The last several months have been really rough with toddler emotions going awry, a baby who doesn’t sleep through the night, work commitments, and all of the other normal things you have to juggle as an adult. I tried all of the self-care suggestions you and I both read about all the time: making time for dinner with friends, date nights, getting a massage, getting a pedicure. All of those things are great and help for a few hours, but ultimately I was right back to feeling overwhelmed in an incredibly short period of time.
A month ago, after a disaster bedtime, I looked at my husband and said “I’m going away. This weekend. Tell me it’s ok and I’ll book the hotel.”
“We’ll be fine. Go; you deserve it.”
You know the saying, “if everyone waited until the perfect time to have children, no one would have children”? I think we do this as moms about taking time for ourselves:
“Oh, I can’t because the laundry won’t get done.”; “Not right now, because one of the kids has a cold.”; “Let me get everything here straightened up, and then I’ll plan that for myself.”
So I booked myself a hotel and went to Williamsburg for two nights. It was awesome. I went to Colonial Williamsburg, which I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid (history nerd, hey!), and enjoyed just meandering around the grounds.
I looked at the gardens, decided our yard desperately needs wisteria, and read the signs at my own pace. I read, napped, and slept TWO NIGHTS without interruptions.
I missed my kids and my husband while I was gone; every family that I walked by reminded me of mine. The “MOMMY” and running hug I got from my daughter and the drool-y grin from my son when I got back were fantastic.
But more importantly, I came home refreshed and with more patience and a better attitude.
Here are four tips if you need an overnight getaway yourself:
1. Have a shortlist of destinations and hotels
Several weeks before the conversation with my husband (like I said, it’s been a rough few months), I basically drew a circle within a two-hour drive of Richmond and started looking for hotels. Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, and Charlottesville all fit the bill.
2. Know your requirements
I knew I wanted a formal hotel. Some people swear by AirBnB, but after looking at a few, I decided I’d feel more comfortable in a conventional hotel. I also looked for something that had its own restaurant (so I wouldn’t have to leave the property if I didn’t want to) and was near things I could explore if I decided to leave my room.
3. Book at the last minute
By booking on a Wednesday for travel that Friday, some hotels from my shortlist that were outside my range previously were suddenly quite affordable. I also lucked out and found my company offers a corporate discount for personal travel at certain hotels. It brought my rate down even more. Score!
4. Bring a book and sit outside for meals
Eating in a restaurant alone is something I usually try to avoid, but I didn’t want to relegate myself to fast food all weekend. By bringing a real physical copy of my favorite book, I was able to overcome that compulsion to eat as quickly as possible and leave that I usually get when I eat alone in a restaurant, even with my phone.
I also asked for a table outside. It allowed for some excellent people watching (I saw someone pushing a live pig in a stroller) and made me more comfortable with lingering over my meal and my book. Ordering a glass of wine or a cocktail helped, too!
So book yourself a trip, go on a wine-tasting day, or just go to Target by yourself. Whatever it is you need, don’t forget to take care of you. And tag us when you do it so we can cheer you along!