A few months ago—I escaped.

I packed my bags.

I booked a hotel room at a beachfront resort.

And I spent a week away from my kids and husband with a surprising person—my best friend from high school.

Also a mom of two, Tory and I spent our time unwinding from the pressures of work and family life, eating french fries (and salad!) poolside, and doing a whole lot of nothing.

It. Was. Amazing.

Girlfriend vacations are an increasingly popular mode of travel among besties getting away together—but mamas escaping the duties of family life? Now that's a trend we can get behind.

Here's what I learned about going away with girlfriends and 5 reasons why you should consider a getaway with your best mama friends—

1. Um, hi, no kids

Family vacations are wonderful for bonding—but not so effective for mamas in need of serious relaxation. You might be sitting somewhere in the sun, but you've still got your work cut out for you applying baby sunscreen, reminding your children to not throw sand (again), and keeping them safe around the water. In short, vacations with kids can sometimes be anything but.

Going away with my best friend instead was a rare treat—it was hard to say goodbye to our kids for an extended time—but it was a good experience for dad to take care of our little ones alone. Getting to share experiences from the front lines of motherhood without kids around was an awesome (and sometimes hilarious) bonding experience.

And enjoying a few days without having to change anyone's clothes or wipe food off faces (except my own!)?


2. No expectations

Kudos if you're the adventure-vacation type and are grabbing your girlfriends for a week conquering the wilderness—or a foreign city—somewhere.

But on our restful trip, Tory and I had literally no agenda. Days spent poolside? Check. A quiet morning spent listening to the birds outside my hotel window chirp? I'm not embarrassed to admit I did it and I LIKED IT. A whole day spent sitting under an umbrella and watching the waves crash on the shore? We rocked it.

We did a whole lot of nothing, and after a few years responsible for working and cleaning and caring for children—it was one of the most pleasurable experiences of my life.

3. She gets you

The demands of motherhood are hard to explain to friends who don't have kids.

But as a fellow working mama in need of a break, I didn't have to explain the depths of exhaustion to Tory. Nor did I have to tell her about all the cute and hilarious things my sons did—she had one of her own to delight in.

We bonded over these intense experience of new motherhood. (We also bonded over a giant basket of garlic knots, because she just gets me.)

4. No judgments

If you can't eat room service in bed while watching movies in your underwear and downing a few cocktails with your best friend, who can you indulge with?

I showed off my stretch marks and she asked me to evaluate just how large her baby bump was. We talked birth plans gone out the window, postpartum pee and how to cope with pregnancy cravings (our answer: eat all the things.)

There were no judgments on this girlfriends getaway and it was glorious.

5. You come back refreshed

Because we were able to take time away from work and childcare and get into the chill zone, these two mamas came back home feeling happy, upbeat and refreshed.

There are few things more needed for busy mamas (whether you're working or staying at home) than being in a quiet, kid-free place to reflect and rejuvenate.

Truth be told, I've thought about those five nights away almost every day ever since we returned.

And we're already planning on next big adventure—doing a whole lot of nothing together.

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