Yep, you read that right! Grab you ear buds, mama, it’s story time.
Have you ever thought, “I wish I could just get away for a night or two and hang out with some girlfriends or even just be alone!”? In today’s episode I’m sharing why I decided to get away for a weekend… alone *gasp* and why you should give yourself permission to do the same.
Motherhood can be a lot. t can sometimes be overwhelming and heavy and draining. And while it’s important to make small pockets of alone time a regular thing, sometimes life happens, and those things aren’t always a regular occurrence.
What would happen if you took a weekend trip alone? Make sure you’re in the community group! I have a feeling these discussions are going to be good. And if you’ve taken a trip away with friends or alone, come on in and tell us all about your experience! Join us here.
Let’s connect on Instagram!
If you enjoyed the podcast, please rate and review it through the Apple Podcast app. I would love to hear what you think of this week’s episode or how the podcast is impacting you. Thanks for your continued support!
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
Hey friends. Welcome back to another episode of Her Pursuit! I’m so glad that you’re here with me today or tonight, whenever it is that you’re listening to this. I want you to settle in though, because we’re going to have a little story time. I’m going to tell you about why I took a trip away. Yes, by myself.
Why, I took a weekend off of mom duty and took a trip by myself. And I’m going to tell you why you should do the same. Okay. So grab some headphones, grab your tea or your coffee, whatever it is that you’re doing. Get ready for story time. This is going to be good.
Okay. So let me tell you how the whole thing started, where this whole idea came from. So my husband, he is a hunter. I don’t know, are there any other hunters wives out there? I will say he only takes one trip a year. Usually like it’s just one hunting trip a year. He goes, duck hunting, usually out of state.
And in the past I’ve always said I never get to leave for a week or even a weekend. I never take trips away. And so he always says to me every single year, “plan a trip, get some friends together or go do something on your own. Plan a trip and go,” but I never do. I never have. And so last year he took two trips, basically back to back the beginning of December.
And then the beginning of January, I texted him on the first trip in December and I said, jokingly, but kind of serious… “I’m going to need a spa weekend after this one, because it was a five day trip, if I remember correctly. And the girls were still in school, I was doing all the things alone, which I am capable of, but that doesn’t make it easy or mean that I want to just because I can.
But it was crazy. It was insane! I just remember, like if I go back there in my mind “I’m like, oh my goodness.” I remember how crazy it was when he was out of town. And I got to thinking, “well, maybe I should plan a weekend away.” And so in the beginning of December, I had this idea. We kind of started talking about it more realistically, like I was actually going to do this, but with the holidays and Christmas, it just never worked out for me to get away for a weekend.
So after his second trip, I decided, “okay, that is, that – enough is enough. I need to get away.” Like right then honestly, November and December were difficult for me for a few different reasons. And I felt like I was suffocating at times, truly because typically throughout the year when we’re in a normal schedule and routine, I go to Bible study once a week, or I plan to get out of the house AKA away from the girls at least once a week, maybe for a little bit on a Saturday, just here and there.
But our whole family went through this sickness after sickness for what felt like an entire month and then circumstances out of my control, calls me to kind of spiral with some things that I still struggle with personally from time to time. Because hello? Yes, I’m a human. So at the beginning of January, I was exhausted from all the holiday festivities, as I’m sure we all were in the constant role that we fill as mom and all the things that I know, I don’t have to explain to you.
Like I don’t have to explain it. And since I truly hadn’t been able to create time and space for myself, which I’m constantly reminding you of that is so important because it is, I felt like I was sinking again and feeling some of the same feelings that once kept me so stuck. And it scared the crap out of me.
I’m just going to be honest because I knew that’s not who I am anymore. It’s not who I was, but the enemy y’all, Satan is slick. Okay. He is clever, he’s manipulative and we can end up somewhere and not even know how we got there. Because it’s a gradual progression, right? I’m not immune to that, just because I know intellectually all the things, does not mean I’m going to be able to put them into practice perfectly all of the time. Because things happen that you cannot control, that calls you to have to deal with feelings and emotions and situations and circumstances that you did not see coming.
And I shared some of this on an Instagram live. So if you want to hear more about it a little bit more about it, what I was walking through in the moment, you can find it on my page @heyitscason is my handle. But very last minute. So all that to say that very last minute at the beginning of January, I made a decision.
I had an opportunity and an open weekend, and I talked to my husband, he was cool with everything. So at first I was going to find a hotel room somewhere. I told my husband, I didn’t care where, I just needed to get some things done for the podcast. I needed some time and some space to just breathe and do whatever I wanted to do.
So I start looking at different rooms and prices and he’s looking. And then I had an idea because his dad and step-mom live not too far away, a little bit up the road. And they have a suite off of their house that has one bedroom, a little kitchenette bathroom, everything that you need right there for just like a weekend away.
And I thought to myself, you know, I kind of honestly was like, justifying it a little bit more. “You don’t even have to pay for a room. You can go stay here.” So I ended up going to their house. They didn’t bother me at all. It was amazing. And I even told my husband the other day I was kind of joking, but kind of not.
And I was like, “I’m going to go do it again sometime because it’s just nice to have a break and get away.” We can not wait until we’re almost on E, like I was at the end of December. You have to stay ahead of this. Okay. And it’s why I believe, and I do try to implement under most circumstances, daily time for myself through a morning routine or an evening routine.
And maybe for you, it just looks like 30 minutes a week for yourself, or getting out one night or one afternoon each week. Please know that you deserve that, there is nothing wrong with it. And there should be no shame or guilt, but I know that we’re human. We’re moms and there kind of is some shame and guilt around leaving our kids.
But it’s just something that when we start to leave them for a little amounts of time here and there, we see, okay, they survived and I survived and I feel better. And I feel like I can be a better mom. So it actually is very beneficial. You need it, like you need it. So I leave Friday afternoon, I’d already made a little mini bucket list for the weekend of things I wanted to do and needed to do.
And you know, you can apply this concept of making this little list anytime, you know, you’re going to have free time. Or if you find yourself with a big gap of free time unexpectedly. Write down a list of things you need to do and things you want to do, and then prioritize them. It’s going to help you to actually be productive during that time.
So that was just a little quick tip, but this was my list… I wanted to watch a movie because I rarely watch TV anymore. I used to be a couch potato. And yes, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that, but I’ve wasted so much time bingeing Gossip Girl, and other shows that really weren’t even that good because I was just so unmotivated to do anything else in my life.
That was a different season. It feels like a different life ago. Thank the Lord I’m not there anymore. But I really wanted to watch a movie because I feel like that that helps me turn my brain off. Also on the list was to read some of a book. It was the beginning of the year. And I usually set a reading goal for myself because I am a proud book nerd.
Any other book nerds out there? Any other mommas really like to read, because I do. I love to read, but I hadn’t decided in what order. So I just chose a book. Grabbed the book, put it in my bag. I really needed to catch up on the podcast. So I put that on my list. I wanted to brainstorm a list of episode ideas, outline some of them and record at least two at that point to help me stay ahead.
And another thing that I had on my list was to take a nap. Y’all, another thing I used to do all the time was take a nap. And when I was all alone on a Saturday, for some reason I could not fall asleep to save my life. It felt like such a waste of all my free time. Like my brain would not shut off, but I did attempt that one.
Another thing I wrote down was to watch the sunrise and the sunset, both of those just bring me so much joy and peace and calm. And if you’re the same way, then you know what I mean. You get it. So that was my list. Friday afternoon, I headed to a coffee shop. I did some work on the podcast. That night, I had dinner alone, which was weird and amazing all at the same time.
I got to enjoy my food as soon as it came to my table, instead of cutting up somebody else’s, you know, food and chicken and pork and ketchup and asking for ranch or barbecue or whatever else they needed. I just sat there and I didn’t scroll. I didn’t try to escape the feeling of just being with myself. I just sat there and I took it all in.
And if you’ve never done this, maybe just go out to dinner or lunch alone, even with a friend. It’s just the best. But I will be honest, there was also this uneasy feeling that kept coming up. Like I was supposed to be doing something for someone else. I honestly think my brain, like in my body didn’t know how to respond in the moment when I had nothing else to do for anyone else but myself.
And it was some mom guilt too creeping in, trying to ruin my time, make me believe that what I was doing was selfish, that I didn’t deserve to be alone, but I did my best to just kind of acknowledge it and let it be in hopes that it would kind of quiet down. So I watched a movie that evening and to be honest, I had a hard time falling asleep.
I didn’t sleep well, even though the bed was so cozy and comfy, it was just like, my mind could not shut off. And I think honestly, like I said, I just didn’t know how to act. I did not know how to function being alone and not changing a diaper and filling a cup and getting somebody this and doing for that and this continuous constant demands of others and meeting their needs.
I just don’t think that I knew what to do with myself, honestly. So the next morning I got up pretty early. I decided to put on my shoes, bundle up, take a short walk and watch the sunrise. It was beautiful and amazing. So peaceful. I can probably post a picture on the blog so you can see it coming up over the lake.
I walked back, I ate some oatmeal that I’d grabbed at the store. I did some more batching for the pod. I recorded two episodes. And so I was able to check, check, check all of those things off my list. I started another movie and then I left for lunch. There was a cafe I’d wanted to try. So I sat there again, ate a hot meal in peace.
Oh my gosh. The things that we took for granted before kids. I mean, am I right? And I love them. Oh my, I love my girls it’s and it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Like, it can be both. You can love your children more than anything, and also love to eat your food as soon as it comes out and it’s still warm and just eating in peace.
You know, it’s just nice to enjoy the things you once did before becoming a mama and there’s nothing wrong with it. So I sat and I read my book and it was amazing. And my husband sent me a text, checked in asking how things were going. And I was like, “it is silent and it is glorious,” because it was. So when I got back, like I said, I tried to take a nap.
Didn’t work out well. But I did try later in the day, sat in the sun, read some more of my book. And then as the afternoon came in, darkness began to settle in. I started to feel that sense of uneasy. I think it was a little anxiety, a little guilt. It was almost a sense of panic that was rising up. And I still don’t fully know what it was all about.
Other than me being outside of my comfort zone and free to just do whatever I wanted to do and not really knowing how to handle that. So since I didn’t sleep well the night before I decided, instead of staying another night, I was going to head back after the girls were in bed. And I was really just wanting a good night of sleep, a good night of rest.
And I did, I slept so much better in my own bed. And the next morning the girls were so excited that I was home. They thought we were going to meet up at church. So it was a fun surprise for them, but this is what that trip taught me. This is what I learned from my time away from my family. Number one, you probably don’t need as much time away as you think you do.
I planned to stay gone the whole weekend and meet my family at church that Sunday. But I felt more than refreshed with just 24 hours. A lot of times it just takes an hour. You know, for me personally, to just refill and reset, get my cup full by doing something that I enjoy, something for me. And then I’m good to go.
I’m sure it’s different for you. But the point is a lot of us think I need a week off when really we just need an hour or so maybe once a week, but find what works for you. You probably don’t need as much time away as you think you do. The second thing is to expect the mom guilt, regardless of if you’re running out for a quick pedicure or taking a girls’ trip out of town for the weekend or longer…
You will more than likely feel mom guilt trying to creep in. Here are some reminders for yourself when those thoughts come up: “I’m pouring into myself so that my cup can be full. I want to feel my best so that I can love and serve my family. My kids will survive without me. It is healthy that we have some time apart. My needs deserve to be met as well as everyone else’s.
I am worth investing time and energy into myself and what lights me up.” Write these things down, type them, print them out, put them where you can see them, set them as a wallpaper on your phone, whatever you need to do to remind yourself of those things. The next thing that my weekend away taught me is that time for yourself is absolutely needed.
Whether you create a morning routine, even if it’s a mini morning routine or an evening routine, or leave for an hour or less to go for a walk, or hop in the shower. And yes, I’ve taken like a 45 minute shower and like slowly gotten ready and done all the things, just to take my time and be alone. Because, daddy’s got the kids and they’re good, but whether you’re gone for a little while or a long time, it is necessary.
I don’t think that point can be overstated because some of you still don’t believe me. For your mental health, for the sake of your family, you have to cultivate time that is just for you and what you want to do. Not time to yourself and doing the dishes and laundry and scrubbing floors. I mean, unless that really fills your cup.
I know there are some weirdos out there who really enjoy that kind of thing. And I’m a weirdo too, just in different ways, because those things do not fill my cup. I don’t mind doing them in a way of serving my family and my house and keeping my home in order. But that is not what I’m going to do to like fill my cup and help me reset.
I’m talking about time for you to remind yourself that you are still an individual, that you are still a person, that you are still you, even though you’re a mom. And taking time for yourself to do something that you want to do because you want to do it. It’s really that simple. So if you’re listening and you’ve worked with me in the past or been in any of my past group programs, you know, I love permission slips.
There’s something about writing yourself that note of permission that allows you to step into new possibilities that you may be otherwise felt like you were excluded from. So if you’re not driving and if you have a pen and something to write on close by, I want you to write these words down. And if not, just pause me, go grab a pen and paper or a little sticky note and a marker because I want you to write this down and I want you to keep it somewhere where it’s going to remind you of what we’ve talked about.
This is really important. So do that really quick and I’ll wait. Okay, so write your name. So mine would say, “Cason,” and put a comma. “I give you permission to create time for yourself this week to do something you enjoy, that’s just for you,” period. “You deserve some time to yourself doing something that fills you back up,” period.
“You are” I put it in all caps, “worth it,” period. And then sign your name. So what you’ve just written to yourself says, “Cason, I give you permission to create time for yourself this week to do something you enjoy. That’s just for you. You deserve some time to yourself doing something that fills you back up. You are WORTH IT.”
And then I’d sign it. You know, sign my little signature at the bottom, insert your name, insert your signature because it applies to you. It is so true. It is absolutely necessary for you to do this. And it does not have to, you know, this is where perfection comes in. It doesn’t have to look a certain way. It doesn’t have to feel a certain way, as long as it serves you.
And is something that does fill your cup. That’s how it needs to feel. It needs to feel good to you. It doesn’t need to feel like that you’re still taking care of everybody else’s needs when you get a free moment. And I’m not talking about two hours, I’m not talking about a weekend a way. I’m just saying maybe 30 minutes, maybe 10 minutes. 10 intentional minutes is a long time.
I always like to think of time in this example: If I were to sit here and if we were to both sit in silence together for 10 minutes, it would feel like an entire year. Okay? So when you are being intentional with time, it can actually, you know, you actually get more out of less time. If that’s making sense, I feel like that’s kind of confusing.
You don’t need 30 minutes is what I’m saying. You can actually utilize five minutes intentionally to do something you enjoy that fills your cup. I think you’re getting what I’m getting at here. So five minutes, 10 minutes, let go of the idea of perfection, because perfection is going to keep you stuck.
Perfection is going to keep you burned out and stressed out and feeling like you’re not meeting an expectation or this bar that really shouldn’t even exist. So let go of that. Let go of perfection. Do what you can with what you have and the season that you’re in right now. And then watch how your life starts to change, watch how your perspective starts to shift and how you feel different about the way that you’re showing up.
You feel different about yourself and the kind of mom that you are. What’s going to happen is you’re going to be less reactive. You’re going to be able to respond more because you don’t feel like everything… Like you’re up to your eyeballs in just stuff and meeting everybody else’s needs and juggling all the things. You’ve had a five minutes or 10 minutes in your week to carve out for yourself.
You know, every day, if you can do it, but if not, once a week to say, “okay, I’m going to sit here. I’m going to do something that I enjoy.” You’re reconnecting with yourself, reminding yourself of who you are, why you matter. And that changes things. Okay. Please trust me when I say this and please try it.
If you’ve written out that permission slip, I would love for you to take a picture of it on your phone, put it up in your Instagram stories or on Facebook. Tag me on Instagram @heyitscason. I would love to see those and I would love to reshare those. And honestly, you never know when you do that, you may encourage another mom. You may encourage another woman who feels like she’s not worthy of that time.
She maybe feels like she needs to do some things for herself, but feels like she shouldn’t because that’s not what a good mom does. And if she sees that you are giving yourself permission to do that and walk that out in your own life, it might just encourage her to do the same thing.
You never ever know how your actions and your words and the way that you live, your life influences other people. You have so much influence mama, over not just your family, but also your friends and the people that you are coming in contact with every single day. So I want to help you walk intentionally, live intentionally as a mom, as a woman.
And I pray that this episode has helped you to do just that. I will see you back here Thursday. We’re going to be talking about part two of our February series “Loving You.” Because yes, you are worth it. I’ll see you then, friend.