Mom Lesson: Staying Overnight at a Hotel Alone Makes Me a Better Mom
I've got two little boys ages five and seven. As a working mom during a global pandemic, with kids schooling virtually and a husband working virtually, I rarely get time alone.
It's tough to dictate what an average morning looks like these days, but let me try. My kids are up at 7am on. the. dot. every. single. morning. If I want time to sip coffee before they wake up, I am up at 6. If I sleep later, I forfeit my hot coffee for lukewarm or cold coffee that gets sipped between reminders to get ready for school.
And getting kids ready for school? My goodness. How much time do you have? Reminders to eat breakfast. Reminders to pack their backpack. Reminders to brush teeth and get dressed. (No, it's too cold for shorts and you cannot wear your underwear outside of your pants. #TrueStory) And the ever-loving non-stop reminder to get on your god forsaken shoes!
Do I even dare bring up weekends? It's a lot of the same, but way more mom-guilt. Feeling guilty if I spend too much time on chores and not enough time at the playground with my kids. Feeling guilty if I choose to sleep in rather than be up and eat breakfast with my kids. Feeling guilty for reading my book on the deck rather than playing games with my family. Feeling guilty for making what I like for dinner rather than what I know my family loves. It never ends, am I right?
This year for Mother's Day, I decided to go against my nature and ask for time alone. I didn't need a luxury vacation or to leave for a full week. I just needed some time to do what I wanted and to take care of myself without worrying about the needs of others. I checked myself into The Westin BWI for a night to give myself rest, relaxation, and time to myself.
I chose The Westin BWI for several reasons.
Their beds are the best, most comfortable beds on earth and if I'm spending a night sprawled out alone, it better be in a darn ‘Westin Heavenly’ bed.
They are focused on wellness which is important to me, even offering wellness rooms with exercise equipment in-room. Want to workout in their gym? They even have exercise clothing and shoes available to borrow!
This one is very important for a mom's evening alone: They have in-room technology for you to watch Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and more so you can catch up on your own shows. (Hello Schitt's Creek and The Crown!)
Lastly, I have never once had a bad experience at a Westin property so they are continually a go-to brand for me.
Here's how my experience with The Westin BWI went. I left my family at home with a half dozen cupcakes from a local bakery (because Mom Guilt is real) and drove 6 minutes away from my house to the hotel. (I told you I didn't need to go far!)
Check-in was a breeze. All COVID related rules and/or restrictions were explained to me then, like how the pool was open but by reservation only, how their cleaning measures are enhanced, and that masks are required in all common areas and hallways of the hotel. Got my room key and headed up to my room. Upon entering, I knew I was in for a treat. Everything was all mine for an entire night and no one was there to ask me to do anything for them. I stayed as part of Arundel Kids' Mother's Day promotion with The Westin BWI and had a sweet note and cheese tray with champagne waiting for me in the fridge. Does it get any better than that?!
My shoes came off. The champagne was poured, and you bet your bottom dollar that I got comfy in bed and read my book in silence while I sipped my drink uninterrupted. Later that night, I ordered dinner from Luminous, their onsite restaurant, and enjoyed eating my meal while it was hot, without cutting up anyone else's food or urging anyone to take one more bite or finish their veggies.
Did I stay up too late? Yes, because I was enjoying my time alone. Did I also sleep in later than I have in years? Yes, because I was enjoying my time alone. Did I stay in that room for every single minute I possibly could until check out? Yes, because I was enjoying my time alone. (Also, get this - their checkout isn't until NOON! Yes, NOON!)
Listen, moms are super heroes but admitting that you need time alone is not a weakness. It's a basic human function and we cannot fill our family's cup without first filling our own. This year is especially trying. We are living in trying times with everyone in our family basically within arm's reach for weeks, months, heck- even a year+ at a time. We love them and know it, but need to also remember to take care of ourselves.
The Westin BWI allowed me to take a night to do just that for myself. If we're being honest, it was also for my family. When I got home that afternoon, I was relaxed, refreshed, and ready to take on the day.
My only regret? Not booking two nights. There's always next time...
The author was hosted in exchange for this review. All opinions are her own.