Listen Up Tired Mamas, Here Are 10 Ways to Take a Break Without Leaving Your Family High and Dry 

You deserve a break, mama...

by Nancy Reynolds

This Post: Listen Up Tired Mamas, Here Are 10 Ways to Take a Break Without Leaving Your Family High and Dry 

Written by: Marybeth Bock

Oh, give me a break!

No… I mean literally. I desperately need a break. And I’m betting you do, too! Why? Because we’re Moms. And, being a Mom is no easy task, especially when you’re raising teenagers.

I’m sure we could debate which stage of motherhood is the toughest. After all, every stage of parenting has its own set of challenges. (Toddler temper tantrum flashbacks haunt me to this day!)

But as Moms of teens, there’s such an intense level of worry and exhaustion that has a way of wearing us out. The mental and emotional load (and physical, too!) is extra heavy. Here’s why…

Listen Up Tired Mamas, Here Are 10 Ways to Take a Break Without Leaving Your Family High and Dry 


For starters, teenagers push boundaries like nobody’s business. They’re fighting for independence, much like they did when they were toddlers, only now they’re armed with inventive vocabularies (and slang!), snarky attitudes, and raging hormones. Add in a relentless schedule of school, sports, and activities along with peer pressure, their desire to, well… do dumb things, and the minefields of social media, and this stage of parenting can be so overwhelming it can make you want to run for cover.

I mean, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could escape to a serene island for a week to decompress when your teen is pushing your buttons or getting on your last nerve? Wishful thinking, I know…

The good news is, we really CAN take a break from it all with a little planning and resolve. 

10 Ways to Take a Needed Mom Break Without Leaving Your Family High and Dry.

1. Have a “Fend for Yourself” Dinner Night

The planning, the shopping, the prepping, the cooking, the coordinating schedules so that everyone has a hot meal – and it’s Every. Darn. Night. If dinner for the family is one of your big stress inducers, plan a weekly “dinner break” for yourself.

Your kids are older now. They’re perfectly capable of making themselves dinner (even if it does mean a bowl of cereal and an apple) or hopping in the car and grabbing food at their favorite drive-thru (if they drive). You can also stock up on a few healthy frozen dinners your kids can pop in the microwave on “fend for yourself” nights. 

2. Create a “Comfort Corner” in Your Home

Designate a small area in your home as “Mom’s Comfort Corner.” Maybe it’s a nook in your bedroom, on the back porch, or in a spare bedroom that’s rarely used. Make it yours by putting up a room divider or a sign on the door or wall that says, “Mom’s Time Out Zone: Do Not Disturb Unless the House is On Fire or You’re Bleeding.”

Decorate the space with simple things that bring you comfort and joy like a cozy blanket, noise-canceling headphones, a fragrant candle, and, of course, a box of dark chocolates that no one else needs to know about. 

3. Share Driving Duties with Other Parents

I know… we’re always preaching that you should grab every minute with your teen by driving them and/or all their friends. But there is a limit to what you can do and sometimes, you just need a break. 

Instead of carrying the driving load yourself (to and from school, practices and games, club meetings, community service events, tutoring, friends’ houses, jobs, the mall, and on and on and on), reach out to a few other parents and coordinate a carpool schedule. Even one extra hour of downtime a week will give you time to do something you want to do.

4. Make a To-Do List for Your Kids

Even the busiest teenagers have an hour or two to spare per week to help lighten the load. Try not to put the hammer down and demand that a task be done today (unless, of course, it does). Instead, let them know they have the week (or a few days) to get it done. (Remember, if you respect your teen, they’ll respect you.)

Let them handle the laundry, light grocery shopping, vacuuming/dusting, or errands. Will they complain? Probably. But you’ll get a little time to relax and they’ll be practicing important “adulting” skills.

5. Hit the Gym, Take Up Yoga, or Organize a Mom’s Walking Group

Honestly, Mamas, it’s not necessarily about getting fit or losing weight (which, of course, is great if that’s your goal), it’s about feeling better physically and mentally, feeling better about yourself, and easing stress.

Getting your heart rate up, spending time outdoors with your favorite Mom friends, learning something new like Yoga, or taking a long nature hike can be a fun and invigorating way to take time for yourself while doing something good for your mind and body.

6. Plan a Spa Day 

Tired of your teen repeatedly blasting a song you don’t care for? Or yelling, “DUDE!” hour after hour while they play a video game online with friends? We’ve all been there.

Here’s the antidote to all that noise… make sure your kids are safe and have access to your spouse or another responsible adult. Then, drive yourself to a nearby spa and treat yourself to a mani/pedi, a massage, or a body wrap. (Bonus if you can find one that offers a steam room, dry sauna, or an indoor whirlpool.) Don’t forget to put your cell phone in your purse or in a locker and ignore it for as long as possible. 

7. Stroll n’ Shop Away the Stress, Mama

Is there anything more relaxing than strolling through Target, the mall, or another favorite store? Even if you don’t drop a dime, “window shopping” can be incredibly relaxing and a huge stress reliever.

But heads up, Mom… go ahead and splurge on something for yourself. You drop SO much money on your kids. It’s time to treat yourself. 

8. Go to a Movie, Play, Art Museum, or Hang Out at a Bookstore

Take a break from the chaos of life by immersing yourself in a different world.

Escape to the movies and belly laugh at a great comedy or cry it out watching a touching love story. Check out a play – even if it’s just a community theater. Make your way to an art museum or gallery. Or, take a leisurely stroll through a bookstore (with your favorite specialty coffee in hand, of course) and splurge on a new book or two, or just browse. Go anywhere that takes you away from everyday life for a few hours.

9. Gather Up the Girls for Lunch

 I know… life is busy. You could probably come up with a ton of logical reasons why you can’t go. And, coordinating everyone’s schedule can be a nightmare. But don’t let that stop you. Because, seriously, is there anything more rejuvenating than a little “girl time” with our BFFs?

Plan a quick coffee date, a long lunch at that restaurant that makes the best cheesecake, or a night out for drinks and appetizers. Make time for your friends. It will do you AND them a world of good.

10. Plan a Mom’s Trip with a Few Besties

It doesn’t have to cost a ton of money or involve air travel and a fancy hotel (but it can if you want it to). Just round up a friend (or a few) who’s also in desperate need of a getaway.

It doesn’t matter where you go, as long as you’re away from the daily stresses of home. Sleep in late, drink wine, laugh with your friends, and enjoy a change of scenery.

You’re not a bad mom if you need to break free from the stressors of “Mom life” and prioritize yourself every once in a while. Trust me, Mamas, your husband (partner) and kids will be just fine without you. In fact, they might just develop a greater appreciation for you!

About Marybeth Bock:

Marybeth Bock, MPH, is a Mom to two young adults and one delightful hound dog. She has logged time as a military spouse, childbirth educator, college instructor, and freelance writer. She lives in Arizona and thoroughly enjoys research and writing – as long as iced coffee is involved. Her work can be found on numerous websites and in two books. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.


If you enjoyed reading, “Listen Up Tired Mamas, Here Are 10 Ways to Take a Break Without Leaving Your Family High and Dry,” here are a few other posts you might like!

20 Most Stressful Things About Parenting a Teenager

10 Things “Chill” Moms of Teens Do Differently

To The Mom Whose Heart is Heavy for Her Child, You Are Not Alone

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