I recently finished reading “The Overdue Life of Amy Byler” by Kelly Harms. It was a great kick-off summer read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not only was it funny and down to earth, but the book left me with some life long lessons, with the top one being: all moms, new or not so new, should take a mom-springa.
WTF is a “Mom-springa”?
What the hell is a mom-springa you ask? I said the same thing when I first read it. So, if you’re familiar with Amish culture (or if you’re not, because how many people are??), then you’ve heard of the term “rumspringa.” For those of you who still have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, a rumspringa is a rite of passage in the Amish culture where adolescents can go and try and experience the outside world. There have been movies, documentaries, and even an episode of Orange is the New Black that depicts this rite of passage as a time where Amish teens kind of go crazy; they try things that are usually against the rules of their religion. Typically at the end of the rumspringa, they are faced with the decision to be baptized into the community or to go their own way.
Now, I’m sure you can guess that although a mom-springa is reminiscent of the above detailed Amish tradition, the experience isn’t exactly the same. The main character in the book, Amy, is a working single mother of two children. She is an amazing mom, very involved in her kids’ lives and activities and has a great relationship with both of her children. At the suggestion of her friends and therapist, she embarks on a trip to New York City. She isn’t on a crazy drinking and party binge, but she’s doing the things she used to enjoy that her current busy life doesn’t give her time to do, like reading a book or taking a walk in a park and even taking a nap in the middle of the day.
Why I Need a Mom-springa
When I finished reading this, I said to myself, “Wow, I definitely need to pitch this to my friends.” As a mom to a toddler who seems to have an infinite amount of energy, a full-time employee at a hectic company and a wife, it’s hard to find time to do the things I enjoy. Usually, when my husband takes our son out, and I have an hour or two to myself, I waste most of the time trying to figure out what I’m going to do with my free time.
The point of a mom-springa isn’t to get away from your family and daily responsibilities, rather it’s meant to refresh and rejuvenate a tired mom so that when she returns to her family, she can be the best mother/wife/employee she can be.
Self-care is essential for anyone, but to a mother, it can help her be in her best mind frame and relieve a lot of the stress that comes with managing a household.
Ideas for My Mom-springa
So… what do you think about the concept? Do you have any ideas of what you’d do on your mom-springa? Here’s are a few ideas for my mom-springa:
- Go to New Orleans, eat beignets at a cafe while reading one of my favorite books, take a nap, and then enjoy a night out on Bourbon Street.
- Go to the beach by myself, take a nap (there’s a recurring theme here), and spend the whole day eating seafood.
- Visit the New York City Public Library and find a quiet corner.
Let me know where you’d go or what you would do for your mom-springa! And if you’re not sure, read “The Overdue Life of Amy Byler” for some inspiration and a few good laughs.