Whether you're a new mom or you've been around the block, you have something in common with many other moms: not nearly enough time for yourself. Take some time from your busy schedule and give yourself a gift -- whether that means escaping for a weekend of spa pampering or a fling with your spouse.
Is there anything that says pampering more than a massage treatment? Well, maybe an entire weekend of massage treatments, beauty services and tasting menus.
According to the International Spa Association, 1 in 4 Americans has been to a spa. Sound good? Why not grab some girlfriends and treat yourselves -- or if you're craving alone time, book a solo weekend. Packages vary from spa to spa but you'll likely find a menu of skin and hair treatments, facials, manicures and pedicures and other relaxing beauty treatments.
Or, book a weekend at a resort spa where you might find miles of hiking trails, kayaking lessons or just the chance to commune with nature. (And then follow it all up with a nice, relaxing massage, of course.)
Many moms admit to putting everyone else first. Run away to a special weekend retreat and you'll have no choice but to prioritize yourself.
There are all types of weekend retreats to explore, and are scattered all over the country (and world if you're thinking big). Many popular retreat weekends offer time to dedicate to personal healing and growth (look for getaways focused on self-discovery, yoga and meditation, wellness or spirituality), but if that's not your thing there are also types that focus on leadership, recreation and intimacy.
There are even niche centers that will combine your love of, say, wine or birding with your weekend escape.
Need to stay close to home? Consider signing up for a workshop held in a local hotel or conference center in your town -- who knows, that luxury retreat may be in your own backyard.
When is the last time you celebrated with just your girls? Your bachelorette party? Slumber parties in college? Whether it's a far-flung beach with cold fruity drinks, a trip to Vegas or just some shopping around your town, a weekend with your girlfriend(s) is overdue.
When planning your all-girl getaway you can't go wrong with your destination -- isn't it less about where you are and more about the bonding you do when you're together? Dish about kids, spouses, sex lives -- and laugh about it all with your fellow chicks. You'll boost your mood, your happiness and you'll remember that you're more than a mom.
Close your eyes and think about the last time you and your partner had a romantic fling. Hopefully, it's a recent thrill and not a pre-baby or just-after-honeymoon memory. It's easy to lose yourself in family time and family vacations but it's also important to reconnect with your partner, alone.
Consider spoiling each other with an indulgent romantic getaway weekend: Sneak away to a local bed and breakfast or fly away for a long exotic weekend adventure. Most importantly, spend time remembering why you were starry-eyed about each other when you first met.
And romance doesn't have to come with a ticket -- drop the kids off with grandparents or friends and rekindle your romance in your own home.
There aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done and wouldn't we all prefer to spend those hours with family and friends rather than Mr. Clean? Even if you can't get out of the house for a weekend adventure, hire a maid service for a Saturday afternoon and escape the mess.
When you hire a cleaning service, whether you intend to use them regularly or as a special treat, the service will ask you a number of questions about your house and habits to put together a cleaning estimate for you.
Be sure to do your homework, too. Are they bonded and insured? What types of cleaning products do they use? Will they supply their own cleaning equipment or use yours? And ask for references -- sometimes word of mouth is the best search tool.