A bunch of reasons just popped into your head from that headline.
You don’t have the money, you don’t have the time, you don’t need to, you’re taking a sorta-break, you don’t have anyone to take care of your business while you’re out and so on.
All might be true to some degree or the other, but the real truth is that you’re not taking a summer break because you haven’t given yourself permission to do so.
Without the permission, there’s no commitment, and commitment is one of the necessary pieces to actually getting anything done, even when the “anything” is setting yourself up so that you don’t have to do anything. (Ever notice how much more work it is to set yourself up to not work than it is to set yourself up to work? It’s a challenge entrepreneurs share with executives.)
And, of course, this phenomenon is especially problematic for mom entrepreneurs. Even once you accept that your happiness counts, actually taking a break is hard because you often either get stuck with most of the invisible tasks and family management or accept that it’s your role to do so. A break is often just work in a different form in a different place. Why bother?
Because everybody needs a break and a context switch every now and again. Because you’ve worked your tail off to build a business that supports you and your family and it’s time you take advantage of it. Because it helps you get into the practice of forward planning. And, if you do it right, it helps you communicate better.
Most of those reasons are obvious, but it’s the last that’s crucially important.
As I’ve shared before, we normally confine communication to external communication, but external communication is only a piece of the communication puzzle, and often times, it’s less important than the internal communication we need to have with ourselves. If we’re not really communicating with ourselves, we can’t communicate with others.
If you’re not communicating your own needs to yourself, you can’t give yourself permission to take a break.
If you can’t listen to your heart and body saying that it needs a break – which likely means that you’ll need to ask for help with the things you normally manage – then you won’t give yourself permission to ask for the help you need, which’ll make it nigh impossible for you to avoid the “working in a different way in a different place” trap.
Use Your Words
Wouldn’t it be nice if the people around you would help volunteer to help you out with taking a break? Wouldn’t it be great if your hubby volunteered to ask his mom to help with the kids and arranged for the lawn to be maintained and prepaid the bills and ….
In case you haven’t figured it out, that ain’t gonna happen.
Not the least because you may have set it up so that it’s hard for people to volunteer to do those things because you fiercely guard that it’s your job to do it. (You have no idea how many times I’ve had to wrestle with my mom entrepreneur clients about this. Hint: this same behavior is keeping you from delegating and growing your business, too.)
You’re likely one of those awesome moms and wives who just know what other people need and just take care of it. The downside to you being that awesome is that other people often don’t learn what it is that you do.
Them not automagically doing it isn’t a reflection on their love and respect for you; it’s simply a family pattern and structure that’s been set up.
To take a true summer break, you have to alter those patterns and structure.
You have to be the one who requests what she needs, for once. You have to be the one who recognizes that your amazingness doesn’t have to be 24/7/365 and that requesting what you need is the single best way to teach the rest of the family how to be loving, wholesome, and mutually-supportive of each other.
I’ve seen moms move mountains. Something happened and they resolved to get it done and gave themselves the permission and commitment to do it. In other words, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
I know that I don’t have to tell you how to take a summer break from this point. You already know what needs to be done or can figure it out if you took your needs seriously and used your words.
The “how” piece is always secondary to the “why” piece.
So, instead, I’ll ask these questions:
Have you truly taken your needs seriously and given yourself permission to take a summer break? If not, what needs to happen before you do so? (Hint: something external is not the answer to that last question.)
I hope you’ll take the time to create a summer break experience that your family will never forget. Remember, you don’t have to do it all yourself, either.