Joburg mom Catherine Black chats to Belinda Mountain about her recent momcation and why she believes every mom should go on one.
Have you packed your toothbrush? Please remember sunscreen! Go to the toilet before you get in the car! As a mom, you’re always on duty – even when you’re on holiday. Even though going away with the kids can be a great way of spending quality time together, it’s not exactly the best way to relax. And if there’s one thing all moms could do with, it’s downtime. Maybe that’s why the concept of a “momcation” is picking up speed. That is, a bunch of mothers going away on their own without their partners or kids. Sound like heaven? Not sure you’d be able to swing it? Here are five very real reasons you need to book that momcation right now.
It gives your health a boost
Especially if your kids are young, chances are you’re tired at best, and frazzled at worst. You’ve also probably been picking up every germ your toddler has brought home from preschool. The cornerstones of a healthy life are good nutrition, rest, and exercise. One or all of which you may have compromised along the way in favour of bringing up your small humans. Going away on your own (or with a group of other moms) means you can be “selfish” in the true sense of the word and reclaim your health. Whether that means cooking healthy meals at your holiday house, eating at a “grown up” restaurant without interruptions, getting a full night’s sleep, or taking time to exercise on your own.
It allows you to reconnect with friends
When we’re single, our girlfriends are everything to us. We spend uninterrupted hours and even days together, and we know each other’s lives inside out. But, when we become moms, suddenly time for those friendships becomes scarce. Sure, there are coffee meet ups with our little ones in tow, but there’s rarely the opportunity for us to spend whole days or weeks together without our attention being diverted from our deep conversation to a wailing child. A trip away together is a chance to reconnect old friendships, have long catch ups that may be years overdue, and remind ourselves that we’re not alone in any parenting struggles.
You can find yourself again
As moms, we’re always putting our kids ahead of ourselves, and if we’re working and socialising too, that leaves very little time for ourselves. What do we actually like doing in our free time? What makes our hearts sing, beyond those little people that call us Mom? “Me time” is in fact crucial for your mental health. It refreshes your mind and spirit, helps you rebalance your outlook on life and gives you more inspiration to pursue your own talents and hobbies. Going away to another location is the perfect way to “enforce” this connection with yourself again, where you don’t have to think about others – something you may not have had the luxury of doing for years.
It’s a holiday in the style you really like
Maybe your trip together is to explore a new country, crafting your own itinerary as you go. Or maybe you want a “readymade” trip where absolutely everything is taken care of and no planning is necessary. Club Med’s All-Inclusive resorts around the world are notoriously perfect momcation spots where everything is included. You can choose to be as active or do as little as you like, without having to lift a finger or think about any details at all. Peace of mind at its best. Whatever you choose, a momcation is your chance to take a holiday that you want – rather than choosing one your kids (or partner) would enjoy. Daily activities can be centred around your preferences without the guilt. Whether that’s reading a good book, seeing the sights of a big city, or simply lying on a deserted beach with only a few seagulls for company.
It makes you a better mom and partner
It’s ironic that going away without your children and partner actually improves your attitude when you’re with them, but that’s exactly what many moms discover when they arrived back home. “It was really hard for me to leave my family behind when I went with three of my best girlfriends (who are all moms too) to Greece and France last year. But, when I got into the swing of things knowing they’d be ok, I really began to unwind and get the true value of 10 days uninterrupted rest. My momcation was simple, involving lots of beach time, eating good food and riding bikes. But, it renewed my energy for when I was reunited with my husband and husband again,” says Catherine.
If you’re the mom in a busy young family, a momcation can be a tricky to arrange, but it’s not impossible. If you consider the benefits – making you more patient, happier, and a better person to your kids and partner – and can communicate these to your network, then all that’s left is planning and saving for that one trip which will reap massive rewards for everyone.
Belinda is a copywriter and marketing professional who graduated with a Business Science degree from UCT. She is the co-founder of Black Mountain https://black-mountain.co.za/.
Following this, she spent eight years in the UK working for international publishing houses Penguin Books and Harlequin. Her publishing experience has given her an intense appreciation for the power of words, while her marketing background means she understands how to speak to consumers in a way that converts them into customers.