Selfish sounds like you don’t give a damn, while self-less sounds like you are being a martyr. If you ask me and my female pals if a girl’s holiday is a must-have, then without making this the shortest article you will ever read, the answer quite simply is yes!
Since my mid-twenties I have been lucky enough to go on a few overseas hen weekends. These were all pre-children and back in the day when I had a well paid, full-time corporate job. Things have changed now – most of my friends are married and have children. Now that I am in my early 40s with two children, a husband and a business to run, shouldn’t girlie holidays take a back seat? The answer is a definite no from me!
The reasons why I shouldn’t go on a holiday minus my family gets longer as I get older and the list of responsibilities grows as the disposable income dwindles – however, I genuinely believe a girlie weekend away is good for the soul and something that should be supported for mental wellbeing and physical rest. I always make sure we have a family holiday too if mummy or daddy are going off gallivanting to Spain or Portugal because that’s only fair.
Me, second from the left, with girls I met at school when we were 12
Why am I so passionate about these breaks in routine and responsibility? Day-to-day life is stressful, busy and overwhelming from running the house, raising children, driving, working, cleaning, cooking and so on and it is important to take a break. This could be ten minutes to yourself in the bath, or for me, a weekend away.
Waking up when you want without a child jumping on you, not having to cook four different meals every mealtime and not having to do the school run is heavenly for a couple of days. It also makes you appreciate the littler things when you get back home, but importantly, being you and remembering you is also important.
Being a mum is great and rewarding, as is being a wife and a business owner, but remembering the real and original ‘you’ before all the responsibilities and changes can sometimes be easily forgotten as you end at the bottom of the list. Carefree changes to careful and cautious and before you know it, you can forget your name and just become so and so’s mum or Mrs xxx.
The laughter with the girls, the uninterrupted talking, the occasional wine (or two) and the time out is to be cherished. We are all so busy when we’re at home – conversations with friends can be cut short, nights out cancelled due to sick kids and home life responsibilities, which all limit our quality time with friends.
Don’t get me wrong, when I am packing the mum guilt hits like a ton of bricks. The making of lists and instructions for the army of helpers enabling me to go away makes me wonder if it really is worth it, but the answer is yes – it’s always worth it.
When you come home you feel like you’ve genuinely had a break, which makes me happier. The family also benefits from a happier mum, so it’s a win, win.
Nicole Martin is the director of Pinpoint Marketing Consultancy Ltd