We all know how important it is to take time for ourselves. With spring break just around the corner (or already here for some of us) the adage “I need a vacation from my vacation” can ring especially true for parents.
I mean, I love the get-aways we’ve taken with the kiddos each spring. But these wonderful trips happen because I plan them, arrange for the pet sitters, house sitters, passport renewals, itineraries, packing, the time off, contingency plan arrangements, and of course spend the entire vacation in 24/7 parenting mode. My March Instagram might show my legs in the sand, an artsy museum shot, or laughing, sun-kissed children. It does not contain the highlight reel where my kids are at each other’s throats after sharing a bed for seven solid days, the meltdown at the beach, or the pinched look on my face after lecturing a bunch of jet-lagged kids on gratitude because we are all tired but we get to be tired in a different country.
With this in mind, one of my dearest friends and I arranged to have an entire day together so we could engage in some self-care. We booked a wellness package at a beautiful spa, where we would get some long-overdue time together. It’s important for me to mention that my friend and I are cut from the same cloth; we’re both tightly wound women with
an insane amount of professional and personal obligations that threaten to crush us possibly too much on our plates. Unwinding is difficult for both of us, so with that in mind, I am proud we made it as far as we did.
Here’s how our pre-spring break day of self-care went down (we’re working on it):
Oops! I accidentally woke up too early. No matter; today is going to be so relaxing I won’t even mind the lack of sleep! Today is the day. My day with Kim! This is happening, people.
Could my morning coffee taste any better? Why yes, yes it could. Because I am about to drink the rest of it from a travel mug since I am out of here!
My husband: Will you be home for dinner?
Me: Don’t count on it. Good luck today! It is important to note that despite the rainy weather, I was certain a rainbow was in my actual living room, such was my excitement.
I cannot believe I am driving through wine country right now. I am alone in my car, listening to a Cheryl Strayed podcast and no one is asking me to turn it off. I deserve this day! Are those baby lambs in that field? Have the colors always been so vibrant?
Namaste. I have synced my breathing with the meditation music and shed my stressed-out shell. This is the new me. Look at that peaceful gaze on my bestie’s face. She, too, is solely focused on providing her body with nourishing breaths. I haven’t heard her mention her graduate coursework once. We are transformed, obviously.
Kim: I could stay in this chaise lounge all day.
Me: (sips herbal tea) Same. These robes are so soft. I can’t wait to lie down again for our facials. I’m worn out from arranging my pillows.
Kim: Hey let’s go do that yoga retreat in the mountains soon. We need to do more things like this.
Me: Agreed. And we’ll stay the night. A full day isn’t enough.
Kim: My face is dewy. Hey, what is your family up to today?
Me: I don’t care.
Me: I’m having seconds of this gluten-free, organic soup. Also having seconds of everything else. It’s healthy.
Me: I’m really full.
Kim: To the steam room! We can do that thing where we alternate hot and cold. We are doing everything right!
Kim: What time is it?
Me: It’s an hour and forty-five minutes before our massage. I…I kind of wish I had brought my laptop with me. You know, so I could –
Kim: Get something done from that comfortable chaise?
Me: Yeah. Also, I left my fitbit in my bathroom. I am logging zero steps right now.
Kim: Oh my God, so did I. We could take that garden tour while we wait, get some walking in.
Me: We could. But, the steps…
Kim: Won’t count. Which doesn’t matter of course. But it is raining.
Kim: (sighs) Want to take another steam?
Me: I wouldn’t care if you wanted to maybe skip the massage and do it another day. I mean, if you wanted. I’m fine either way, of course. I might be nice to have something to look forward to after the break, though.
Kim: You were up early. I don’t want you to be too tired on the drive home. How’s that article going? The one for that magazine, due next week? But I could easily stay, too.
Me: It can’t hurt to ask, right? This is our day. We’ve been here nearly seven hours. That’s – you know – a lot. I wonder how many steps we’ve taken. Don’t you hate how 90 minutes of yoga registers like, twelve steps?
Kim: (walking to front desk to reschedule massage) Yes. Also, elliptical time is a wash. I think it doesn’t move the upper body enough to count the steps. Hang on, my husband is texting.
Me: I just got a cute picture of the boys playing basketball (heart lurches a little bit, missing them).
Kim: Okay, it’s done. Of course if you’ve changed your mind we can stay. Do you want to go hang out on the chaise lounges for a bit?
Me: I think I have bedsores.
Kim: God I love that you get me.
Me: No, you get me!
Me: (entering home) What’s for dinner, everyone? Did you miss me? Has anyone seen my Fitbit? I need my laptop.
My children: (vague grunts from family room)
I realized that part of my self-care is surrounding myself with people who love and understand me, even if it’s a little nutty. How will you be taking care of yourself so you can continue to take time for what matters, PlanHero Nation? Tell us in the comments. Happy spring break!