The Idea Of A Self Care Getaway
The idea of a self care getaway seems so foreign to most moms, especially single moms. There’s the immediate logistics…who will look after the kids? Where will I find the money? Can I actually go, by myself? And of course, there’s the guilt…I have too much going on, I can’t spare the money, my kids would miss me too much.
Most days you do it all…work, parent, cook, clean, run errands, pay bills…the list goes on and on (and on…and on…). But what about you, dear mama? What do you do for you?
If you aren’t taking the time to refill your own bucket, very quickly you will run out of everything to give…patience, understanding, encouragement, and most importantly, love. You know the signs, because you’ve seen them, and usually when you’re almost on empty.
Your fuse is shorter. You don’t have the patience to deal with the meltdowns and tantrums and “Yuck, I’m not eating that”. And you catch yourself yelling and screaming in frustration, only to see that look of shock and borderline terror in your child’s face before they burst into tears, and you melt into a puddle of your own. Or if you’ve managed to keep it in check, it’s when you’re in the shower, crying to yourself because it’s the only place you can get any privacy (well, until some little human bursts through the door without knocking).
Why A Self Care Getaway Is So Important
It’s so important to take time for yourself, to do things without your kids, to relax, enjoy the things you like, feed yourself (with exotic grown-up food for a change!). This allows you to recharge, replenish, and renew yourself for the demands of motherhood. Yes, you’re in a season of life where your kids come first, and they need you (All. The. Time.) but in order to be the super mom, you have to make some time to put yourself first.
A self care getaway is one of the ways you can do this. It doesn’t have to be a grand, all-inclusive week away on an island in the Caribbean or a wellness retreat in California (although hey, if you can swing it, go for it)! But I am suggesting something a little more than just an afternoon at the local cafe. At least a night away, where you can relax, indulge, sleep in, and pamper yourself. If you can swing a few days, even better.
If you immediately cringe over money, it doesn’t have to be terribly expensive. Stay local, within a few hours drive. Have friends that are going out of town? Offer to house sit! Try airbnb for small, inexpensive accommodations. Or make some trade-offs…bring food from home, or plan to eat at less expensive restaurants so you can splurge on a Bed & Breakfast (there’s one of your meals built-in!). Look for free activities, and attractions with no (or low) entrance fees.
Best suggestion? If you have a birthday, or Mother’s Day coming up, mention your plans to your family and friends, how important it is to you to have a short getaway. Not only might they opt to contribute financially, you might also get offers of babysitting in return. Or considering trading with another mom friend! You watch her kids for an overnight, and they can reciprocate!
My Self Care Getaway
I’m very lucky that my mom understands the need to get away. Even before I was married with kids, she encouraged me to go away to school, to move across the country for a job opportunity, to travel. She also happens to be the best travelling partner, so many of my getaways are mother-daughter trips! Nowadays, she will still give me the gift of a few days away, by looking after my boys.
One of my favourite trips is just a few hours drive up north for me, to Collingwood, Ontario. It doesn’t hurt that the drive is a pretty one, through the country, past farm fields, lakes, rivers, and down through Beaver Valley to Lake Huron. Experiencing the changing fall leaves is spectacular! I make sure to have a playlist of favourite music or podcasts already on my phone to listen to. (Check out this post of my favourite podcast picks.)
A morning massage appointment at Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain, and you can spend the remainder of the day enjoying the baths, steam rooms, saunas, and completely chilling out around the grounds. Reading a book or magazine, napping in a hammock, lazing in a muskoka chair, grabbing a light lunch at the bistro…it is pure delight. My extended health benefits at work include massage coverage, so other than lunch, the day is free!
To save extra spending, I make strategic stops along the way at a local winery for a bottle of wine, a wonderful cheese shop for a variety of small cheeses, and grab a baguette, an apple and some deli meat. Dining on the outdoor patio, sipping a glass of wine with not a care in the world is exquisite! Other cost-saving dining options I’ve tried include ordering a gourmet pizza or sushi plate takeout and enjoyed on the patio or in the dining room while reading a book. The gracious hosts at Craigleith Manor provide place-mats, real cutlery and wine glasses, along with a guest fridge (leftovers!), so I never feel like I’m just eating takeout!
Free (or almost) activities abound in this area, and I take full advantage! Browsing through art galleries or gift shops with lots of breakables is something I could never do with little kids in tow. Lingering in a cafe or bistro with a book or writing in my journal. Walking on the beach with my toes in the sand, collecting beach rocks. Reading or binging Netflix in bed…because I can!
Even one night is often enough to recharge batteries. This is “you” time. Spend it doing the things you love, the things you don’t have time or energy to do when you’re busy looking after everyone else. Let go of the guilt, and remember that prioritizing you with a self care getaway is making you a better mom!
Where would you go for your self care getaway? Leave me a comment below and let me know! I’m always on the lookout for new places to travel to for rest and relaxation!
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