We All Still Need A Break From Motherhood


I’m not sure about you, but I have never felt the need to get away more than these last few months. It’s been 3 months since my son (and second child) was born.

So I planned a break.

A new baby brings a plethora of stressors. Add in working from home, a toddler not in school, minimal support systems, and the news cycle slowly draining my life force along with the baby sucking me literally dry.

I was at a breaking point. I couldn’t need a break more than I already did.

My husband is busy working but also still in our space all day. I’m exhausted from the lack of sleep only a newborn brings. I could feel the weight of PPD starting to push down on my shoulders and didn’t know what to do to change things. It felt as if there was nothing I could do.

Sometimes it seemed like the walls were moving inward like a horror movie.

I sat down for couples counseling with my husband and tried to describe how I was feeling. At the end of my diatribe of complaints our therapist said,

“Truthfully what you need is a nap – not therapy – and maybe a little trip to look forward to as a family on top of it.”

I let out a deep sigh of relief. This is why we pay her the big bucks. Deep inside I have a problem stating my needs. I struggle to say when I need a break and it’s become even harder in the current situation.

She suggested I look into hotels by the hour for me to be away from our kids and my husband long enough to sleep. I laughed. Isn’t that for affairs and maybe sex work? Then I cried. Honestly it sounded like heaven.

Going to a hotel seemed selfish to me when thinking about taking that time to myself.

But if someone else told me they were doing it, I’d have applauded them. This is usually how I can tell that the thing I’m judging myself for isn’t actually reasonable. Would I judge a friend for it? No.

Still, I couldn’t leave overnight.

The baby still nurses every 2-3 hours. But I could take an afternoon, leave a bottle, and hope for the best. So I did it. I booked an afternoon at a local hotel. On top of that, I hopped on Airbnb to book a cabin for our family to go to the mountains, in a bit over a month.

Suddenly I felt giddy.

Nervous and excited in a way I hadn’t in probably over a half a year, you get me? The next day I packed up my breast pump, some snacks, and drove down the street to the Marriott. I was so nervous checking in.

Ugh why am I always so filled with Mom Guilt!

I pushed through and got into my room. It was silent, and clean, and quiet. Did I say it was quiet? So quiet. I laid down with my book, and soon enough fell asleep. After a few hours my alarm went off. I got up and did some stretching, listened to music, drank coffee and prepared to face reality.

It was time to return to real life.

But I felt myself breathe deeper. I knew I was on the right path. I looked forward to my next step, a trip somewhere else with my newly-formed family of four.

Three weeks later we packed up our family and almost every item in our house, and met my best friend and her family in Big Bear. Again that same sense of peace started to fill me as I drove away from the home that has begun feeling like a prison. Exhaustion was deep in my bones but I knew that this was the right thing for us.

I was working with my daughter on expressing her feelings and moving through them, but she needed this break too.

Breathing in the fresh mountain air, and letting our kids get dirty and go on a “dinosaur egg hunt” brought clarity to us all. I saw her brighten and be her true little happy self. Not only that, but I was able to let my best friend and her family gush over my new baby in a way that hadn’t happened yet.

That was good for all our souls.

That weekend really confirmed it for me. We can’t stop living. We need to do things to take care of our mental health and families.

For us this means scheduling in breaks.

Time to spend with specific family members or friends is well worth it. So get away, plan a staycation. Escape your monotony. Don’t let mom guilt pull you down.

We all still need a break, maybe more than ever.

We All Still Need A Break From Motherhood PIN

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Liz McTan
Liz McTan is an entrepreneur, blogger, singer/songwriter and above all a mom. On her blog The Redheaded Rambling Mama she focuses on the necessity of connection and establishing our own village. Liz also writes about maintaining a sense of self after children, and beating the illusion of perfect parenting we see throughout social media and keeping a sense of humor to stay sane. She is a proponent of traveling, protesting, and even attending festivals with your kids. Through her battle with post-partum depression and anxiety she has found a new sense of self and purpose in her writing and music with her band Echo Hill. You can read more of her work at www.redheadedramblingmama.blog or on her social media pages www.facebook.com/redheadedramblingmama and www.instagram.com/redheadedramblingmama