This Mom Is Taking A "Mid-Life Gap Year" Away From Everything
She’s spending the time resting, writing and traveling without her family.
Most moms would cherish a weekend (hell — even a night) away from their families to rest, recharge, and just focus on something solely for themselves.
And because moms typically take the majority of the load when it comes to child rearing, household duties, and all the other mental and emotional labors, finding time to truly “be alone” is super rare, especially if they’re working a full-time job on top of that.
There’s just always too much going on.
One mom decided that she had had enough. She quit her six-figure salary job and decided to go take an entire year for herself — and called it her “mid-life gap year.”
She left her kids and husband at home, traveled with friends, worked on passion projects, and got back to the root of who she was. And guess what? She’s a better mom and wife for it!
So long story short, she’s living the dream.
Kym Wootton, 42, turned in her notice for her job as a chief administrative officer at a consultancy agency in January 2023 and since then, she has decided to take an entire year off from work to live a more present life.
“You know when kids are done with high school, and they’re not yet ready to go to college and they take that gap year?” she begins in a video she posted to her TikTok account. “Just a year to work or travel or have fun or rest or relax or whatever before they get into their college years.”
She goes on to explain that the “rise and grind” culture is demanding and draining, especially when you’re at a job that doesn’t fit.
“It’s crazy to me that once we start working, we start our careers — that’s it,” she continued. “We work, we grind until we are in our late 60s and we can retire, hopefully.”
Wootton quit her job and decided to take the entire year off for herself, something she promises not to squander. “I’m gonna use this year to first, slow down, take some of the rush out of my life, allow ambiguity to be in my life, try to do a mix of things everyday,” she said.
Wootton plans to rest, get into an exercise routine, write, and spend quality time with her family — sons Finn, 16, and Will, 13 — and husband, Mike, 49.
She’s also already gotten to travel and leave her family at home guilt-free.
“I feel amazing and the best ever. I didn’t even realize how anxious I had been until I stopped working. I have this incredible lightness,” the Boulder, Colorado, resident told Tyla.
“I would have felt selfish before being away from my family. Now I can spend time reading, being lazy and restful. I'm much more able to roll with the stresses of everyday life.”
She also says her “Sunday Scaries” are officially gone.
“I used to think on a Sunday — ‘I didn’t do everything I wanted.’ Instead, now I get to be in the moment with my husband and kids. I don’t want this to just be a pause and then just go back. I want to find out exactly what I want to be and do.”
Wootton also knows that her ability to take this “mid-life gap year” is extremely privileged. “I feel really lucky,” she said.
Wootton and her husband saved and budgeted for seven months before she quit her job in January 2023.
While a year off from traditional life might seem a distant dream for most moms, Wootton recommends that even taking a month off could be beneficial to gain a new life perspective.
“A traditional gap year after school helps you find out what you want to do — adults should be able to do the same. Even if you can have a gap month it will give you some perspective you didn’t even realize.”