I’ve read about these so-called “staycations” and even tried to implement a few of my own. Which is fine when the kids are little, but a touch more problematic when they are old enough to compare notes with schoolmates about spring break. And of course there’s the inevitable “I need a vacation after my family vacation,” because as much as we love vacationing with our family, it can be a lot of work. Essentially, our children vacation and we are the facilitators and makers of fun. If you’re lucky, and have good babysitters (or willing grandparents) there is the parents-only vacation, something my husband and I try to do as often as possible, which for us translates to once every three to five years.
But today I am here to discuss the more rare occurrence, the holy grail of vacations: the MomCation. Specifically, the kind where your spouse and children leave the home without you and you are able to experience your own domicile as a solo adult. This is such a novel concept that when I went to look for photographic evidence of the MomCation, using the search terms “mom relaxing at home” and “mom relaxing alone at home” the results were disappointing. I was given the option of a mom pulling out laundry from the dryer with a cute little one helping her, a mom laughing in her living room as she held out a tray of food to her equally happy family (probably because they were getting served awesome food cooked by someone else), or a pregnant woman – alone – but deep in contemplation over her swollen belly. Clearly, I confused the internet. I had to swap out the word ‘woman’ for ‘mom’ to get a more reasonable depiction of what a MomCation might actually look like.
But I digress. The important thing is this actually happened to me. I was about to embark on a MomCation, and I wasn’t about to spend it pulling out laundry to fold. My husband announced he was taking the boys on an impromptu road trip to Idaho before school resumes and I was to be left behind for nearly four days. That’s over 90 glorious hours of me-time in my own home to do with what I will.
As these things go, I imagined the many ways I could use this time, unfettered by the daily duties of meal prep, cooking, cleaning, carpooling, errands, and arbitrating sibling disagreements. My highlight reel included the following to-do list:
- Organize all paperwork in my office. Implement streamlined organization process, the details of which still escape me, except to say it would involve heavy use of my label maker.
- Clean entire home once, if only to experience the phenomenon of a clean home actually staying clean for more than 42 minutes.
- Exercise twice a day, at random times.
- Make good use of extra energy from exercise and tackle last month’s to-do list.
- Finish back-to-school shopping.
- Rom-Com marathon.
- Read the three books that have been patiently waiting on my nightstand. Preferably in the hammock.
- Dinner whenever I feel like it, ideally something my kids don’t like as much. Like Indian food or things with leaves in it. Also, chocolate.
I have 36 hours remaining, and thought I would share what I’ve been able to tackle thus far:
- Five lengthy phone calls to college-aged daughters. Total time spent: approximately seven hours. Topics covered: school schedules, existential crisis management in regards to declared majors, whether or not I would be willing to pay for a new work wardrobe for an unpaid internship, and ways to kill the spider I found in my office while on the phone that didn’t involve burning down my home or moving (I went with a giant shoe and a phone call to our exterminator).
- Sleep, sort of. My inner clock has failed me and will not let me sleep past 7:00. I can, however, avoid falling asleep at night, mainly because I have decided it’s much more interesting to listen for strange sounds in my house and wonder if my cat has protective instincts. This may have something to do with the psychological thriller movie I watched with friends in lieu of the romcom.
- Reading. Not the books, but an assortment of internet rabbit holes and compelling DIY websites that lead me to grossly overestimate my abilities with hand tools.
- Several lengthy phone calls to best friends. Topics discussed: what I was going to do with the free time. Length: unsure, however I did run my phone battery down from 98% to 1% more than once. So more than an hour, but less than a full day.
- Clean entire home. Surprise! This one made the list, mainly because I did it while on the phone. And yes, my house is still clean. I’m not sure I can properly process this.
All in, I am still declaring this a partial win. Why? Mainly because of the things I haven’t gotten done. I am enjoying the quiet and happy for the chance to miss my crazy kids. September is almost here, PlanHero’s exciting new Signup tool is coming, and opportunities to get back into the frenetic swing of things will happen soon enough. So if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go hide my label maker and see what Sandra Bullock is up to these days.
How about you, PlanHero Nation? How would you spend four days alone in your own home?