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The Ultimate Gift: 24 Hours Alone

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Momlogic's Julie: Why every mom needs a break sometimes...even me.


As Mother's Day rolled around last month, I began mulling over what I wanted. A purse? Some perfume? A new vacuum cleaner (God forbid)? None of those were quite right, but I was almost afraid to say what I really wanted. You see, every time I allowed my mind to wander, I noticed I was fantasizing about something very specific. A lot. Nothing obscene or anything...but I kept picturing myself in a hotel room. Alone. No kids, no husband, no responsibilities. Just me, a book, some pay-per-view movies, maybe a trip to the spa or two, doing whatever I wanted, sleeping however late I wanted, having as many drinks as I wanted, without someone depending on me for 24 hours. Was that too much to ask?

Apparently, I thought so. I mulled it over for days before I had the nerve to bring up the idea to my husband. I felt guilty asking for time away from the family I loved so much. (I'm a working mother, so I'm already gone a lot.) Yet, that's what I wanted. And I was beginning to suspect it was what I needed, too. The only time I was alone in my day-to-day life was in my car to and from work, and that's not exactly quality time. So one night I bit the bullet and asked for my one night of freedom. To my relief, my husband didn't look at me like I was a horrible mother or wife. He didn't judge. He just gave it to me: One night in the hotel of my choice, guilt-free. God, I loved him for it.

So that's how I found myself in the lobby of the Four Seasons last weekend, checking in alone. I had two thick books in my bag, my bathing suit and sunscreen, and a bottle of Absolut Citron. I was set. My husband made me promise not to call him or the kids for the entire 24 hours, and vowed to not call me, either. I was responsibility-free, and it felt liberating!

After I checked into my suite, I went straight down to the spa to visit the whirlpool, sauna, and steam room. After an hour or two of relaxing and pampering, I did a little shopping in the hotel boutique -- which I never do, but I savored the freedom to browse without a child pulling on my leg and telling me to "come on, Mommy!" I then enjoyed an amazing dinner at Onyx, the hotel's sushi restaurant, where I dined al fresco right next to a waterfall while I dove into my book. Heaven!

The rest of the evening was spent relaxing in the room. I ordered a pay-per-view movie (and it was the first time in recent memory I watched a movie all the way through with no interruptions), finished my novel, had a cocktail, and just enjoyed the silence and solitude.

The next morning, I slept in. Yes, slept in. The last time I slept past 6:45 a.m. was January 2001, right before my son was born. I then ordered room service breakfast (because every mom deserves breakfast in bed, right?) and went down to the pool and spa to savor the last few hours of my mini-vacation. In the spa, I endured the pain of a bikini wax because I figured my husband should get some reward for letting me come. After a nice lunch in the hotel lobby, where I read the Sunday New York Times in peace, it was time to check out and go back to reality. By that time, I was ready. I was homesick for my kids and hubby. But these 24 hours away had given me the gift of missing them. The whole hour-long ride home, I had a huge smile on my face.

When I walked through my front doors, I was so much more refreshed and relaxed. My temper wasn't as short, and I was a better mother and wife. I guess that's when I realized that I had been wrong all along. What I thought I wanted was a night in a nice hotel. But what I was really asking for, what I really needed, was a break. And, now that I've had one, everybody wins.

What do you think, moms: Is asking for me-time smart or selfish?

next: Is Fido a Good Name for a Baby?
7 comments so far | Post a comment now
Melanie June 14, 2008, 10:43 PM

Good for you! I really don’t think people understand just how important it is to get “me” time. I am looking forward to a weekend away doing something for myself!

almom June 15, 2008, 3:05 PM

Julie you are my hero.

Julie W June 15, 2008, 8:32 PM

Smart, yes- selfish, no way!

Anonymous June 17, 2008, 3:10 PM

I think this is a wonderful thing to do! Having “me” time makes you that much more attentive to your kids, because you aren’t as strung out when dealing with them.

Rhonda Sucharda June 27, 2008, 12:25 PM

Julie - way to go and take care of yourself! It’s hard to ask for what we want and to enjoy it without feeling guilty. Congratulations!

dion February 27, 2011, 9:10 PM

Me time is definitely important. You aint selfish

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Irish Tourist Board May 2, 2011, 9:31 AM

Very interesting entry, I look forward to the next! Thx for share

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