Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Vacation, just mom. What?!

Let’s set aside the panic of the COVID-19 virus for just a moment to read about a vacation I took without my husband or child. No, I’m not saying the pandemic isn’t important, it truly is and I could say a lot but I’d rather not because everyone else has plenty to say for all of us and I’m not a scientist or doctor so I’ll let them do the important work. Please keep yourself informed during this time by the ones who know and not just the facebook know it alls. So enjoy some time at home in quarantine and enjoy what I wrote below.

I skipped 2 weeks of writing as you may have noticed or may not have. It wasn’t because I did not want to write but I was away and had let go of the need to complete everything and truly take a vacation.

I recently went on an amazing trip to Alaska with some of my girl friends and met two new friends. Every moment was incredible. Yes, I went without my husband and child. What?! A mom left her kids and took a trip for herself with some friends?!

This was my first trip away from my son for more than 1 night. I had a hard time wrapping my head around how I’d do it, but just like everything else, you just do it and it works out. It was 7 nights away and a 4-hour time difference. This was not easy for me but I will say it was necessary and I enjoyed it so much!

The morning I was leaving for my flight, I had a tough face on until my mom proceeded to tell me, “don’t worry, Blake and I will handle everything. It will all be okay.” Well, I did not doubt anything until she said that and I felt the tears well up in my eyes. I gave her a kiss and a hug and said “I know, time to go!” Otherwise, I would have stayed and cried about leaving my son behind.

When chatting about our trip with one of my friends who has 2 boys and also went with us, she mentioned something that I agree with. She said, “I’m such an advocate for mom’s & dad’s living their own lives.” Not only do I agree with that, but even more she also said, “We take them on a ton of trips and we go without them sometimes. I think it’s good for everyone, even though it’s hard initially.”

There is a part of being a new mom that really made me feel good about her saying that in the sense that I’m not alone, knowing you kind of lose who you were to become mom and dad now. Who you are is still in there and deserves a moment to be that person again.

So when I video chatted or called my parents or husband multiple times a day to speak with them and see my son, I still got to be Carly for a week with my friends. The Carly I knew before I became mom. I still missed them of course and I truly wished they had been there to experience all of the amazing things we did and saw, hence the multiple calls a day to them. That never left me for a moment. They’re my #1 team but mama needed her time too.

The parts of this trip that were so necessary for me as an individual were the moments I was able to let go of planning a single thing, sleeping without waking to a little one needing a diaper change or a bottle first thing in the morning, and being totally carefree to the point that we could laugh until our cheeks hurt.

We laughed so hard one evening that we had people in the restaurant start to laugh too because we couldn’t stop. That felt so good to laugh like that with them again!

When I say I didn’t plan anything, I mean it and that is a big thing for me not to do. I used to cringe if someone planned stuff for me because it wasn’t how I liked it to be or wanted it to be. I like to be in control, it’s in my DNA and personality.

This trip, the only thing I had planned was the flights my friend and I took as well as 1 day of snow skiing with another friend. The rest of the trip was planned by our friends in Alaska. I can honestly say I would wake up each day asking, “so what’s our plans for today?” Though I knew ahead of time what there was in the plans, I didn’t bother to know exactly each day and detail and it felt so good to let that go and trust in our friends and guess what? The trip went perfectly!

Allowing life to do it’s thing and truly let go of control is something new for me. When chatting with my friend on my way home from work I said that to her and she mentioned, “when you are home all you do is plan and figure out everyone’s life because you’re a mom!” She is dead on.

All moms take on the tasks of the family’s schedule and life. It is a lot to handle and a lot to keep in line on a regular basis, it drains you but you always do it because it is necessary.

My husband had flown to Florida a few weeks prior to my trip as well and got to enjoy some downtime. Of course, we love to travel together, but we are individuals who are allowed to decompress and enjoy some time laughing doing what we love solo too.

Every parent deserves some time to themselves however they are able to get it. I’m not saying hurry and fly your ass to Alaska, the last frontier, but I am saying that you should find a moment to get to forget about planning and just go with the flow. Maybe now is actually the time for those of you who have children at home with schools shut down and are working from home?

Enjoy the days of no plans and school or work. Let the kids help you by making decisions for lunch or dinner, in a realistic way of course. Though I can’t say I wouldn’t love some lucky charms and waffles for dinner as a kid! Show them new board games or read books together. Pick a movie to watch each night. Take a walk on a local trail, take the dog for a walk, or make an obstacle course in the house or back yard. Try something new and let the planning go! We have to keep our sanity while we are all waiting this out.

Once the pandemic slows down and we can be around everyone again, be sure to find that time for yourself too. I am lucky and blessed to have a husband that is a great teammate that we can tag team trips alone but will also plan them together for our family.

I hope you’re able to find that time and make sure you can decompress!

Below are some photos from our incredible trip this past week!

Our crew in Alaska at the ceremonial start of the Iditarod race 2020
Seward, Alaska
One of the dog sled teams running the Iditarod 2020 at the ceremonial start
On our way to visit Whittier, Alaska
Talkeetna, Alaska after a 2 foot snow fall
Denali National Park, Mount McKinley – the highest mountain peak in North America
Enjoying the events for the Iditarod 2020
Our view from Alyeska Ski Resort from the top of the mountain