Mom-cations: A Much-Deserved Parenting Pause
People are traveling again, so take a much-deserved time out for your family's MVP (you!) and decompress with your besties!
Mom… Mom… Mom… MOM!!! Yes, they’re calling for you. Again. And if your kids are anything like mine, they may be calling for you while in close proximity to their other parent. Moms are usually what I call the “default” parent — and I mean no offense to our spouses! I like being the one my kids come to for help, for advice, to share little bits of their day. But every once in a while, I need a break that lasts longer than a pedicure. I’m craving more self-care than listening to music with my headphones on and more time with friends than we can squeeze in while also working, working out, running errands, and completing our share of the household chores. So what do I do? Plan a “mom-cation.” I gather some girlfriends and get out!
Your trip doesn’t have to be big or far! Get a hotel room in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, or the Poconos and drive to your child-free destination. It could even be just for one night! Pick a place for dinner where you wouldn’t take your kids. Maybe someplace with a spa or other activity you can do with your friends. Maybe you’re celebrating a milestone birthday or good news related to your health. Celebrating with travel has been increasingly popular, with destination bachelor/bachelorette parties and now (for most of us!) 40th (or greater!) birthday parties. It’s a fun, bonus way to see another part of the world without the larger amount of work, and cost, that a family vacation entails.
My friends and I wanted to celebrate our 10-year anniversary of connecting with each other, which coincided with our first-borns all turning 10. We embarked on a girls trip to Sea Island, Georgia where we enjoyed long, lazy dinners, tennis, bike rides, pool time, a walk on the beach (where we expected to find sand dollars, but did not), and a beautiful spa day. We may have even crashed a wedding (congrats Beau and Julia!!)… Being able to reminisce on the past 10 years and plan for the future was priceless — all without being interrupted by children, cutting anyone’s food, or refereeing any fights.
Mom-cations are easy to plan when one of your dear friends is Cassandra Doyle, a travel planner and owner of Cassandra Doyle’s Must Love Travel since 2013. Cassandra has planned over half a dozen trips for my family over the last 6 years, for Disney World and other locations. In 2014 she began running “Girlfriend Getaways” to Disney World, on cruises, and to the Caribbean. When she offered the chance for a moms-only experience of Walt Disney World in 2017, I jumped on board… and went back with her again in 2019!
Disney was a completely different experience in adult company. We got to enjoy Food & Wine Fest at EPCOT, and experience each ride and attraction for ourselves, without having to worry about counting heads to make sure all of the kids were with us, deciding who gets to pick the next ride, and which picky eater was only going to eat nuggets again because they didn’t love the menu at the restaurant. We tried out the new adult makeover at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and hit up the Very Merry Christmas Party, too! (The Christmas Party is currently being run as the Disney Very Merriest After Hours event.)
Cassandra sums up why our mom-cations are so rejuvenating, “Our annual Girlfriend Getaway is filled with laughter, excitement, and childhood wonder. Traveling together strengthens our bond, enables us to escape reality for a shot time, and allows us to enjoy a great getaway.” Cassandra encourages her clients and friends to enjoy group trips as cost-effective opportunities to explore the world on a budget.
Life is short. Life is busy. And we recently experienced some real barriers to travel — with some still in existence depending on where you want to go! It’s hard to take five minutes out of a day for ourselves, let alone a few days to check out and go away, but it’s worth it. We learned so much about our own needs during the pandemic, about how our interpersonal relationships are so important to our mental health. Friendship is so important. On each of my mom-cation trips I have come home with memories I’ll never forget, experienced things I would never have otherwise, and anticipate what trip might come next.
Cassandra agrees, “Not only does a weekend getaway give you something to look forward to, on your return home you will have a fresh perspective. And your family will have a new respect for you as a busy mom and all that you do for your family every day of the year. Except, of course, on girlfriends getaway weekend!” So save up and go, you deserve it!
Addendum: I wrote this story during the very early months of 2020, before the global shutdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic occurred. And each time I thought I’d be able to publish this it seemed like it still was not the right time yet. But now, about 19 months past our two week “flatten the curve” attempt, many of us are feeling more confident in our safety due to cautious citizens, vaccination rates, and safety precautions implemented and maintained by businesses who want to keep us safe. We encourage you to get out there as safely as you can and have so much fun- and when you do, call Cassandra!
This Community Blog Post was written by Pamela Badolato, sponsored by Cassandra Doyle’s Must Love Travel.