Take the Trip Mama

This is an open letter to moms who struggle with mom guilt over child-free vacations. Leaving the kids is hard, finding childcare is hard, and then after I do all of the work to finally be alone with my husband it can seem awkward at first. Why can’t I find anything to talk about now?! My husband and I don’t have kid-free conversations much anymore and when we do speak we have learned to spit out whatever we need to say to each other within 3.0 seconds because that is how long we get before someone small in our home needs something.

When I was deep in the weeds of newborns and young toddlers I wouldn’t even allow the thought of a vacation to enter my mind. But just like everyone says my babies grew up, way too quickly and became more independent, way too quickly. Trips away don’t seem so impossible anymore. In fact, as long as we can take time off of work, find child care, pet care, the finances, and I can find the energy to overcome the gigantic hurtle of mom guilt, we are ready to hit the road.


This summer we decided we just might be able to manage a two-night getaway a little farther away than our usual one hour away, one night trips. This took some finagling, planning, {spontaneous isn’t a word we get to practice currently}prayer, pleading and begging but we somehow got the stars to align and we set a date to go.

Of course, the week of our trip my oldest son got sick, my youngest decided to not sleep anymore and then my husband ended up with whatever my oldest had. I was this close to canceling the whole thing altogether, and saying we will try again next year, when my sweet sweet husband laughed and said: “Absolutely not, we have the sniffles, not a life threatening illness, we are going.”

So, we went. We rode in a peaceful car, and when we wanted, we stopped and got food we wanted to eat. We ate at restaurants that didn’t even offer the options of high chairs and strolled hand in hand through art galleries where one small trinket cost more than our yearly salary, and we didn’t worry one bit about anyone breaking anything. We went to the beach and carried everything we needed in our hands, not in an overwhelmed wagon. In fact, if I am being honest my husband carried it all while I channeled my inner Beyonce making my way down to the water. We watched the waves and enjoyed the view. We did adult married people things without anyone opening a door, crying or needing a drink. WE SLEPT IN. We did so many things that for the season of our life right now just do not get to happen. And ya know what? When we got home we were better parents.


We left our kids for a full 48 hours with a sitter and when we got back we were recharged and relaxed. We liked each other more, we communicated better, and we looked at each other with a giddy look in our eyes.

Maybe you’re the mom right now with the infant attached to you for hours, with no real end in sight. You can’t even go to the grocery store alone let alone across the state. I get it. I feel the pain. I had two kids within 14 months so there wasn’t a break in the babyhood times and I felt trapped in my own house.

But let me encourage you, the time will come when they will be old enough for you to leave, so plan a trip. Even if its 18 months out. Plan it. Research it. Make a cute little jar with the name of where you want to go on it and start collecting change and money in it. Just knowing in your mind that there is a vacation in the future is life giving.

Then when the week of your trip finally comes and you’re overcome with mom guilt about leaving and you are crying packing your bag because you are going to miss the littles, just keep packing. Make your goodbye quick and get in the car, shut the door, and tell your honey to hit the road. The farther you get the more relaxed you will feel. Enjoy this time away because soon enough you will be back home to the bickering, grocery shopping, dinner making, and bedtime wrestling matches that is everyday motherhood.

  Take the trip mama, take the trip.

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