Everybody needs a little time away… Yes, even you mama. You don’t have to get on a plane or even go far or anywhere fancy. I caught a train, arrived at my destination 30 minutes later and spent a night alone in a hotel room.
It was so much more amazing than I could have imagined. Mostly because all I could imagine beforehand was what could go wrong, how much I would miss my family and how unnecessarily indulgent it would be. Thoughts that held me back from experiencing the sheer joy of a night off alone for more than 2 years.
Last Thursday night as I was preparing to attend my first Problogger event I tried to recall the last time I had slept through the night. I couldn’t. One of the many joys (not) of being a toddler mum. Thanks to teething and winter colds I couldn’t remember the last time I’d slept through the night. The probability of turning up to the Problogger event tired and unable to make the most of the experience was high.
The previous day I had noticed I’d been feeling more tired than normal too. That became extremely clear to me when I turned the car on and my 4 year old son announced “you forgot to buckle me in!” Something I’ve NEVER done before. Thank goodness he’s so responsible right?
So I made a last minute decision to book a hotel room for the next night. Best. Decision. Ever. (Pretty sure I said that about hiring a cleaner too. Let’s call it a tie!)
Initially I couldn’t go to sleep as I lay in bed feeling excited about the freedom and alone time I would have in less than 24 hours time. Then the dark thoughts crept in. All the negative ‘what ifs’ about everything that could go wrong. Fear, doubt, guilt. All the thoughts that had stopped me from treating myself to a full night off for the better part of 2 years (with the exception of a girls night in Melbourne last year). Each time one of these thoughts came up I would breathe and count back from 5 (thanks Mel Robbins). Eventually I fell asleep.
Too many of us mums let guilt and fear hold us back from taking better care of ourselves. The fear of feeling, or being perceived by others, as selfish or self-indulgent is part of it. Believing we don’t have enough time is another part of it. The truth is taking care of ourselves also means we’re better able to take care of our family. Nothing is more important to your family than your health, well being and sanity.
As I left the house with my overnight bag the next afternoon I felt nervous. What if I forgot to do something or take something with me? Even more fear thoughts trying to keep me safe.
Once I had checked in I instantly felt relaxed. The peace and quiet was unbelievably soothing. I revelled in my new-found sense of freedom and took myself out for a late lunch at a nearby sushi station. On my way back to the room I ordered a glass of prosecco and enjoyed it alone in my room. I almost didn’t make it to the Problogger welcome drinks and dinner because the bed was so comfortable.
Later that night a bit of extra effort was required to ensure I didn’t sleep in too late and miss the event – yes I had to set an alarm! My kids are guaranteed to wake me before 6am everyday so setting an alarm is something I’m not used to. I felt giddy as my alarm confirmed that it had been set for 8 hours time even though it was well past my usual bedtime. 11pm til 7am is more sleep than I can usually hope for. Knowing it would be uninterrupted was the cherry on top!
To maximise my sleep in I also ordered room service breakfast. Coffee and a croissant. To arrive between 7am-7.30am as a back up alarm. At the exact moment my alarm went off there was a knock on my door. Perfect timing!
Next time I’ll plan my hotel stay as a stand alone event so I can take full advantage of the 11am checkout and really maximise my sleep in. Imagine a 10 or 12 hour sleep through! That would almost be too much. I might wake up feeling tired from too much sleep. Said no mum ever.
Hotel room: $209 (50% off thanks to booking.com).
Glass of prosecco: $8.
Room service breakfast: $20.
Feeling rested and recharged from just one night away from my family: Priceless.
If you’ve ever dreamt of spending a night alone please do yourself a favour and make it happen. Get a room already! It’s definitely worth it, and like me, you’ll probably wonder why you hadn’t done it sooner.
If you’re ready to get a room use this link to receive a AUD$25 reward with Booking.com
(I get a $25 reward too for telling you about this great platform I enjoy using. Only available to the first 10 people to book using this link. Rewards issued after your stay).
Of course this experience wouldn’t have been possible without the support and encouragement of my husband, who continued to care for our children while I took some much needed timeout. Thank you!
Within a couple of hours of being away from my family I sent him a message to let him know he should do the same sometime soon. Maybe we’ll regularly take turns having an indulgent night away from now on.
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