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Single Mom: 5 Tips for Bringing Vacation Home with You

Single Mom: 5 Tips for Bringing Vacation Home with You

By Kristen Chase

My blissful six days in Hawaii were exactly what the doctor ordered. Well, except for the part jet lag combined with a crappy cold I got on the last day, which was a very small price to pay for the best and possibly only true vacation I’ve had without my kids since I had my first ten years ago.

Not surprisingly, I started to dread my re-entry to regular life, especially with back to school right around the corner. The thought of all the juggling, the paperwork, the driving here, there, and everywhere was enough to upset my happily healed-up stomach.

But instead of tucking my vacation memories away in a veritable photo album, I’ve decided to take the best parts and do my best to apply them to my everyday life. Because even if I can’t take a daily morning walk on the beach, there are plenty of other simple experiences I can implement. Maybe they’ll work for you too.

1. Meals. You should eat them. 
I’m not sure about you, but being a busy parent (in my case, single), I seem to have given up meals. I eat coffee for breakfast, toss together something haphazard for lunch, and then eat my kids’ leftovers for dinner. Don’t even ask me about the late night snacking. But while I was away, I pretty much ate three square meals a day. Granted, they were comprised of fresh roadside fruit and hand-caught fish, but they were actual sit-down meals nonetheless. Not only did my stomach feel better, but I felt fuller (which meant less snacking) and more relaxed because I was forced at least three times a day to slow down and take a breather.

2. Find adults and talk to them. 
Because I work from home, my adult interaction is limited to school drop-off and pick-up and the nice check-out lady at the grocery store. Yes, I do chat with my co-workers and my friends, but it’s usually all online, by text, or over the phone. So for the most part, my only human interaction is with my children. I can’t tell you how much I thrived on being able to talk about adult things with adult people, so I’m making an effort to see my close-by friends more, along with possibly joining some sort of club or group that allows me to talk to people over the age of ten on a regular basis.

3. Unplug. Like, for real. 
It was a pretty big deal for me to leave my computer at home for this trip, but I knew that I really needed to almost completely unplug in order for me to truly relax. Thankfully, I have an amazing business partner and team that made it possible for me to survive with just a smart phone which had very little cell service. No Twitter, no Facebook, just a couple of Instagram photos to make people jealous. And guess what? The world went on and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.

Now I can’t necessarily unplug for an extended period of time like I did on my vacation, but I can absolutely shut down in the evenings, even if just for a short period of time, making myself available for important issues by text only. Also, using VIP email (for you gmail users) is helpful; just add your most important peoples’ email addresses to that list so you can quickly scan them rather than get bogged down by your entire email inbox.

4. Read a book, preferably fiction. 
I used to be a big reader, but life and kids and work and everything else got in the way of my enjoyment of the writing of others. In recent years, I’ve focused on reading non-fiction, probably because that’s the genre I write myself, but it often times felt more like a chore or research rather than an escape.

I realize that reading about someone else’s life can be like fiction, but for me personally, reading completely fantastical stories like I did on my vacation really helped to take me away to another place, which is exactly what I need to give myself a break in my daily existence.

5. Force yourself to jump. 
During my trip, the only way I could see this one waterfall was to climb up a rock face which would require me to jump about 20 feet down. Generally speaking, I would have just stayed on the ground and missed out on the view. That’s what photos are for, right?

But this time, I took a risk and boy, did it pay off. Not only did I experience something that could not have been done justice in a photograph, but I got a rush out of doing something outside my comfort zone, even if I did climb down a little so the jump off the rocks didn’t involve clearing a bush as well. I’m not sure I’ll be taking up cliff diving (or rock climbing) any time soon, but I am going to attempt to do things I might not necessarily try because of how awesome it makes me feel — before, during, and after.

{Photo credit: Aaron Adler Photography}

About the Author

Kristen Chase

Kristen Chase is a writer, author, and a single mom of four. It’s as exhausting as it sounds (at least the mom part). Also, awesome.

Kristen is also co-founder of

Kristen Chase is a writer, author, and a single mom of four. It’s as exhausting as it sounds (at least the mom part). Also, awesome.

Kristen is also co-founder of Cool Mom Picks and author of The Mominatrix’s Guide to Sex.


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