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Welcome to The Smart Mom Manual. I'm Winnie Yu, mom blogger at CompletelyYou.com. My daughters, Samantha and Annie, are 14 and 12. Like most moms, I'm still trying to perfect the balancing act that we all know as motherhood in the modern world. Please don't hesitate to write to me as you read my blog. You can also tweet me @Completely_You. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Moms Need Getaways Too!

By Winnie Yu for Completely You

When my daughters were infants, I couldn’t bear to leave them for more than a couple of hours. Call it primal, but it just didn’t feel right to be away from them when they were so small. So with the exception of an occasional date night with my husband or an early girls’ night out, I rarely left their sides, choosing instead to be home, frazzled and exhausted, but present.

Fast-forward a few years, and the value of a good getaway -- for a day or a long weekend -- has become increasingly apparent and necessary for my sanity. Sure, a Calgon bath is nice (remember the “Calgon, take me away” ads?), but a real escape is considerably better.

Whether it’s a weekend with the girls or a solo business trip, it’s good to take a time-out from motherhood and remind ourselves that we are people too. And as such, we need time alone, time with friends and time to pursue our dreams and goals.

Sometimes, a short getaway is all I need to recharge. It can be something as simple as going to a leisurely lunch with a friend or going on a shopping trip by myself. Other times, life calls for a longer excursion, such as an extended visit with a friend, a work conference or a weekend spa trip with the girls. (If you need some great short escape ideas to inspire you, click here.)

Being away on my own helps me to remember my carefree days when my responsibilities were significantly fewer and when I had only one person to worry about: me. It also gives me perspective on my life because it lets me step outside of it for a while. Best of all, it helps me appreciate the wonderful people who have since come into my life, especially my two daughters.

Mind you, I always miss them when I’m away. I think of their sweet smiles and the way they still hold on to me, even as they are slowly growing up. I do not think of their bickering, their messy rooms or the way they sigh when I ask them to take the dog out.

With those loving thoughts in mind, I make my return as a calmer, happier person who feels multidimensional. When the wheels of family life start spinning again, I’m able to be a better mom.

Winnie Yu is Completely You’s mom blogger. She has two daughters (Samantha, 14, and Annie, 12) and is the author of seven books, including New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding and What to Eat for What Ails You. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Woman’s Day, AARP Bulletin, Prevention and WebMD.com.

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