I kissed my babies goodbye, hugged my man, and headed out the door with a little swing in my step. My overnight bag was on my shoulder and my purse was stocked with journals, books and chocolate.
I was out for 24 hours of rest, refreshment and deep breaths. It’s been a long, hard season not just with the winter weather but just in our personal lives. Not stuff that I blog about but heavy and hard situations to navigate and unknown future plans. Going to school for a career in music is not for the faint of heart but it’s one of the best decisions we have made and one we don’t regret. This winter has brought more travel time for my husband and more work with the local symphony which is all fantastic but it means a lot more solo parent hours logged for me.
I was ready for this getaway on so many levels.
First stop- the coffee shop. Thanks to the university in our town, we have three coffee shops to choose from and I chose the one without wi-fi. It also tends to have the least amount of students which at this time of year crowd the coffee shops for study sessions. I ordered my latte and a piece of cake and settled in. I flipped through a magazine, read, and watched people (in the most subtle way possible, of course). One of my favourite things to do when out and about.
The bed and breakfast I chose was just down the street and I’ve walked past it hundreds of times, pushing my girls in the Bob. But this time I got to go in and experience the delight of a century and a half house turned B&B.
The purpose of this getaway was to rest. To sleep and to recharge. And even though I was staying at a B&B and had stacks of books to read and time to just ponder, I had to keep reminding myself to rest. The bed was luxurious with soft white duvet and pillows perfect for stacking behind me as I read and ate chocolate.
There was no to-do list, no meals to make or stories to read. Just time to be.
I purposely left my laptop at home and cleaned off the apps on my phone so that I wouldn’t be distracted. Another time, I may bring all of that stuff so that I can get a ton of writing done or draft out an ebook.
I did write but all offline and in private journals. I used to be a daily journal-er but now I’m every so often journal-er and I’m okay with it. I took along the journals I have for my girls, I try to write in them once a month or so. It’s a love letter to them at the age they’re at and I love doing it when I’m away from them, it gives me new perspective on ways to mother them.
As mums, most of our time is spent serving. Glasses of water, kissing owies all better, fixing snacks, meals and the world. It’s a high calling. But for those 24 hours, I was served. I asked for a cup of tea and it was brought to me on a tray. Breakfast was made for me with my coffee cup filled up before I could even ask for me. Dinner was delivered to my table and I kept reading my book while eating. It’s one of my favourite things to do- read in a cozy corner with good food.
It’s not how I would want to live every day, but for a brief time, it’s absolutely wonderful!
As mums, we are the primary care-givers to our loves. We know how they like the blanket tucked around them at night and their preference for the blue plate over the orange for lunchtime. But for those 24 hours, my husband looked after our girls completely. He took them on outings, fed them and tucked them into bed at night. It gives him a chance to bond with the girls and to reset his family focus, not that he doesn’t bond when I’m home but it’s a different kind of bonding. He gives me a chance to rest, read and recharge and giving always increases personal happiness. A getaway for the mama benefits the whole family.
I’ve been a mum for four years and its only in the last two years that I’ve gone away overnight. It’s hard to get away when the babies are little and more dependent on the mama for food and care.
Last time I went away, I was burnt out and exhausted. In the year since, I’ve made a lot of effort to avoid burnout and build margin in my life. Next week I’ll share some ways to build margin into our lives and how to have some of the benefits of a getaway while still staying at home.
But now I want to know, if you could get away for 24 hours- what would you do and where would you go?