Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Vacation Time

A fellow working mom recently posted about her "mommy vacation". Prior to starting a new job, she took three days off, just for herself.  She thought maybe it was selfish, but enjoyed herself anyway.  Good for you mom - definitely well deserved!  It got me to thinking about the different ways I spend my vacation time from work...

In my mind, there are three kinds of vacation: family vacation, vacation from family, and vacation time spent doing work at home.

Family Vacation
We recently took a family vacation: a skiing holiday with my in-laws to Killington, Vermont.  It was a great trip.  We drove down separately, so we had a bit of time on our own little holiday, but spent the week sharing a townhouse at the mountain with Grandma and Papa.  The older two girls went to ski school in the morning, and the little one stayed in with Grandma while me and hubby and Papa did some skiing.  In the afternoons, I stayed in with all three girls for naptime.  There was even some swimming on a couple of evenings.  We had most meals in the townhouse, and ate at restaurants while travelling and on two evenings while we were there.  We are very grateful for Grandma and Papa who made the arrangements, financed most of the trip, and arranged for and prepared the meals.  Without them, it wouldn't be possible for us to take a trip like this at this point in our lives.  In fact, it seems that all of our family vacations since having children have involved the cooperation of parents, siblings or friends.  I'm very fortunate to have the support of my family for our family vacations.

Despite interrupted sleep, lost toys, and the piles of laundry upon the return home, there are more than enough positives in a family vacation to make up for it.  What's nicest about family vacations is how much easier it is to enjoy our children when we were relaxed and away from the normal daily activities of home.  Despite the long drive in the car, there were lots of times that we were goofing around and having fun.   And while we were there, I often noted to myself how nice it was really talk to, interact and play with the kids.

Vacation from Family
Since returning to work, I've had a couple of opportunities to enjoy this type of vacation in the form of business trips.  I'm fortunate in my position to be required to do what I consider the perfect amount of business travel: not too much that I'm away from my family too often, but often enough that I get to enjoy a break from the everyday activities of life at least a couple of times a year.

Although some business trips are somewhat rushed in order to minimise time away from home, I can always appreciate the large empty bed, the thrill of waking on my own schedule, and eating meals at restaurants in the company of adults.  For a short period of time, I can be without the obligations of dinner preparation, nighttime rituals and laundry. 

Last year I also had the pleasure of an overseas trip for work.  Travelling to Europe offers the excuse of a longer stay, with the opportunity to add some personal vacation, since staying over a Saturday always provides a significant cost benefit for the company.  In a course of 6 days, I read 3 books, enjoyed my own quiet company, ran when I wanted to, ate what and when I wanted to, saw a few sites, did a little shopping, and caught up on some much deserved rest and relaxation.  I only felt a little guilty when I returned. 

But I know that my enjoyment of time away was evident: now when business trips come up, my boss no longer asks apprehensively if I think I can go; instead, she excitedly asks me if I want to go away.  She's a mom too - she definitely understands!

Vacation Time for House Work
I'm sure I'm not alone in this.  Thankfully, I have enough vacation days at work that I can spend some of them catching up on things at home.  At least once a quarter, I like to take a day or two off work in order to tackle the Never-Gets-Done-List at home.  Sometimes it's just a full day of house-cleaning: the dusting, vacuuming, carpet stain removal, floor washing, and pantry and fridge cleaning that have gotten away from me.  Other times I use the days for very specific projects: reorganising and sorting through the junk in the basement, painting the deck, sorting through the children's clothes at season and size changes.  Taking a day off to truly rest and relax is a rare thing - perhaps that's why I take advantage of business trips when I get the chance, and maybe someday, I'll take a "mommy vacation" of my own.

Vacation Time with Hubby
On a related note, hubby and I will be celebrating 10 years of marriage in June.  We're planning on taking a few days to go somewhere and just relax and be by ourselves.  I'm really looking forward to this.  Truth be told, I've been thinking about it for a couple of years.  Now, we just have to decide on where to go... oh, and arrange for child care!

1 comment:

  1. Hey thanks for the mention! I too take vacation to do housework...it totally makes me feel awesome when I can get some of that Never Gets Done stuff done!