This is a call to action. I have 2 children who are 5 and 8. Although I do spend the occasional night without them, I have only twice been away from them for more than 4 days in a row. Recently, I spent an ENTIRE WEEK away from them and I survived. So did they! Truth be told, it was one of the most amazing weeks of my life. It was a true Mom Vacation!
Let me be clear, I’m madly in love with my children and my life as a parent, but this trip was epic! I’m here to say, you- each and every one of you moms- simply MUST go on a mom vacation.
Now, not everyone will have the foundation that I had for this trip, but I bet that there is someone in your life that may be the key to your successful once in a lifetime mom vacation. My sister is the Collection Design Associate for the Costume Department at the Victoria’s Secret Runway Show. I know, I actually can’t believe it either. Anyway, in the Spring of 2016, she announced that the annual show would be in Paris, France. I, a Stage IV Breast Cancer Warrior, feel like I can’t miss any important life opportunities. So I told her, “I’m coming.” To which she replied, “I don’t know if I can get you tickets yet.” To which I replied, “do they know that I have Breast Cancer?”
And then there were tickets.
Unfortunately, because my husband is a school teacher, he couldn’t get time off from work and blah, blah, blah… So I went with my friend, Brooke, who- like me- knows that by saying YES to the adventures that are presented to you, you are agreeing to embrace the vivacity and essence of this temporary and fragile existence. Brooke knows where to find the most vibrant sparkles of life. That’s why I knew she was the girl to tackle my mom vacation with me, and take on the tough job of spending a week in Paris and attending the 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Maybe your travel story doesn’t start with cancer or Victoria’s Secret, but the point is, find 1 or 2 people that want what you want out of a vacation. Choose people who are drama-free and who you won’t be required to manage. You spend your entire life managing your household, your job, and the grocery store; all of these require effort and balance and I’m sorry, but there is no room for this sort of work in the type of vacation you are (hopefully by this point in the post) planning. Also, unless you are one of those people who posts on Facebook about how lucky you are to have married your best friend, and you actually mean it, consider not going with your parent partner. First, you need someone to take care of the kids while you’re away and secondly, you’ll end up talking about the house, the bills, and the kids- do you really want that? I think not.
Mom vacation is a time to cut loose and put your wants and needs first, for a change.
Tourism is not currently booming in France so our plane tickets were not outlandishly expensive. Brooke and I proceeded to divvy up some jobs- I would brush up on my French and Brooke would identify where we should eat and shop. We thought of some places we might want to see: Versailles, Sacré-Cœur, the Louvre- but made no strict schedule to follow. Other than the Fashion Show, which was beyond our control, we had no timetable.
We woke up when we wanted and drank hot cups of Cafe au Lait. Naptime was on our own schedule and we ate when WE were hungry- which sometimes wasn’t until after 8 PM!We got ready slowly, and put on actual clothes and did our makeup and hair every day and shopped our hearts out, taking our time to see the entire store. We went to fancy stores and never had to worry about saying “don’t touch that”.
Maybe this sounds like a terrible vacation to you. In that case, you and I would not be good travel partners, but I bet you have someone in mind. I bet you can identify exactly who you would want to take a vacation like this with. I urge you to message them right now and start planning.
Do it! You won’t regret it.
The privilege of being able to take this vacation is not lost on me. A trip of this magnitude is not possible for everyone. I made a choice to sacrifice other things in order to go on this vacation and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I really think no matter what your situation, you should have the opportunity to step outside of your normally scheduled life. We all need time to reset and to remember who we are as individuals, what our values are and to appreciate all that we are afforded in this life.
Not everyone is in a situation like mine. I’m 37 and I have a terminal illness, and while I’m healthy, I plan to savor every delicious moment of my life. This notion is not exclusive to people like me, though! Anyone can make the choice to grab life by the horns! This can be a really tough choice as a parent because your decisions impact your entire family- this one sure did. I’m lucky enough to have a husband who supported me in my adventure, just as I would support him.
You never know which way life will lead you, so say YES to the adventure.
Upon my return, I was thrilled to be reunited with my family. I brought them souvenirs, hugged and kissed them. One day, I hoped they would go to Paris too, I told them. I have no doubt my children are adventurers too and that role modeling my joie de vivre is no mistake. They survived my mom vacation. I came back invigorated and exhausted, and exuberantly refreshed, and they aren’t even mad at me. So take my advice, choose your friends, plan your trip and have one heck of time!