If you’re like me, you saw the article circulating on social media a while back about the benefits of moms going on vacations by themselves, and rolled your eyes.
Sure, it sounded great, but who has time for that? Add a pandemic to the mix, and the idea sounds even more ridiculous. So, when my husband randomly suggested I use our reservation to take our camper to Dreher Island State Park as a chance to get away by myself for a few days; I was caught off guard.
Was it wrong to want a break from my kids? Didn’t my husband deserve a break too? But after some reflection, I decided it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
I’ve been working from home since March, and I’m mentally exhausted from trying to balance my professional responsibilities with motherhood. I have a family member watching our boys in our home while I work, but most days my four-year-old still only wants Mommy. So, from trying to act professional during Zoom meetings when my son is throwing a tantrum in the background to struggling to focus because of the piles of laundry looming in the other room, working from home has been so much harder than I anticipated.
And if we’re being really honest, I’m tired of having to qualify the challenges of this strange time. I’m thankful to still have a job, to be able to work remotely, to have childcare, and to have this extra time with my boys, but that doesn’t mean the last six months hasn’t had its challenges.
So, a few hours after my husband made his proposal, I texted him to accept the offer. Though I did add the condition that I would return the favor for him sometime in the near future. The next day, after stocking up on easy meals and snacks and packing some clothes, we hooked up our camper and hit the road. By 6 p.m., I was relaxing in the wilderness.
I spent the rest of the weekend floating in the lake, binging Netflix, and enjoying the beauty of the Lake Murray. It was the first time in nearly five years where I’d had an entire day to myself to do whatever I wanted. No one was touching me. I didn’t have to make decisions for anyone but myself. No one was asking me questions. It was just what I needed.
For a little while, I also *almost* forgot about COVID and all the heavy thoughts that come with it. Since I was camping, I was completely self-contained. The only other person I talked to was an employee in the park store who rung me up when I had to buy sunscreen.
And my boys? They were just fine. They had a great boys’ weekend with Daddy.
I can’t wait to return to Dreher Island to introduce my family to an amazing park, but I have zero regrets about taking a few days for myself. I’m thankful to my husband for stepping-up to give me this gift. As someone who used to scoff at the memes and blogs about the importance of self-care, I’m sold!
So, ladies, if you get the chance to take some time for yourself, whether it be an hour, a weekend, or a week, don’t hesitate! A little self-care goes a long way!
Alyssa Yancey is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and the University of North Texas. She currently works as communications manager at the UofSC School of Medicine Columbia. She and her husband Steven live in Lexington with their two sons: Everett (4.5) and Jase (1.5). They enjoy camping and exploring. Alyssa chronicles their family adventures on Instagram as @EASYRunner_Overland and blogs (infrequently) at www.easyrunneroverland.com.