We just finished celebrating the 2nd Mother’s Day during these crazy times of the pandemic. During this last year plus, everyone has struggled with the changes and restrictions that have been in place. More then ever people need to get out and travel and regain a sense of normalcy and adventure. At the top of the list of people who need this the most, are Moms. They have stepped up and kept their families together and sane during these crazy times.
A few years back I wrote this article about the importance of Mothers taking a “Momcation”. I’m sure the flowers, treats, cards, and other great gifts were much appreciated this Mother’s Day, but I think what the Moms in our lives need right now is the help, support, and encouragement to take a Momcation and recharge their batteries and take a breath. Below is the original article, take a read and if it inspires you, contact me at Pete@Midwesttravelclub.com and let’s help Mom start relaxing!
Below is the article as originally published:
A while back, before we cut cable, we often found ourselves completing our afternoon and evening activities with the television on in the background, most often on TBS. There was a frequent promo that seemed to run every commercial break for a TBS staple, Family Guy reruns. In the clip, the youngest Griffin child, Stewie, incessantly repeated the same word, or a close variation, over and over again. “Mom, mom, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mommy, mum, mum,mum…..”. He kept it up over and over again until finally in frustration the mother, Lois, screams out “What!!!”, to which a giggling Stewie says…… “Hi!”. If you were never graced with viewing this, here is a link for you. If you did see it, I’m sure you’ll remember. As annoying as it got hearing it over and over again, it annoyed my wife even more. “It’s too real,” she explained to me when I asked why it bothered her so much. “It’s what it’s really like, they never ask for you, it’s always mom, mom, mom.”
Don’t misunderstand, my wife loves our two kids. She devotes herself to them, helping them each morning as they get ready for school, making sure their clothes match (a much easier task with our 8 year old daughter than it is with our 12 year old son), having a lunch ready, having homework and permission slips signed. Again in the evening she’s back at it, making sure homework is done, dinner is eaten, baths are completed, ipad time is limited, teeth are brushed, kids are tucked in, forgotten water cups are delivered, kids are tucked in again. That of course is just a brief summary of what goes on during an average day. I try to be a good husband and father and help with these tasks as much as I can, but there’s no doubt about it, when it comes down to it they prefer Mommy.
She doesn’t complain, but I can see it wear on her. She tries to make sure the kids have everything they need, know they are loved, and be the best Mom possible. However she also works hard to be the best worker she can be, and the best wife, and the best friend she can be. As hard as she tries, I can see the burnout. I know what it looks like, I experienced it in my own life when it came to my career. But this burnout is different. You can’t stop being Mom, nor would you want to, but something has to be done. It turns out, there is something that can help, something scientific. It’s called a “Momcation.”
Psychologists have done studies on the effects of mom burnout, and they’ve found that it can negatively impact both mothers and their families. The stress continues to build, and with no chance to recover and relax, that leads to problems both mental and physical. It seems common sense in theory, like when you experience high stress or burnout with your job, a vacation can do wonders to give you a fresh perspective and re-energize on your return. Many of us don’t have a problem taking a vacation off of work, at least once in a while. Another factor with jobs, is that we tend not to be tied to them 24/7. We have our time at work, and our time off of work, and even though many jobs often come home with you in some capacity, there are breaks. The same concept exists for high stress and burnout with the daily grind of motherhood. The big difference is, when it comes to being a mom, there aren’t any built in breaks. That’s where momcations come in.
Momcations, like any other vacation, can come in a variety of sizes. Whether it’s a week long beach adventure with your girlfriends, a weekend trip to Vegas or Nashville, or a girls road trip, all are equally effective at giving moms what they need: a break. Sounds great, right? I know what you’re probably thinking, similar to what my wife and many other mothers think, that it’s selfish to leave your family behind and have a great time. But again, science saves the day. It turns out momcations aren’t just good for moms, they’re good for children, and fathers. That’s not to say not having mom around is a good thing, but it does provide opportunities for fathers, grandparents, and others to bond with your kids. My wife has had to travel for work many times, and although we’ve missed her, I enjoy the extra time I get with the kids. My kids, although they miss mom, look forward to some extra special dad time. Whenever mom returns, the kids and I are excited to see her, and she is excited to see us. We learn to appreciate what she does for our family more in her absence.
I am a big believer in vacationing as a family, but I believe moms need the chance to do something for themselves as well. I’ve been encouraging my wife to take a momcation, she is hesitant, she points out her work trips as being gone too much already, but I remind her that those are work, not leisure. I think what she needs, what all moms need, is to know that taking a momcation is not a selfish act. It is a generous act that will benefit the whole family. It’s easy to make excuses about why you can’t take one, and many of those are very good reasons, but I encourage you to find a way you can do it. I also am calling on all those husbands, parents, friends, siblings, whoever you are, to support that hard working mother in your lives and encourage them to take a momcation. I know you won’t regret it!