"Momcations can be valuable since they encourage mothers to pursue self-care," psychologist Dr. Nava R. Silton told GMA of taking child-free trips

By Jen Juneau
January 16, 2019 11:40 AM

Moms are divided over whether taking vacations without their children is a good idea.

In interviews with Good Morning America, multiple everyday women from across the country opened up about the pros and cons of getting away with friends while leaving the kids behind.

“We feel that we do so much for our kids, and while I’m divorced [and my other friends] are married, that this is our time,” said Beth Barbara from Celebration, Florida, who participates in a runDisney race weekend with two pals every year and also takes a child-free cruise annually.

As a New York City-based mom of three sons under age 4, Rachel Williams Shaw is on the same page. She told GMA she “felt very rested” after the three vacations she has taken alongside friends so far: the Hudson Valley, the Hamptons and even London.

“I think time away is very important to remember who you were before becoming a mom,” said Shaw. “I was a very adventurous, independent person before having my kids and I feel I need that kind of time to remind me that I’m still me, just with three babies.”

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Other moms pointed out that being away could mean missing out on big milestones — which is something Shaw can attest to, as she was on a trip for the first time with her friends when her son made a verbal leap.

“Thankfully, my husband recorded it, but I definitely was not there to clap and squeal and snuggle him after he said his first-ever word,” she told GMA. (Regardless, she has no regrets.)

Kat Callahan, a new mother of one, didn’t give birth until she was in her 40s “with some help from science” and explained of being present, “There’s too much magic every day to miss a moment.”

Added mom of two Chasity Walter, “I hate the thought of exploring something new without sharing it with them. I want them to have as many experiences as possible. Along the same lines, everything in my life is better with them.”

Women on the beach together

But is spending time away from home healthy? Experts who spoke to GMA said yes — in fact, according to psychologist Dr. Nava R. Silton, “Addressing these needs can help mothers be more refreshed, rejuvenated and successful when they return home.”

“Momcations can be valuable since they encourage mothers to pursue self-care and to nurture their physical, psychological and socio-emotional health,” Silton said.

LV Wellness Network and parent coach Limor Weinstein added, “Moms get so stressed about so many different things and going away without the kids can be extremely therapeutic.”