My first “mommy sabbatical,” a respite from all parental and home responsibilities, was back at the end of February. How did this come about? After 10 days of quarantine with the kids by myself (false alarm!), while simultaneously trying to work and supervise homeschool, Mr. Real Life Style recognized I needed a respite.
Have you ever asked for a weekend alone? This is embarrassing to admit, but I’ve never even been on a girls weekend. Like not even when I was single! As a business owner, I control my own schedule. I can take my own personal day whenever I choose. And I. Just. Can’t. Do. It. At 44, I am still working on leisure and rest as necessary elements in my life
Find A Cozy Spot
Don’t I look cozy in my Uniqlo lounge outfit and cashmere socks? It was February! And yes, my headband does match my outfit. Thank you for noticing.
Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who gave me a day to myself as a gift. He arranged my 24 hour break at a friend’s guest house. The time was mine to do whatever I pleased. And, it wasn’t at my house, so I couldn’t get distracted tidying up! Yes, I also have wonderful friends, one of whom also happens to be a fabulous photographer!
Do you recognize the setting from another blog? I’ll give you a minute… This brings me to how I occupied myself during my 24 hours sans family.
Figure Out What You Want to Do
Reading material and my son’s doppelganger doll he sends on all my trips.
I got into bed and read an actual work of fiction on paper. I wrote in my journal with no time constraint. I read Architectural Digest while putting on fake nails. (Remember my brief fake nail phase?) I wrote a blog. I did some billing. And I had a photoshoot for the Roaring Twenties blog.
So yes, I worked during my time away. But I wasn’t trying to get away from my work. This introvert just needed some time alone in the woods. Lucky me, I’m almost never trying to get away from work. If anything, I’m trying to find some peace and quiet to do my work! But because my job is my life passion, and I was born with a work ethic that won’t quit, things can get out of balance.
Make a Plan & Adjust Accordingly
Reading The Last Painting of Sara de Vos during my 24 hour mommy sabbatical.
Which brings us to this past week. I was determined to write every blog and complete every outstanding invoice before leaving on my two week vacation. The refrain from my kids the last few…err, 12 months has been, “All you do is work, Mommy.” I “ruin” every vacation we take with my inability to ignore my email and insistence on sending out a weekly blog and newsletter 52 times a year. I have not taken a day off work since a three day break in 2020, 7 months ago. All this despite knowing that time off makes me a better parent and entrepreneur.
So I’m here telling you not to be afraid to take time off. I returned from my mommy sabbatical with my sanity intact and my introvert overwhelm tamped down.
And, I’m ready to unplug again. Yesterday my kids were whining about screen time. The airline auto-called cancelling our flights while my husband was unreachable at work. I was truly ready for a vacation after taking care of that situation!
Now, to take the next step, actually unplugging once we touch down on the west coast and proactively scheduling entire weekend mommy sabbaticals at least once a year! And twice a year vacations that don’t involve herculean preparation destined to fail when things go wrong. Like having to spend half the day rebooking our flights.
Have you ever taken a mommy sabbatical? Do you work on vacation? Let me know in the comments!
See you in two weeks!
Real Life Style is a style consulting firm that teaches busy women to wear their power so they can live their lives fully and confidently. Lani Inlander and Kyle Dunphy are based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and serve clients across the country. We offer personal styling services, an on-demand e-course, corporate services, and training to become a personal stylist.
You can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.