A co-worker with kids older than mine once told me, a trip with kids is a “family trip”, and a trip without them is a “vacation”.  No such thing as a vacation with children.
True.  “Vacations” end up just being you taking care of your kids in a different location without access to any of your usual tools, really.  Social media (as usual) can be misleading as you’ll be watching all these families just chilling on the beach with small children and wonder – why is MY family constantly needy and ungrateful?!  (Don’t worry – everyone is!)
So there is real value in taking a “mom-cation”.  Time out from being a caregiver to everyone else.  Because we don’t get days off from life.  We should really start a union.  Even when they’re sleeping, we are thinking about lunches, homework, carpool, is the soccer jersey clean in time for Saturday’s game, who’s driving to singing lessons this week… oh the list goes on and on.
The problem with the mom-cation, is that the mom must plan the mom-cation, and she’s so busy planning everything else that it’s kind of the last thing on the list.  Even if a dad/partner plans the mom-cation, there is usually a number of associated logistics to manage (by mom).
I’ve been on a few trips away without kids.  When I was younger it was a chance to get away from dirty diapers and weird smells, drink all night and sleep away a hangover.  Last year I went on a mom-cation alone to Victoria where I caught up with a friend and stayed in a hotel by myself.  Ate what I wanted and watched what I wanted.  I walked around downtown Victoria for 3 hours.  Then I slept in the middle of a king sized bed all alone.  It was so quiet and amazing!
And then I came back and I was mobbed by kids that missed me and no one was sure whether the dogs got fed, and there was definitely extra work because in my house, taking a day off laundry sets me back for a week for some reason, but it was all worth it.
It doesn’t have to be a complicated girls road trip with a hundred stops, it can just be an overnighter in a hotel down the street or just go stay at your mom’s – whatever works for you, you need a day off from being the go-to.  Don’t let them text you, either.  And especially, don’t feel guilty!  What happens on mom-cation stays on mom-cation.