Taking Time Away With Your Girlfriends

photo-6 copyAs a mom, making time for myself to take a shower can be a challenge…going on a girl’s trip? Almost impossible. There are always a million reasons why I can’t get away – money is tight, my son needs me, we should travel as a family, life is too busy, etc. After my miscarriage in August, I fell apart in a lot of ways. Physically and emotionally, I   had a really tough time moving on and getting back into my life. Even so, I just felt like I couldn’t justify the expense or hassle of a trip away. Then my grandma died at the end of August. While it wasn’t unexpected, it was still difficult and made the loss from my miscarriage raw again. I realized I needed to escape for awhile, to leave my life and everything that had happened and do something for myself.

The day after I received the news about my grandma, I called one of my best friends in New York City and said, “I’m coming to visit you.” I booked tickets for me and another friend that same day, and a month later, took the mental health trip I desperately needed.

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There is nothing better than getting together with your girlfriends, especially ones that have known you forever. Spending time with my two best friends honestly healed me in a way that I couldn’t at home with my husband and son, and I don’t even know how to explain why. Probably because I was free from a lot of the responsibilities I have at home (which I love, but were overwhelming at the time) and reminded me of the person I was when I was much younger and more carefree.

We spent a long weekend touring the city. I had never been to New York before and I absolutely loved it. My friend lives on the Upper West Side, and immediately walking outside her apartment there is so much life and movement. I loved seeing the sights – Ground Zero, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Rockefeller Center; I loved eating great food; I loved seeing a Broadway show; But most of all, I loved putting on pajamas and snuggling on the couch with my friends and catching up on all the things we have each been going through. It’s amazing how different it is to spend that type of concentrated time with friends you usually only talk to on the phone. It made me feel like my old self again, someone that could laugh and be silly and watch reality television and feel like everything really was going to be okay.

The weekend was the longest I have ever been away from my son, and while that was tough, I know it was exactly what I needed. I came back from the trip refreshed and ready to face my own life again, good times and bad. I realize now that making time for myself isn’t just a luxury – it’s a necessity. Since I’ve been home, I’ve tried to make sure I carve a bit of time for myself every day – while my son is napping, or while my husband takes him to the park – to relax and do something for myself. I read a book, take a bath, or watch a movie.

As the holidays approach, and life feels busier than ever, it is a challenge to find that space for myself. There is always something I could be doing, but I realize now that I am a better mom and a happier person when I make sure to take time for myself. I will never forget my trip to New York City, and am so grateful for everyone in my life that made it happen for me.

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Betsy is a mom to two sassy, spunky and spirited kiddos and wife to an adventurous, soccer-loving Chemist named Noah. She is originally from the Chicago suburbs but has bounced around the world with her husband before landing (hopefully permanently!) in Madison. Her first child, Jackson, was born in Germany during their two years living abroad. Betsy loves exploring new cities, donuts (any kind, anywhere) and being a stay at home mom. She is currently in school with plans to become an Occupational Therapist.

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