“Mommy Reset”


Ever heard of a “Mommy Reset?” This past February, my husband and two kids packed up their ski gear and flew to Idaho to enjoy their “ski week” with tons of fresh powder. I, on the other hand, stayed home…alone. I had nine whole days all to myself. Sound like a dream? It can be! It all depends on your expectations.

We have now been stationed in two locations where “ski week” is really a thing. The first was California. When we received the school calendar in 2021, I noticed that there was an extra week off in mid-winter. I immediately dreamed up this plan to have my husband take the kids to his parents and ski with them in Idaho while I stayed home and, well, did nothing except sleep and whatever I wanted to do. However, since we all know how “easy” it is to plan for the future in the military, I knew that was probably the most unrealistic thing ever. Fast forward four months and multiple doctor appointments later, I found myself having to schedule a functional rhinoplasty to fix years of breathing issues. This procedure would take me out of work for a week. As a new hire in the school district, I had very few sick days left and we had already planned to spend Spring Break with my husband while he completed training across the country. The only time I had for the surgery would be during ski week. The plan worked out, so my husband and kids headed off for fun while I headed into a week of recovery. My mom flew out to help care for me and since the recovery was not as bad as I had envisioned, we got to get out of the house a bit and enjoy some time together. I did not get to check things off my list, have a nice day at the spa or window shop in my favorite towns, but I did get to sit up in bed and fill my mind with as much junk TV and Netflix as I could. When my family returned home, I was nearly healed and felt refreshed “enough” to have at least felt like I had had a bit of “mommy” break. I made myself a promise that I would try to provide myself with a break like this at least once a year.

A priority appointment sets you up for success! It’s important to relax, check something off of our list or just enjoy doing something for yourself.

We arrived on the East Coast in July of 2022 and, although ski week followed us out this way, there was no “Mommy Reset” the following winter of 2023. The downside to a February break here is that the district takes a week from Christmas vacation in order to have a full week off mid-winter. In 2022, we had family visit during the holidays and, since the break was so short, we did not have any time as a family to head up to the mountains. Enter the new year and not having the ability to plan ahead due to my husband’s new position: we ended up skiing for a day and then just hanging around the house. At the end of that dreadful week, I vowed that I would find a way for the “Mommy Reset” to return one way or another.

I started counting down the days until “ski week” last December. A month prior I had told my husband that I needed a break. Not a self-care day, or a weekend away, but a real break. I was not losing my mind or on the verge of a breakdown, but I just needed silence. A lot of moms get to this point. We are constantly running on the treadmill of life. Pushing ourselves up hill just to slide back down and start the cycle all over again. Sometimes life’s surface is flat, sometimes there are distractions to make us pause, but there is never an “off” button that completely removes us from the demands that are continuously asked of us. I could go on and on, but I know you get it! And I bet you wish for a “Mommy Reset” just as much as I knew I needed one. For some moms, a reset means getting away. Going somewhere where you sink your feet into the sand, sunbathe until you can no longer take the heat, and sip on endless margaritas while reading a book you’ve had on your nightstand for years. Maybe you are hiking through the woods enjoying nothing but the sound of the crunch of your boots and the anticipation of actually making it to the top where you can take everything in for as long as your soul desires. Both of those sound amazing to me, too! However, I did neither. After my husband packed up all of the ski gear, squeezed as much winter gear into two suitcases as possible and headed off for winter in the west I got to work. I cleared my schedule except for three things I knew would make my “Mommy Reset” a success. Whatever else came of my time would be considered a bonus. Why would I do this? Why wouldn’t I plan long walks on the beach or hours long hikes in the woods? The reason – because I knew something was going to come up. One of the biggest lessons I have learned as a military spouse is to expect the unexpected. I am not in control (boy has that taken YEARS to learn!). Military Law takes over as soon as my husband leaves the house whether I am alone or not. I figured keeping things simple would provide freedom. It would leave time for something that was coming even if I didn’t know what it was and, if nothing came up, it would leave plenty of time to actually sit and read.

Being present with a friend helps you recharge and reset.

In order for you to have a successful “Mommy Reset,” these are the three things every Mom should schedule. The rest is up to you!

  1. Deep Cleaning Your House – Wait, what? I know this may come as a surprise, but the first thing I did when my family left was clean my house. I mean deep, deep, deep cleaned my house. Since I had nine days, I knew this was the time for “Spring” cleaning to get done early. I spent the first three days scrubbing tiles in the bathrooms, mopping floors, dusting baseboards and dark areas that I would rather not know existed. I did my regular washing of sheets and towels, but then I set every room up like a hotel. I organized my kids’ room so it was completely ready for them upon their return. I went through toys (the kids still don’t know!), I soaked anything that needed extra sanitizing and donated food that was hiding in the pantry. Doing this first allowed me to enjoy an exceptionally clean and fingerprint free home for the next 6 days! This in and of itself made my “Mommy Reset” glorious – my home was like a dream.
  2. Schedule a Priority Appointment – Make an appointment you have been putting off. Be sure to plan ahead for this one! This can be anything from a haircut to a much-needed medical appointment (pending your doctor actually has availability). There are so many times that we fail to do something for ourselves simply because we do not have the time or we do not want to be rushed. These appointments may even seem silly. Take mine for example. I needed to get my eyebrows laminated. I had done this once before, but then could not fit in the time to do the upkeep. I had really loved the results, so I decided to make this my priority appointment. It turned out that my brows were still in great shape and just needed some tinting. As I chatted with my aesthetician, I expressed my interest in a facial. She happened to have a cancellation right after my appointment and I had the time, so I stuck around and treated myself to one of the most relaxing hours ever!
  3. Plan Lunch or Dinner with a Friend – Give yourself at least one meal where you can go and really be present. I have a great friend who loves to go peruse antique shops. We had talked about going together for over a year and never made it happen. So, the third thing I made sure to put on my calendar was to enjoy a full day with her. We met at an antique shop 45 minutes away and then had lunch at a delicious place another 20 minutes away. We had no schedule. We had nothing to rush back to and we had no expectations of each other. The day was a gift. We strolled for over an hour each picking something for our “new” kitchens, spent over an hour eating lunch and then sat in the parking lot and talked for almost another two hours. It was complete bliss. Everyone deserves a day like this.
Do something you have been wanting to do, but have simply not had the time to invest in.

Along with these three scheduled events, I squeezed in a few more things just because I could. I never set an alarm (even though I still woke up bright and early), I ate healthy-ish, tried to avoid cooking, and I enjoyed my coffee hot…every day for nine days. I consider it a win. I know a “Mommy Reset” like this is not possible for everyone. I know it is extremely difficult to plan ahead, to take the time for yourself or to even fathom the idea of your significant other traveling without you (although I am sure YOU have done it several times yourself). I just want to encourage you to try. Try to find a time that you can focus on you. If this happens to be one day, take it. If you can squeeze in a weekend, do it! If you can ship your kids off for longer – even better! You deserve this! Not just because you are a mom, but because you are a Military Mom. You make the mission possible. Just make sure to make YOU the mission every once in a while.

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Erin Stock
Erin grew up in Widefield, a small town just south of Colorado Springs, CO. Although she was surrounded by the military, she did not meet her husband, an Air Force Pilot, until they had both graduated from college. Erin has spent almost 20 years in education working as a classroom teacher, Literacy Specialist and Coach. Although Erin holds a MA in Educational Leadership and is also a National Board Certified Teacher, the best education Erin has ever received has been the gift of teaching across the nation. She credits the military with providing her the opportunity to learn more about education than she ever could have throughout her college years. Erin is a woman of faith and a mom to two young children. She is passionate about mental health support for spouses and also raises awareness regarding the dangers of Fentanyl. Erin and her family are currently serving their 7 th assignment in New Hampshire. She enjoys reading personal growth books and researching educational topics, but ends up spending the majority of her time playing with her kids, creating systems in her household, building a supportive community for spouses and dreaming of her forever home. She is also an occasional podcaster.


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