Mommy can’t talk right now, sweetie. Mommy’s on holiday
Experts say momcations should be factored into monthly planners as much as golf days for dads
Imagine you’re a mom sipping a cocktail at the poolside without any interruptions, sleeping in and not having to think about cooking.
Imagine a holiday without the family.
It sounds almost taboo, but some mothers are embracing the latest travel trend – momcations.
A momcation is a holiday taken without the family to give mothers a hiatus from the responsibilities of parenthood.
Gauteng time-management coach for working moms Janice Windt agrees that mothers need a holiday on their own.
“I do, however, realise that most moms feel too guilty to take one. If we are going to continue to pour out into the lives of others we need to find a way to fill our own cup on a regular basis,” she said.
She advises moms who want me-time to make the first trip a short one.
“Pick somewhere nearby so you don’t have to drive too far in case of an emergency. Give your family the hotel number in case of emergencies and turn off your cellphone.
“Even an afternoon disconnected from your crazy life may be just what you need to recharge and find the energy to go back and do it all over again.”
For mothers who cannot go on a holiday, find a way to get away in your own space.
“Pour yourself a cup of coffee and spend five minutes looking out the window letting your mind wander while you drink it slowly. Meet a friend for coffee somewhere pretty and out of the house.”
Parenting expert Stephanie Dawson-Cosser said while the term “momcation” was “very 21st century”, the concept was not.
“It is not uncommon for young moms to lament together about the exhaustion factor of caring for their young offspring.
“Baby talk, sleep deprivation, constantly on the go, eyes in the back of their eyes as their toddler is on the move. It is no secret that the early years of parenthood can be exhausting. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a career mom juggling it all, home life and career is a tall order,” she said.
She said momcations were an opportunity for moms to take a bit of time for themselves.
“This can be anything from as short as a walk in the park alone or going to a spa for a massage or to the salon for your favourite treatment to a weekend away or a real holiday for a week or so.”
When mothers do not recharge their batteries, they will eventually burn out.
“We do ourselves and our children a disservice, I believe, if we do not take some time recharge our bodies, minds and souls,” said Dawson-Cosser.
While most South African mothers support taking a break, a holiday without the family does not appeal to all.
Durban mother of two Kelly Jade Omar said an extended break without her husband and sons would be lonely and boring, as her family made her happy no matter how busy life got.
Omar runs her own marketing business, is a full-time law student, and is trying to get her Grade 1 son used to school while potty-training her three-year-old.
“I dream of disappearing to a tropical destination like the one Madonna talks about in her song, La Isla Bonita.”
But even with the warm ocean and palm trees, Omar said she would be miserable without her family.
Currently juggling two-and-a-half-year-old twins, various therapies due to their premature births and working from home for about 40 hours a week, Hilton mother Cheri Roberts’ ideal momcation is sleeping in while her husband takes over.
“I suppose most moms would benefit from a momcation, but I don’t feel I need a holiday away from a family I worked so hard to create and dreamed about, as chaotic as life can get.”