because I was more relaxed I fell asleep a lot earlier. I also woke up with the sun at 5.30 to 6 am. I would pray and meditate. I would stretch for the longest time. I had the tightest hamstrings and hips of my entire life. After a few days I finally started seeing progress. My body aches the most when it is exposed to a lot of stress.

Because I wanted to be able to go home if I ever decided to change my mind, I never bought a returning flight. Every day I checked prices to make sure they were stable just in case. And I preselected a returning flight just in case I ever got super home sick and I wanted to go home right away. 

The days went by a lot faster than I thought. I started to break down circles and patterns in my life and my mind. I started figuring out things that even we had to change for my husband’s work because I had time to meditate. I made amazing discoveries and cemented more positive beliefs in my mind. I didn’t see the results immediately. But I did notice after a few days. I also notice once I got home. 

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I listened to podcasts and wrote letters to loved ones. I called family members. I took super long baths and listened to the silence. I learned to be ok with being by myself. I leaned to be brave and patient as I confronted each day by myself. I acted differently. I felt I had to be more careful. I also noticed I didn’t care for things I normally didn’t do at home now that I was alone. I made a list of what I wanted to let go of once I’d be back.

The kids at home also got to bond and grow closer to their dad. He absolutely loved that. I usually do it all automatically and sometimes bother David for not letting him be involved. I also saw how the kids got a little bit more detached from coming to me to solve each and everyone of their problems. From asking me where to get more toilet paper, to whether they should have the 50th piece of candy for that day, in the last little while I had been extremely overwhelmed at home by how much responsibility the kids shifted to me. Even though I said it they needed to make choices on their own and learn to manage themselves, they loved to shift all the responsibilities on me before. From how to solve their fights to putting their underwear away. This little break made them had to be more independent.

Some days I didn’t think things were as fun as other moms make It seem to be on instagram. I loved it, but I did still miss the kids. I love to share every moment with m husband and children. I still wouldn’t trade it for the world.

After a few days a friend of mine who also wanted some personal time made a last minute trip and came to see me. I am glad she did because I don’t know if I would have ever come back home otherwise. This turned trip into part II.

 My friend is really good at taking care of herself especially when it comes to beauty. We went to eat at super fun restaurants together. We went to the spa. She showed me the best products for body care. I learned from her that you can also use a body scrub. I tried it and my skin was the softest it had ever been in years and was all shiny and glossy. 

My friend also took me to a famous esthetician and we purchased products they recommended. I spent a butt load. But I also ventured out and tried a new overnight leave on chemical peel. When I woke up my skin was shiny it was so well exfoliated. I discovered amazing skin products that over the following months would change my skin in amazing ways. 

My face and under eyes started to look less wrinkled because I wasn’t spending as many days making stressed or mad faces I’m pretty sure. Lol!

I finally felt just like I did when I was 16. Slowly I remembered who I was. 

I also had many guys hit on me. Or at least talk to me. A mom of 4, being hit on by younger guys? Not going to lie, I was scared of the temptation, but I also loved that I realized I still got it! I sure needed it. I realized that I would never cheat on my husband because he is good to me. I also warned him that he’d better keep it up  🙂 It’s hard to be unfaithful when you have been a great spouse and your spouse is great to you. A great reminder that being good to others fills their bucket and is something you won’t forget. 

I still had at times moments of sadness when I would see a family. Or kids playing with their moms by the pool. When I came home though I was more grateful land appreciative of everyone. Because I had to fend for myself my confidence grew in my capacities.

 Having to also help my husband solve some of his business issues while on vacations made me realize how strong I am. 

My anxiety didn’t go away right away. But having a friend helped me be distracted and go out and about more. 

I came home stronger. I came home filled with Vitamin D. I came home with new goals and resolutions. I came home with a closer bond to my friend. I also made an appointment with my doctor for stomach burnings I had. Because of that I finally learned that I had some stomach issues that we were able to solve. Healing my gut helped my depression and anxiety go away. I had researched about it on google and that is when I saw a correlation between gut health and anxiety. Because I had more time on my hands to do that while on the vacation, I was able to eventually solve a huge cause of my anxiety. For my months my stomach felt super full. I had cramps. I could barely eat, after 3 bites I felt full. Now I was finally on a path to recovery. That burning I felt even when I would meditate on vacation. It made me want to always be on the move and barely eat. Finally I had some answers.

Before this trip I was always thinking that some moms liked to vacation a bit too much. I think I looked at the wrong kind of moms. I think there is a fine line between being involved and sometimes going on a vacation. Or being always distracted while at home, going out with friends like you are still in high school, and then going on vacation and dumping your kids for the grandparents to raise. You can laugh at me for thinking that way, but I swear I feel like social media makes some parents seem just like that. 

I realized that there was a way to do it that didn’t have to be extreme that way. I could do it in a healthy way. 

Coming home I am not going to lie, many times in my head I have wanted to run back to my nice space in Miami. I miss the sun. It’s winter where we live. I miss the views. I miss the peace I felt when meditated while staring into the ocean. It’s my kids of zen. I refrain myself from doing it though. I want to live in a balanced way. I am committed to my family and to making the necessary sacrifices. 

I am more aware of how important it is to break routines. Try new things. Visit new places. Spend time alone. A happy mom drives a happy home. I am the glue that shows the kids that things are ok. If I am ok myself. I need to be in positive mental space in order to be the positive motivator for my tiny little children who are terrified of the world. Having personal time recharged all the positive buttons and hopes in within me. 

So, what do you think? Is a mom vacation worth it? Have you ever done one? I want to hear all about it. Leave a comment in the comment section


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Serena Essuman

   

Serena Essuman

   
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