A formula for a relaxing weekend:
Five moms – kids + a cabin near an artsy small town + spas + plenty of shopping + lots of good food we didn’t have to cook – husbands = Girls Weekend.
My friends and I gathered recently for our semi-annual girls weekend. It was the usual mix of good, uninterrupted conversation, many rounds of yoga, undisturbed shopping, relaxing, uninterrupted meals, and lots of laughs.
Did I mention that we did uninterrupted activities? No one demanding, “I’m hungry” or announcing “I just spilled all the juice.” More like, “Of course I’ll have another glass of wine” and “You should definitely buy that coat. You deserve it.”
The weekend went way too fast…as usual.
Girls Weekend began soon after I had kids when my friend and I decided we needed to get away like we used to when we went on long backpacking trips together. These days, we’re looking more for pampering than high intensity physical accomplishment, so we opt for the spa-like Girls Weekend. Recently we’ve upped the ante and now have Girls Weekend 2 or 3 times a year, often at one of our houses.
Some of my friends claim, “You’re so lucky your husband lets you go away for the weekend.”
There are just so many things wrong with that sentence.
Having girls weekend is not about luck, it involves training, low expectations, compromise, planning, and hard work.
Ideally training your spouse for weekends away should start as soon as you’re married. If you missed that window, you need to do it as soon as you have kids. Leave the kids early and often with your spouse (just an hour or two at a time) so taking care of the children for a weekend isn’t quite so traumatic to the spouse or dangerous to the children.
Low expectations is key: I consider it a successful weekend if everyone is still alive and there is minimal bloodshed when I return. In all honesty, my husband does just fine without me and is great when I’m away.
In order for you to enjoy your weekend, you have to let go of all your expectations of how you household should be run, and this honestly may be the toughest part. You have to let go of the worry that something will go wrong while you’re away and the idea that the house and the kids will look the same when you return.
So what if they have peanut butter in their hair, nothing matches and they ate Popsicles for 4 out of 5 meals. They’re alive, right? And likely fairly happy because everything was completely different from when you were there. Different doesn’t mean better, just exciting because it’s new.
Once you break it to the spouse that you’re leaving him with all the kids for several days, it’s best to do as much planning as possible to make it easier for him. I stock the fridge with his easiest, most favorite meals: chicken tenders, waffle fries and cheese. Yes, this could be renamed heart attack weekend, but one weekend of this isn’t going to hurt anyone.
Making it easier for the spouse ensures he’ll want you to go away next time. That’s right, when you walk into the house relaxed and calm, he may plan the next Girls Weekend for you. (Note: the calm usually last about 20 minutes until the kids break sometime or the dog yacks on your new beautiful shoes you spent way too much on.)
When I’m felling particularly nice, I arrange a weekend away at a relative’s house for one of the kids. Never for both…I can’t make it too easy for him.