No Kids, Husbands Allowed: Moms Say Why They Do Girls-Only Getaways
From recharging their batteries to reclaiming their identities, moms explain why girls-only vacations make for worthwhile experiences
No kids. No husband. Just you and your friends in a fun place, doing whatever it is you like to do, for a weekend or longer.
Sound like a dream come true? If so, then you have something in common with about 800 Australians.
In a recent survey of 2,500 women, the Aussie site Mamamia.com.au found that one-third “like the idea of a holiday where you get to leave your family and partner behind.”
It’s the type of vacation the site’s writers recommend wholeheartedly, declaring: “A weekend away with the women in your life, in a fancy schmancy hotel, can be deeply relaxing–and is a great way to make sure you get some quality bonding time.”
Of course here in the U.S., plenty of moms endorse “girls-only” weekends and the like, too, extolling the virtues of everything from wine tastings to beach bumming to, perhaps most exciting of all, actually having a conversation without being interrupted.
For Kristi Blust, who lives near Washington D.C. and blogs at CMinusMama.com, a trip to Boston with two old friends was about more than just indulging in great food and delicious cocktails away from home. It was an opportunity to remind herself “that I have an identity outside of ‘mother’ and ‘wife,’” she said.
“Although those roles are primary, there is more to me than that,” Blust added.
Some moms said their vacations were made all the more enjoyable because they felt better knowing their spouses were at home with the kids.
“I told my husband this was the most relaxed I’d been in years because I knew my kids were with a parent,” said Florida mom of two Liz Makowske, who recently stayed at Disney World for a few days with her old college roommates.
“I knew (my husband) could make any decision–from what to feed them to going to the doctor if necessary–without a call to me first,” Makowske said.
Moms who are breastfeeding can’t leave all their parenting responsibilities with their spouses. Courtney DePinto, of Chicago, pumped milk in between restaurant excursions, pedicures and a concert during a weekend with her best friend. But the pumping didn’t get in the way of DePinto’s fun, which included celebrating her own birthday.
“It was a much needed two days–I needed some time off and my best friend and I needed some time together,” she said. “It was the best birthday gift my hubby ever gave me!”
There’s at least one thing, however, that can get in the way of a mom’s good time: missing her kids.
“The hardest part is leaving,” said California mom Courtney Mayer Flookes, who has an 8-month-old. “I balled my eyes out the entire way to the airport and then every baby I saw, I would start crying.”
But, she added, as “soon as I got on the plane and started reading my book… I felt better.”
Beyond immersing yourself in a good book (or a good martini), there is another way to quell that gnawing, “I miss my baby!” feeling. It’s a tech savvy solution: Flookes and other moms said that using Skype or Facetime to see their families while they’re away helps them feel better.
Some moms said they encourage their husbands to take guys-only trips so they, too, can get the chance to recharge their batteries.
But there are moms who say they prefer not to take family-free vacations, whether it’s because they’ll miss their children or just don’t want to spend the money. For Lainie Gutterman, a New York mom who blogs at Me, Myself and Baby I, it’s about togetherness.
“My husband and I won’t take separate vacations and it’s not for lack of trust,” she said. “Call us old-fashioned, but we want to be together and that includes traveling as a couple or as a family.”
Other findings from the Mamamia survey include:
- 6 in 10 women don’t want to vacation with their in-laws.
- 55 percent say they’re chronic overpackers.
- Half will choose their hotel based on which offers free breakfast.
See the full survey results here.
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