I Sent Myself Away For A Couple Nights (thoughts on mom retreats)

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. 

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. 

And it brings up an issue I casually mention from time-to-time: MOMS NEED OFFICE HOURS

 

RUNNING A HOME AND FAMILY HAS A BUSINESS SIDE TO IT: HOME MANAGEMENT 

If you are like me, there is a list of errands and a stack of papers to address that are ALWAYS there. These things usually get addressed when they are urgent. Otherwise, things pile up in this stack and to-do list and I keep saying I will find the time to deal with it all. 

This is why I think we need some dedicated space in our schedule to manage the business side of running a home and family, and whatever else is on your plate in all the roles you have in your life. 

 

HOW TO FIND THE TIME

I find that blocking a bit of time in the week where I can be dedicated to phone calls and googling and scheduling and filing things is helpful. Though, I will usually schedule it when the kids are around and they are old enough that I can tell them ‘I will be 15 minutes to work on something and then I can help you after that’. It kinda works….enough….not perfect. Mostly I just have to find a spot where they won’t look for me and use my time wisely until they all find me and invade my personal space. 

The other option is to do these things when the kids are at school and preschool, or at the end of the night. But those kid-free times or the time I have solo with Conor is precious to me and I gave myself a rule that I wouldn’t do things in that time that I can do when the kids are around. I’m sure this will change once Dawson goes to Kindergarten and then all the kids will be in school (just writing that makes me feel giddy and confused!).

 

BLOCKING TIME OUT FOR YOU

This little retreat has become a time for me to manage some of these tasks that need to get done. I know it is unfortunate that a mom’s getaway turns into work time, but I’m okay with it. I think what matters most is that as moms, WE BLOCK TIME OUT for 1. home management and 2. personal time that we can be reckless and indulgent with. In this case, we did both at once. 

I shared before, in this post, that Conor and I sit down and schedule out our week together. We needed to do it so we would make sure that we each had time blocked away for us to be alone for whatever we wanted to do. 

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. You can let the to-dos pile up on a list without the mental burden that you aren’t working on them. You get 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 THE RETREAT

BOOK IT

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. 

PLAN YOUR PRIORITIES

Then 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: face masks, books, cozy socks, laptop, knitting, running shoes, your 90s RNB cd collection. Whatever you want! It is your time. 

SIGNOFF

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. 

COME HOME

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

I hope to do these a couple times each year. They might look different over time. I might crash a friend’s basement, or team up with some other ladies to work with. Either way, knowing that time is there for me is so helpful for me to keep with the daily grind. 

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