Laura Markham, PhD recently wrote about “radical self care” on her Facebook page. I love the word radical as is applies to taking care of ourselves as parents. I am certainly a radically different parent when I am rested and my buckets are full than when I’m not.

A few years ago I discovered something that recharges my soul, rests my eyes, and calms my mind: one short trip a year either all by myself or with my sister.

You may have heard of Babymoons or Staycations (which for parents isn’t really a “cation”), but do you know about Momcations and Dadcations, too? A Momcation is a trip away from the house, children, partner, and responsibilities. This year I saved my momcation for a weekend trip with my sister to New York–it was her first time visiting that amazing city!

When my children and travel budget were little, I’d do just a night or two away in our nearby big city. For added rest, instead of driving the very busy highway for two hours, I’d book myself a train ticket: smiling all the way.

My friends without children would be so excited for me to have a big night out in the city, then inevitably be disappointed when they found out I had a long leisurely meal out by myself, followed by a bath, and flopping into bed by 9am. The whole night I’d say: I’m doing WHAT I WANT, WHEN I WANT, HOW I WANT! I’d often smile thinking, I am not being interrupted — people must have watched me and wondered what the heck I was up to: sitting by myself, smiling.

Last year my husband and I decided to each have a five-day trip alone. I used my Momcation to go to a conference in Phoenix, AZ. It was one of the first post-baby airplane trips I went on by myself. My husband was getting really tired of my shout-outs while packing: “HEY! I can just take a carry-on!” and “I’m just packing MY STUFF! WEEEE!” The eye-rolling started when I finished packing my little carry-on then wheeled it around the house shouting, “Look at me with only this little bag—no kid suitcases, backpacks, food bags, or strollers! HAHA!”


My momcation trip this year was a weekend away to New York with my sister. There’s something about New York that I love: maybe it’s the incredible food, the sites to see, the shows, or maybe it’s just that you can totally be yourself and find things you’ll love no matter who you are.

On this trip my sister and I saw the show The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, which was utterly amazing! We both recommend it! We were able to get tickets the morning of the show right from the Broadway box office.


I have been to New York several times and prefer to stay “downtown” — the Southern part of Manhattan. The area I love is the Lower East Side (called “LES”). I find “uptown” where Times Square, Central Park, and the theatres are to be too busy for me. The downtown area was the first to be developed so it has the oldest buildings and very funky spots. My sister and I had a wonderful time wandering around: we actually walked all the way from LES to Central Park. On one of our walkabouts, we went to see where Carrie Bradshaw skips down the steps in Sex in the City. (The address for that is 66 Perry St)

Here’s my sister loving every moment of that:

Ness steps

It is very easy to stay wherever you like in Manhattan and take a subway to get around to all of the sites you’d like to see. The subway wasn’t too scary. I suggest going to your local bookstore to get a map of Manhattan and the subway system and do some advanced planning regarding the areas you’d like to explore. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes! This is critical (bring bandaids for blisters).

We were grateful to have found the Hotel on Rivington, which is a cool boutique hotel in LES, just south of Houston St and east of Bowery. My sister is a designer and called the decor “mid-century modern,” which we absolutely adored. We found the low-lighting, red leather elevator, and hallway wallpaper added a special spark of fun to our trip.

Here’s a shot of me trying to get artistic in the hallway:

Riv hallway

I have to mention the comfortable bed at Hotel on Rivington, because as a mom of young boys, having LOTS of sleep was a key part of this momcation. Two thumbs up and five-stars for the soaker tub and extra comfortable bed in our room, oh, and the best popcorn ever:

Riv bed

I’m not sure if there was any one highlight of our trip, as each hour was filled with laughter, fun, and an interesting experience. I’ll share with you some of the places we went that we would recommend:

Ground Zero

Central Park NYC

We walked The High Line

I love bookstores and this one is an all-time favourite: McNally Jackson Books (it was only a five-minute walk from our hotel)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This restaurant was super: Il Buco 

We spent a lot of our time wandering in and out of stores in LES and sitting on patios in areas like Greenwich Village.

Here’s a picture of my sister and I laughing so hard I couldn’t walk anymore or see for all the tears that filled my eyes:


Have you been on a momcation? Where did you go and who did you go with? Please comment here or over on my Facebook page. 

Oh, I should mention that “re-entry” after a momcation can be rough. You know what I mean: getting home to all the work you didn’t do while you were gone. I decided to spend the week before my weekend away doing the cleaning, laundry, and other tasks so I wasn’t inundated when I got back.