Travel and Motherhood
TRYBE Wellness Founder’s Experience
Finding moments of peace with the New realities of motherhood
Mothers are never off the clock, mothers are never on vacation. Being a mother redefines us, reinvents us, destroys and rebuilds us.
- Shonda Rhimes
Have you ever felt like you needed a vacation just after just getting back from one?
Holidays with young children can be exhausting at times. In particular, as mothers, we tend to take on the emotional and mental baggage of what travel entails. It starts with the preparation one week prior to the trip. The ever-ending packing, organizing, plane (or car) activities, calculating how many snacks to pack for the destination, the amount of luggage to take (and weight limit) and the list goes on! And then you need to pack your own items which if anyone is like me, it’s the night before you’re leaving. Then, once we get to our destination there’s the unpacking and getting everyone settled into their new space for the next few days or longer.
Before becoming a mother, going on vacation with my husband was rejuvenating. I have always loved travelling and visiting new places, but also going back to our favourites. While we love to explore new countries and cultures, we also appreciate going to our go-to’s to unwind. That usually includes hanging out by the pool all day.
Since becoming a mother, there are now new realities when it comes to travel. Sleeping in longer than 7am, having a pool day while causally reading a new novel was not going to work. It was not on our time schedule as a couple anymore but rather we were on our children’s schedule. Adjusting to this new norm for my husband and I has been an adjustment and at times, very challenging. We don’t feel like either of our ‘buckets are being filled’. Before we had our first child, we have always intended to maintain our path to self-discovery and not lose our sense of self in all things parenthood. But once having a child, your perspectives and priorities change - most of the time for the better. You likely will not be able to relax a full day at the pool anymore until your children are older, but changing your expectations, finding small moments to unwind and gain a sense of presence is what will give you the self-preservation while on vacation.
8 TIPS TO MAKE VACATIONS MORE ENJOYABLE
Make an agreement with your partner
Before leaving for your trip, have a conversation with your partner to lay out the expectations. If you are wanting different things while away, it’s important to talk about this ahead of time. If you are both wanting alone time, time to workout while away, or time to lay at the pool without interruptions from little ones, then setting clear intentions amongst each other and decide what times of the day/what days you can do this will make a big difference once away.
Leave the guilt behind
Do your best with this one - it’s not easy! Mom guilt is very real. You may feel like taking too much time out is just not feasible and your children need you - or your husband needs relief, but taking time off (even when you’re not on vacation) is vital to your overall well-being. Know that when you take care of yourself, you’re a better mother, you feel refreshed and can then be more present with your child.
Create a Morning Ritual while on vacation
You may not always have time every day at home to do a long meditation or ritual (whatever that looks like to you) but when you are more relaxed it can be very beneficial to create your own ritual each morning to write in your journal, go for a peaceful walk, practice a form of breathwork or just take some time to practice yoga. Trying to do this before you go out for the day will help set the tone to the rest of your day and vacation.
Make the Little Moments Count
Enjoy the small moments with your children. Spend less time on your phone. Appreciate what you have and take a mental count of what you are grateful for during your vacation.
Put your To-Do lists behind
Leave all the lists back at home. Let go of the commitments. Do your best not to worry about the time each day, the schedules and routines and just enjoy the time you have while away. You can get to it all when you get back - and even then ask yourself, what are my priorities and what can wait. You will feel liberated.
Make a point to do things you don’t normally do
Explore your surroundings. Venturing off to mingle in with the locals or pick an activity with your family that you wouldn’t normally do at home.
Travel with extended family
If you can, traveling with extended family, can make a huge difference. If they are willing to be with the kids for a few hours at a time, babysit on a few of the nights so you and your partner can go out for a dinner/drinks or even take a day trip - you will feel renewed!
Let Go of Expectations
This is a big one! Letting go of what you think should happen while away because things will likely not go as expected. There will be temper tantrums, arguments, sunburns, airplane delays. Being able to accept this, let go of controlling how you want your vacation to be and make adjustments along the way will allow you to enjoy your new way of vacationing and create new memories along the way.
Tell me, what are some ways you like to unwind on your family vacations?