Why you must take time off from your kids and not feel guilty about it

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I am a working mum who is lucky. I have a great support environment at home as my husband and family are all willing to help if work takes over my life. At the same time, I have a very understanding work environment that allows me to work from home when I need to and understands if I am unavailable at 3 pm most days as I am picking up the kids. However, I have spoken to many other mums about the difficulties of managing a fast-paced career environment with the challenges of being a mother. They talk about how they need to go on business trips every couple of months that takes them away from their children at a precious moment in their development. I am sorry but I disagree. These moments of absence are a great thing, let me explain why.

As I already said, I am one of the lucky ones, I know that. I am never forced by my work to go away for week-long business trips. Some may argue that I don’t fully understand how hard it is for my kids then. In reality, despite my work not asking me to go away on my business trips, I still go away. Before I became a mother I was someone who loved to travel, and I am still that person. While I enjoy a holiday with my children there are still moments I want to get away on my own or with my adult friends and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it is good for both mother and child.

While being away from your young kids is tough for both you and them it is also an important step in your development as a mature mother and their development as a child. Being with your kids all day every day is tough. If you are a stay at home mum you will know more than most that you love your children an incredible amount but you often look forward to a bathroom break as it may mean a few small moments of respite. There is nothing wrong with that. Taking a larger break can allow you to come back refreshed and full of adoration for your kids. Your children too will be delighted to have you back and desperate for some affection.

Do you remember the last time you had a full night’s sleep? A nice trip away without the kids in a comfortable bed gives you the opportunity to catch up on some lost sleep. This is nothing to be undervalued. Sleep is incredibly important to everyone, especially mums. Give yourself the chance to re-energize. 

When you hear the word “mealtime” what do you think? To most mothers, it is an endless battle with kids to ask them to eat healthily, finish their meal, stop making a mess, and focus. If you have the chance to actually eat something during that process you are just lucky. Now imagine going on holiday and enjoying your food again? Sounds nice right?

The quiet moments alone can not be undervalued either. We need quiet moments in our lives to reflect, to grow, to become better versions of ourselves. By allowing yourself the space to have this quiet time you are coming back to your family as a better mother. At the end that is what they need most.

All of these things focus on yourself and your needs but trust me absence is beneficial for your children too. They have relied on you since birth and someday you will not be there to hold their hand. During their formative years spending a few days away will teach them the importance of independence in a safe environment and allow them to grow into fully functioning adults in the future. Do you and your children a favor and take a few days away. While it may seem impossible now, there is always a way.