I love a good party, but I can’t think of a worse social event to be invited to than a baby shower. There often is no booze, start at some ungodly hour of a weekend morning and you have to participate in the awkward tradition of watching someone feign joy for 30 minutes while opening presents while the audience is required to continually keep up a chorus of “aaawwwwwwww”.

Enter the Momchelorette. A concept that a friend of mine introduced to me before the birth of her first baby.  Much like a bachelorette party, where you celebrate a mom’s last few days of freedom, before that bundle of joy arrives. A Momchelorette typically involves heading out of town to a location that is an easy flight or drive, for an entire weekend of fun and relaxation.

At the time I first attended one, I didn’t have any kids yet and I couldn’t fully appreciate the beauty of it. Now that my daughter is a toddler, the only time I get to myself is while I’m working (at a furious pace so I can rush back to be with her) or going to the bathroom (while she stands outside the door and repeatedly announces “mommy’s pooping”). A weekend away with girlfriends to relax, gab, eat gloriously indulgent meals and sleep in sounds like so much heaven that it makes me daydream about having a second child just for the Momchelorette.

Having a relaxing and fun weekend away with some of your best gal pals can be some time really well spent. Admittedly, it can be difficult to find exciting activities that don’t involve copious amounts of alcohol (especially if you go to Vegas for your Momchelorette, which HAS been done!), but it also opens you up to consider experiences that you likely wouldn’t on a weekend that is solely centered around alcohol.

Some keys to a successful Momchelorette weekend include:

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1. Try to get a large house or condo with enough rooms to hold all your guests, it’s way more fun when everyone is together.

2. At least one nice dinner together. A private chef is a great option if you’ve rented a big house and is not as extravagant as it sounds, if you have a large group, you can often get a private chef for less than the cost of a great meal in a restaurant.

3. Some pampering, like massages or mani-pedis. A super cost-effective way to do this is to break it up into 20 or 30 minute “mini massages”, if you can find a therapist to come to you.

4. Lots of downtime to hang out, relax and gab. Having a pool at your rental is almost a necessity.

5. A fun, baby-themed activity. Decorating onesies with fabric markers and paints is a fun one and a great keepsake for the mom.

6. A fun but short planned activity for the group. In Palm Springs, we went up the tram; Lake Arrowhead, we went out on a boat for the day; Vegas we saw a show.

7. Fake plastic babies. I have no idea why, but these suckers always seem to show up and cause pant-wetting amounts of laughter when people start playing around with them.

While you’re getting ready to hunker down and parent the crap out of that newborn, it’s great to rekindle friendships and spend some quality time with the ladies that will likely become your “village” after that little munchkin is born. I seriously cannot wait for my next Momchelorette.