This weekend, something rarer than a full night’s sleep with a toddler occurred. Seven of my closest friends and I left our kids and husbands at home for a much needed, well-deserved moms’ trip away. Granted, “away” was only 15 minutes up the road at a hotel downtown, but it still counts.
Since joining the ranks of motherhood 18 months ago, I have developed a very close network of mom friends. These girls are my lifeline when my kid is driving me up the freaking wall. Through teething, tantrums, and sleep regressions, these wonderful ladies have been there to offer advice, prayers, and reassurance when I feel like my clueless self is about to permanently screw up my kid.
Being a stay-at-home mom can feel isolating at times, which is why having a support group of other moms is a must. They don’t judge my nightly wine habit or my tendency to binge-watch trash TV. Whether I let my kid cry it out because I’m completely exhausted or allow her to eat nothing but cheese and bananas for a week straight, they are always there to say it’s okay. We see each other almost weekly but rarely has any of us had a single night, let alone a weekend, away from our children.
We’ve been planning this weekend for months. And miraculously, all of us were able to make it for at least one night.
I know what you’re probably thinking: This is where the story gets good. You probably think this is about to play out like a scene from Bad Moms. You’re probably envisioning us tearing up the town, closing down the bars, and drinking alcoholic drinks with names that you wouldn’t repeat in front of your kids. I mean, why not? With no little people to worry about and no toddler-sized alarm clock, what else would a bunch of housewives do with the get-out-of-diaper-changes-free card?
If that’s the story you’re hoping for, you’re going to be seriously disappointed. But the weekend was everything we hoped it would be. And despite seeing these girls almost weekly, I realized there is still a lot you learn about your mom friends during a weekend getaway. In fact, I learned each mom has her own very unique traveling style. Let’s take a look:
1. The Prepared for the Apocalypse Mom
This mom packs enough for one weekend to survive for a month. “Prepared” is an understatement. She has everything you might need, but probably won’t: a first-aid kit, cleaning supplies, kitchen utensils, plates and cups, enough snacks to feed a gathering of preteen football players, and half of her wardrobe. She’s so used to traveling with a child that she’s prepared for any possible scenario. Traveling with this mom is great, especially if you are the next mom.
2. The Minimalist Mom
This mom shows up with a change of clothes and underwear shoved in her purse. A small overnight bag is all she needs. She packed two minutes before she left the house. In fact, she likely forgot something and will have to borrow it from the Prepared for the Apocalypse Mom. No worries though, because her dependable friend packed three of everything.
3. The Mom Who Can’t Stop Being a Mom
This mom is so used to being a mom that she can’t turn it off. She’s the mom who does two final walk-throughs of the hotel to make sure no one left anything behind. She will politely remind everyone that they should go to the bathroom before leaving the hotel. And when you get to the restaurant, she may subconsciously cut up your meat for you. Before bed, she will flip through pictures of her kids and talk about how much she misses them. And although she tries to be discreet about it, she checks in at home at least every other hour.
4. The On-Point Mom
This is the mom who shows up in jeans when everyone else is in a dress and still manages to look better than the other moms. She’s the one who everyone seeks out for makeup tips while getting ready to go out for dinner. Somehow, she wakes up in the morning and her hair looks perfect right after she rolls out of bed. At the pool, she’s rocking a trendy kimono cover-up while everyone else wears terrycloth. She’s casual, confident, and super stylish, and everyone secretly (or not-so-secretly) wants to go shopping in her closet.
5. The Planner Mom
This mom is the glue that holds a moms’ trip together. She shows up with crafts or games, plans all the activities, pre-booked the hotel, and then called every day to see if a bigger suite opened up. The moms’ trip probably wouldn’t have happened without this mom in the group. She’s organized, creative, and likely the person who introduced all of these moms to each other.
6. The One Drink and She’s Tipsy Mom
This mom is fun to have on the trip, especially after half a martini, because that’s all it takes before she’s tipsy. She’s likely still nursing and hasn’t drunk much in the last year. In fact, every time you’ve seen her over the last 12 months, she’s been pregnant or had an infant with her, possibly physically attached to her the entire time. So the moms’ trip is the first time you truly get to see this mom let loose and relax — and it is greatness!
7. The Busy Mom
This mom probably needs a moms’ trip more than any of the others. She’s busy! And she’s not just “mom” busy, she’s “seriously, how the heck does she do it” busy. She likely has a job, or multiples, or both. She’s always the last to arrive and the first to have to leave because there are always multiple things (or children) pulling her in 50 different directions. Like the minimalist mom, she will show up with only a small overnight bag that she packed in less than two minutes. But she doesn’t do this because she’s a minimalist, she does this out of necessity. Two minutes is all she ever really has to herself.
8. The Sleep-Deprived Mom
Now, I know every mom is sleep-deprived. But this mom is going to take full advantage of her time away from her children and sleep. She will likely fall asleep at the drop of a hat and snooze for a full 10 hours. She’ll wake up 10 minutes before the continental breakfast is over and casually make her way down to the waffle station in her pajamas. She’s resourceful. For her, the moms’ trip is about doing what she can’t do at home. So not only is she going to sleep in for the first time in four years, she’s going to eat a meal while it’s still warm. And she’ll rejoice knowing she doesn’t have to share her waffle with a kid who will take one bite and hand it back to her.
The great thing about a trip with mom friends is that no matter how different they are, they all have one very important thing that unites them: They understand what it’s like to love a pint-sized human more than life itself.
So how did our moms’ trip turn out?
Man, we got crazy!
We got all dolled up in our age-appropriate dresses, went to a fancy dinner, and then…headed straight back to our hotel suite! First, we doctored the blisters on our feet that we got as a result from walking in heels for the first time in god knows how long. Afterward, we crafted and drank wine. We stayed up until long after all the barflies were in bed. We laughed, we told stories, and we talked about our kids. Because after all, those tiny people who we all purposely tried to get away from for the weekend are actually the ones who brought us all together.