I am writing to you from a hotel room where I have stayed for two nights, typing away, soaking in the tub and eating cheese.
I sent myself away for a couple of nights so that I could focus on my online work, and also to just plain ole recharge!
On the first night, my bestie came with me and we had a nice dinner and then sat down at our computers and TOOK CARE OF BUSINESS.
For me, I’m working on a special project I normally don’t have time for in my current work from home life. For her, she is scheduling appointments and researching things that have come up in her life, and getting things done that she doesn’t normally have time for in her life.
We took the time to get done some of the ‘office hours’ things that seem to be put on the back burner so often. And yes, I do think moms need office hours.
No matter what tasks have piled up on the back burner for you, it can be tough to MAKE THE TIME. That is why I love to include them in my ‘Work Weekends’ or ‘Mom Retreats’. Because this time is uninterrupted, it is not highjacked by other errands, and it does not feel rushed. (Which I often feel at home).
But it isn’t all about work. It is about MAKING TIME FOR YOU
BLOCKING TIME OUT FOR YOU
The bigger issue here, for moms, is the idea of having TIME. A time that you will get to fill however you wish, without demands from anyone else. A time to unplug and slow down. This is a time to rest, and play and do things that you haven’t made part of your life in a long time.
Let’s just take a minute and observe how it feels when we know we will have time away, time blocked out JUST FOR US.
When you have this time booked away – whether it is an hour a week, or a night away every 6 months, or whatever – your mental state will be so much more relaxed. Because you know there will be time to do your errands: you can let the to-dos pile up on a list without the mental burden that you aren’t working on them. Because you know there will be time to be indulgent with your own needs and wants. Having time blocked off for you allows you to show up and have fun with whatever is happening in your day because you know that time is coming for you to do what YOU need to do.
Planning a moms getaway every year, or every six months is making a statement on your calendar that there IS TIME for you! Because nobody is going to just hand you this time, you need to make it for yourself.
PLANNING THE RETREAT
I know a retreat isn’t an option for everyone, but I would encourage you to think about creative ways to make it work.
Perhaps a babysitting swap with another momfriend. To save money on a place you could time it around someone being out of town and go crash their house (with their permission, of course). You could rent a cheap airBnB. You could go halfers with a friend on a hotel discount. You could use your Save-On More points to book a hotel.
For me, I knew I wanted a place where I would feel comfortable sitting and writing at my computer for many many hours. I was drawn to this Okanagan resort because it looked so peaceful, had the lake right there and the hot tub was open. I had done many work retreats in the past and also knew I wanted a simple kitchenette and a space that felt calming and beautiful. I was very happy with this place.
PRIORITIZE YOUR TO-DO LIST
You want to be intentional with this time away, so give yourself a framework of what you want to do. Start to make a list of things you want to get done. Keep it handy so you can keep adding to it.
Before you go, take a second and highlight the top three things. If you are like me your list will be too long and if you don’t prioritize it you will feel unproductive at the end.
Remember you want to balance relaxing with getting stuff done. So make sure downtime gets priority too.
PACK ALL YOUR GOODIES
Then pack up a bunch of delicious food and all the stuff you want to fill your time with. Here are some fun things to pack
- face masks (more than one! why not!)
- books you have half-read
- a devotional or workbook you want to work through
- cozy socks and all the loungewear
- iPad full of great 90s RnB
- laptop or computer if you are doing some work
- a photo collection you want to finally organize (hard copy or digital)
- webinars or audiobooks of things you want to learn
- knitting, sketching, whatever hobby has been on the back shelf
- your calendars and notebooks so you can take care of your ‘admin’ stuff
- cards or board game to play if you are with a friend
- running shoes to take a mid-day walk
- the life on purpose workbook if you are ready to set some vision and goals for your life
- yoga mat (to wake up and do a sun salutation without being a jungle gym for toddlers)
- snacks! (hit up your fave store for all the dips, and chips, and cheeses!)
Whatever you want! It is your time.
SIGNOFF FROM DUTY
Then tell your family that you are off-duty and will facetime them to say Good Night, See ya! BYYYE!
Then go off and enjoy. Unplug from all the demands and focus on some top things to get done and some ways that you can recharge.
MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR ACCOMMODATIONS
Wherever you are staying, check out the local perks. The walking trails, the activities, the spas. Even something as simple a nice soaker tub with a hot coffee in the morning is a perk.
Take time to enjoy the facilities wherever you are.
The goal is to come home feeling recharged and ready to get back into things. Hopefully without so many to-dos and errands hanging over your brain.
PLAN THE NEXT ONE
While you still are feeling the afterglow of sleep and rest and play, book yourself in for your next one.
These retreats have become part of my personal life and my work life over the years. And I don’t see that changing. I hope to do a retreat a couple of times each year. They might look different over time. In terms of where I stay and the people I go with. Either way, knowing that time is there for me is so helpful for me to keep with the daily grind of my worklife and momlife.
So mamas, start with and afternoon, work up to a night away, then up to two nights away. Just get started planning a getaway for you to have your own time to work, rest and play!