30 hours just for me
I was traveling with my family in the beginning of January when I received an e-mail from my friend Claire saying that she booked a spa getaway in February and included my name on the list. As much as I got excited to get away for one night, my mind immediately started to race on all the things I had to do prior to leaving the house without the kids.
Since I had my son prematurely 4 years ago, who was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy, I have a really hard time allowing myself to schedule time for me to recharge and just ‘be’.
My to-do list usually takes over and I get so busy doing everything else that I let weeks pass by without sparing a couple of hours away from everything until I feel that I’m almost on the edge of burning out, which is quite often.
I was very good to myself for one full year when I booked in ‘me time’ every Friday afternoon, without phone and Internet. I had an amazing mentor who kept me accountable for taking this time for me. It was miraculous! Three or 4 hours a week gave me the boost I needed to carry on with doctors appointments, therapies, volunteer work, to be a fun mom for my older son and have dinner dates with my husband.
I know that in life everything is easy to do and is also easy NOT to do. So I accepted Claire’s invitation. The day after, I realized that the Friday we were leaving for the spa it was a PA Day for both kids. I could have cancelled the whole spa thing but I knew I was running low on fuel. I needed to go. I needed to get one full night of sleep.
It always takes a village for me to get away whether it is for business or for myself. I created a checklist for both days: babysitter for Friday morning arriving at 8am, confirm nanny for the afternoon, husband available to take Thomas skating, husband staying home Friday night. Saturday morning: PSW booked to care for Gabriel, babysitter to stay with Thomas, husband home at 1pm to wait for me. Plus I needed to make sure there was food in the fridge for both days. In all the confusion and checklists, I almost forgot to pack a bag for myself.
Ufff, all ready to go. Friday morning I took an UBER to meet my friend who was going to drive to the beautiful St. Anne’s Spa, out of town, away from my daily routine. It was a great drive. For 30 hours, I didn’t check my phone (just used it for pictures), e-mails or social media. I put my robe on and got ready for a Thai massage, a gourmet lunch, relaxed for the entire afternoon, had high tea, met other amazing women from the Life with a Baby Program, and enjoyed a fun dinner with Claire and other amazing moms. We laughed, drank wine and I slept one full night!
Saturday morning, I indulged myself with another treatment before boarding the train back to the city feeling brand new. The kids and husband ‘survived’ without me – they always do!
Over the last few years, I have realized that unless we take care of ourselves, we can’t fully take care of others. Lesson learned over and over again. I’ve re-committed to take some time for me at least once a week for a couple of hours because I know that I’m much more fun when I’m rested and my kids appreciate that more than all the appointments and an organized house.