Parenting Guru: The gift of Mother's Day eve

Photo by Amy, Using Our WordsPhoto by Amy, Using Our WordsWhen you're the mom of a 3-year old and 6-month old, "sleeping in" isn't in your vocabulary. In my case, "sleeping" wasn't either. A couple years ago as Mother's Day was approaching, I hadn't had more than a 2-hour stretch of sleep in two months thanks to a sick and needy baby. My husband knew I was reaching a breaking point and he wanted to do something special for me. On Mother's Day Eve, he surprised me with an afternoon/night in San Francisco. All. By. Myself. (Since I can't nurse, feeding the baby wasn't a concern). He gave me a bag of goodies-snacks, wine, magazines, etc-and sent me on my questions asked.

I didn't have time to panic about leaving the kids behind. I didn't have time to type up a 10-page instruction manual (yes, even for their very own dad). I didn't have time to over pack. I just grabbed a couple things, got in the car and drove for about 30 minutes. To peace. To quiet. To sleep.

At 8am the next morning (which was Mother's Day), I felt like a new woman. I couldn't wait to get up and see my family (after blow drying my hair, of course!). We met at a park near the hotel and had a wonderful time playing and laughing together. Thanks to a quiet night alone, I was suddenly calmer, more present and grateful to be the mom of 2 precious little boys...even if one wasn't able to sleep.

Last year my husband and 4-year old couldn't wait to surprise me again. This time the hotel was in the next town over, so they went and put flowers, notes and treats in the room and came back with the key. While I wasn't nearly as desperate for the alone time, I was just as grateful. By 9am on Mother's Day, we were back together-enjoying a picnic breakfast on the floor of the hotel room and dancing to Pandora. By 10am, we were taking over the hotel pool and shivering ourselves silly. It was a perfect Mother's Day for me and the kids.

This year my surprise will be a bit different. I might be spending the night away, but this time it will be in the hospital with my baby girl who could arrive any time between now and Mother's Day. So this year I'm passing the torch to you. If you need a break, don't be afraid to ask for it. Who knows, it might just make you a better mom come Mother's Day.

Amy is a Shine Parenting Guru with one amazing husband. Like all moms, she's doing her best, and laughing about the ups and downs of parenthood at her blog, Using Our Words.