Thanks to the pandemic we’ve never been closer to our children and our spouses, at least physically. These last six months have been an exercise in constant parenting, something that isn’t natural for a species that usually has grandparents, aunties and childcare providers to call on.
All this time in the house with the kids can feel suffocating. That’s why so many moms are looking for ways to get away right now, including Jessica Alba. On a recent episode of the The Drew Barrymore Show, Alba told Barrymore that she planned a vacation for just herself and a mom friend. Her husband Cash and their three kids, 2-year-old Hayes, 9-year-old Haven and 12-year-old Honor will not be coming.
“Real talk: I told everyone in the family that I need a break from them,” said Alba. “[We’re] gonna go away for a week and I don’t really know what we’re getting ourselves into, I just know I can’t be around my family anymore because I’ve literally had it. I’ve had enough.”
She laughed because it’s light-hearted but it’s also kind of serious. Moms do need a break.
As InStyle recently reported, many moms have been getting hotel rooms to get a break from their families now that the pandemic has us working, living and sometimes schooling our kids in the same place. It’s a privilege not every mom can afford, but one that has a lot of benefits in terms of preventing burnout.
As Julia Beck wrote for InStyle, “While only a small segment of the population is fortunate enough to have access to a refuge for the sake of peace and productivity, we need to remember that the need is universal. Overtaxing, under-compensating, and ignoring our mothers’ needs has created a mess that permeates through our society.”
Beck is so right, and so is Alba. Sometimes mama just needs to get away from her family. And we need to be supported to do it. Not everyone can rent a hotel room or book a vacation, but with support from our partners, families and, importantly, childcare providers, we can all take an hour or two to ourselves.
When the pandemic allows us to start booking babysitters again, we should.