Mama Stay-cation

Recently I posted about going on (or staying in for) a mama stay-cation. This was a much-needed event in our household, as mama was slowly turning into a zombie monster. Every body feels better when mama feels better. I explain that concept here.

Every mama could use a stay-cation once in a while. This is basically a stay at home, simple retreat, to recharge your batteries and fill up your ever providing well. I took two days for my stay-cation, and even though those days weren’t completely free from things that needed to get done, there was enough space within them that the experience was totally enjoyable and refreshing. (Despite ending in a trip to the ER, which you can read about here).

The one thing a mama stay-cation requires, is someone other than mama, to look after the littles. In my case, this job was predominantly handed over to my super amazing mother-in-law, and my hubby. For two days, during the day, my little was swept away by daddy to his grandma’s house, where he got to play and spend time with one of his favorite people, and I got to play and spend time with…myself.

Here’s some of the things I did on my mama stay-cation, and some things I didn’t get to, but plan to do on the next one.

1. SLEEP. I want to put this in bold, italics, and underline it, but I’ll just go with bold for aesthetics sake. I slept late (well later than usual) on both days. I let daddy sweep my little guy off and handle the packing up and getting out, so that I could stay in bed and hour or two longer. Even just these few extra hours, were magical.

2. Bathe. Like in the actual bathtub, without boats and cups and other toys floating around, or a baby crawling all over wanting to nurse simply because the girls are out. I lit candles, used essential oils, and soaked in hot tub for as long as I wanted. Luxury.

3. Complete jobs around the house. This one may sound contraindicated. But the jobs I did were small jobs that I have been wanting to get done for a long time. Like potting a new aloe plant, and hanging a piece of art on the wall, and organizing my home closet office. By the end of the first day, my entire house was tidy, and I was so in love with our space that I took pictures of every room. I’ll give you the tour in a future post.

closet home office

4. Get bodywork, or give it to yourself. This one depends on what your budget looks like. If you have the bit of extra cash to let someone else heal your body, I highly recommend it. I opted for acupuncture (which is actually not my most favorite bodywork but I am starting it up again for reasons I’ll explain soon). Massage is my favorite. And while it is amazing to let someone else massage you, it is also amazing to give yourself a massage, here’s how to do it. I learned more about, and how to appreciate my body through my practice of self massage, than any other practice, even yoga.

5. Cook yourself a yummy meal, and eat it in silence. Silence is golden, at least it is for my ears lately. I love my little one’s constant babbling, and attempts at communication, but the sound of my own voice repeating words over and over and over again is a bit tiresome at times, especially when I am trying to chew. Eating a meal in silence, or with soft music playing is so lovely, and actually improves digestion.

That’s pretty much all that I did on this stay-cation. Here are some plans for my next one.

-Self pedicure

-Making art

-Reading fiction

-A long hike alone

Even building some of these activities into your normal days, is a great way to practice self-care, and keep the well full. As a mama you most likely give your time and energy to several people, big and small. Make sure you take some of that time and energy back, and give it to yourself, even for just an hour, a day, or perhaps a luxurious two-day stay-cation.

 

Did you like this blog? Please share it with your mama friends, inspire and encourage each other to take care! And please, comment below on what your favorite stay-cation activity is or will be. <3

I Feel You

Last night was rough. We are in the land of “separation anxiety”, with my little man’s key target of course being his mama. We are also battling thrush, and possibly molars. Needless to say, the boy wants to nurse, and nurse, and nurse, nurse, nurse, all the time. Daddy tried to take over bedtime, because this mama just plain and simple needed a break.

There were tears, there were yells, and then the tears and yells became screams and a breathless baby. In the 5 minutes that I allowed for this to happen, I managed to hop online to my mama tribe and put out a call for support. What I got was exactly what I needed. Not really advice, not tips, but a big old “we feel you”.

We’ve been there. We have all been there. The moments of utter exhaustion, and despair. The place where our need for self and calm begins to outweigh our love, and we struggle to provide. It’s called “Mommy Burnout”. This topic, and strategies for addressing it, are a big focus of my work, and this blog. Of course, sometimes I need to take my own advice.

This morning I was greeted, first by a relieved and smiling baby, happy to wake up to me in his bed. My second greeting, was my husband rushing off late to work. (Hubby has been working hard this summer, a teacher, who loves his students and co-workers so much, and works hard to support our family, he is tireless.) My third greeting was a fellow mama, coming to drop off her little one for a day of play, so that she could go to work. This greeting was planned, and well prepped for, but what I didn’t expect was her early arrival, in an answer to my last night’s call. She came in, settled her little one and said “I have time, go take a nap, meditate, do something for yourself”. Really? Really. Oh good goddess, thank you.

It took a little pushing but I finally went upstairs to my room. I plopped down on my barely used lately meditation cushion, and attempted to close my eyes.

I settled back. I settled in. I took a few long, slow breaths, sighing my tension, anxiety, and grief out of my body. I rested back a little further, and as I did, something beautiful happened. I felt you.

I felt, one by one, hands of support, resting on my shoulders. I felt mamas that I know, mamas who had heard my call, sitting with me. I felt mamas I have never met, mamas from present time and past, resting a hand, taking a moment, to love and support me. I felt connection and comfort. I felt I was not in this alone. I felt myself softening in to this support, soaking it into my weary bones.

And then my son bumped his head, and I heard his cry. I jumped, ready to run to him, to provide the comfort only his mama can provide. But I waited… listened… heard this mama handle him so softly. His cries stopped, my heart melted.

I am not in this alone. And neither are you my friend, neither are you. I feel you. I feel your love and support, and I also feel your need. Let’s do this together.

Like the many petals of my new succulent (which I bought as a gift to myself while on a self-care Trader Joe’s date today), let’s surround each other, open to each other, and support the growth and evolution of our families, and ourselves.

succulant

And thank you mamas, thanks to all of you. I feel you.