Moms are chronically overworked, like the kind of overworked that if there was a government watchdog agency monitoring us, someone would need to intervene for our wellbeing. The pandemic has only exacerbated this by adding work-from-home, virtual school, childcare uncertainties, and a serious lack of connection with other humans, the ones that fill our cups, make us laugh until our face hurts, and support us when we need it the most: our girlfriends. So often, these tried-and-true friendships take a backseat to our children, partners, and careers.
The Girls Trip: There is something about spending time with the right group of women that is downright therapeutic. We’re constantly connected by technology, but there is no substitute for spending time with friends, in-person. Now more than ever, we need the laughter and shenanigans that come along with a few days with our girlfriends.
How to Make it Happen:
- Plan Ahead: Schedules are tight and they fill up quickly, so saving a date early for your girls’ getaway can help ensure that everyone can make it on the trip and gives attendees plenty of time to prep. If you’re suggesting a September date, send an email in January to get the ball rolling. And who doesn’t need something to look forward to in the dead of Winter? Setting aside a dedicated weekend for the trip is another way to make sure that the trip is prioritized. Everyone knowing that the Girls’ Trip happens annually over Memorial Day weekend makes the event part of everyone’s routine, including partners and children.
- Make Planning Fun: We have a great time when we’re with our best gals, but sometimes the planning feels overwhelming with email chains, budgetary restrictions, and differing visions for the trip. Instead of group chats, use the planning stage as an opportunity to connect along the way. If your friends are local, plan a meet up to discuss details. If people are scattered across the country or world, schedule a Zoom, pour a glass of wine and plan.
- Set the Tone at Home: Mothers tend to feel like they are the “lead parent” who keeps the ship afloat with her vast knowledge of schedules, meal plans, play dates, and social commitments, which can make the idea of getting away for a few days seem impossible. If time away new for you and you’re concerned that your family will struggle, initiate a discussion with your partner or support system when the planning begins. Be honest about your concerns and check in with them so that they can do the same. The important part is to work together to address the areas of concern.
If a weekend with a group of friends isn’t your cup of tea, there are alternatives. Taking time for yourself on a regular basis is a vital part of maintaining your physical and mental well-being when you’re a mom, and most of the time that means taking time for yourself in your home, where you’re still surrounded by responsibility. Many women find it difficult to disconnect and relax knowing that dishes are still in the sink and bath time is up next. Give yourself permission to get away, rent an Airbnb, book a hotel room for the weekend, schedule a spa day, or plan a solo adventure.
If the idea of taking time for yourself feels overwhelming or like an impossibility, you might need to take a step back and find ways to put yourself back on the priority list. Think of it like the pre-flight instructions on an airplane, “please put your oxygen mask on before assisting others”, you can’t take care of your family of you can’t breathe. If you need help with this, please reach out.