I love my family, I really do. I love traveling with them and watching my kids experience new sights and sounds and cultures.
But as much as I love my family, I also love spending time away from them. Getting a few days away to recharge and not having to be “on” as mom/wife is good for me and it’s good for them, too. They learn the world still turns when mom isn’t around to fix things, and I get to use the bathroom by myself. Wins all around.
Seriously, though, spending time away with my girlfriends is a precious gift I definitely don’t take for granted. My friends are scattered all across the country and while we talk to each other every day through text or Facebook, it’s just not the same as sitting next to each other, laughing (and often crying.)
Being mothers and wives and kickass business women means it’s often hard to find the time to reconnect with the women who mean the most to us. So when we finally find the time to get together (that magical time when everyone’s iCal’s align), we make sure we’re doing it right.
When Carnival asked me to join them for a press trip last fall, I immediately knew I wanted to bring a friend along- bringing my family would be wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but I saw the opportunity for a long-overdue girl’s getaway and I took it.
This particular sailing happened to also host a Carnival LIVE! concert with Sam Hunt (you can read more about my Carnival LIVE! experience here.) A week away in tropical locations, with a fabulous friend, seeing a concert by an artist I love? Nothing could have been more perfect.
And it was perfect. You guys. It. Was. Perfect.
We laughed, we cried, we drank a little too much (still embarrassed by that one), we climbed some falls, we ate pizza at 2am, we didn’t judge each other for eating ice cream for breakfast, she didn’t complain when I sang in the shower, I didn’t complain when she took forever to curl her hair, we napped, we sat by the pool, we talked and talked and talked.
When I came home, I was myself again. All of the stress of work and life melted away in that week and I came home ready to take on the world. My kids survived. My husband survived. Work was still there waiting for me.
It wasn’t selfish. It’s NEVER selfish to take a vacation without your family. Even if you can’t hop on a cruise, take a long weekend, take an overnight, and go. Be with your friends. Dance until 2am and then eat pizza. Even if it takes you years to save up enough money to do it. Even if you have to miss your kid’s first soccer game or it means you can’t help with their science fair project.
I promise you life will go on and you’ll come back a better person. Your kids will see how you treat yourself is just as important as how you treat others. There’s a reason you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you help anyone else.
Your friends are your oxygen. Take in their company and the laughs and the tears so you can breathe and be the best mom/wife/partner/coworker you can be.