Parenting is a 24/7 gig and in my house and sometimes a non-stop party. My children keep me busy. From homeschooling, to outings, to extracurricular activities… it’s go-go-go.
Mentally, physically, and emotionally… I’m drained.
A while back, I read about my dear friend Laura, being blessed with a night away from her regular mommy life. I immediately knew that I needed and wanted this experience as well. I haven’t had a night away from my kids since 2008!
So I hatched a plan… this year when people asked what I wanted for my 40th birthday, I told them I wanted 24 hours away from it all. No kids. No laundry. No dishes. No cooking. No cleaning. A day and a night – completely to myself.
The hint was taken, contributions were made to my “Mommy’s Day Out” fund, and this past weekend I took my day away.Come read about Jennifer's glorious day (and night) away from all responsibilities! #momsnightout #timeoutformom Click To Tweet
**Disclaimer: This post contains selfies and food photos. How else am I supposed to document my day away?!**
As I planned my weekend I put out a request to everyone on The Deliberate Mom Facebook community and collected their input as to what they would do with 24 hours to themselves. The responses were amazing!
* Monica from Mommy & Love said she would do nothing and have a 24 hour meditation retreat. Sorry Monica… I can’t stay still for that long but I soaked up some silence for you!
* Natalie G. said she would have big chip bag out in the open while daylight pours through the window. Natalie, I bought chips and they stayed out in the open – all day and all night. It was bliss.
* Echo from Domain of the Mad Mommy gave a laundry list of ideas… all to be done in the complimentary bathrobe. Echo… you would be proud of me. I lived it up in the plush hotel bath robe.
* Sarah from Glam Granola Geek said one of the things she would do is eat alone in a restaurant. I was concerned I would feel uncomfortable and awkward doing this but I quite enjoyed solitary dining.
All of the responses can be viewed HERE.
One of the biggest decisions was choosing a hotel. I wanted something scenic but I didn’t want to go out-of-town. I finally selected a downtown hotel with a beautiful river valley view. I had some anxiety making these plans, especially given that downtown sometimes spurs me into a PTSD-related anxiety attack. However, I needed this retreat and I was certain that this would be another healing step for me.
I chose wisely. The hotel I booked had recently renovated and created several floors of concierge suites. The concierge floors are kid-free and provide access to an executive lounge which has a complimentary cocktails with appetizers in the evening and a continental breakfast in the morning. How could I go wrong?!
My day out started late. I was bitten by the blogging inspiration bug and wrote a post in the morning. I wanted to get a haircut during my day away but alas all the salons were booked up on a Saturday. Who knew?!
While my hubby took charge of the girls, I dyed my hair (because if I can’t get a hair cut then I’m definitely giving myself a dye job). It’s a darker colour than usual but I like it.
I packed a few more items into my bag and headed out the door.
It was a cold, windy, and dreary Saturday but I was determined not to let the weather dampen my spirits.
I headed to the Enjoy Centre (a wellness market and greenhouse). I was stunned by how busy it was. I drove circles around the parking lot looking for a place to park and finally found one. I was starving by this point but there were no tables available in the cafeteria. I decided to window shop and prayed that a table would come available.
To my surprise, I discovered an extra virgin olive oil and vinegar bar. Who would have thought such a thing existed? When I saw the chunks of bread and the sampling cups, I fell in love. I leisurely tried all sorts of combinations but fell in love with the garlic infused olive oil and coconut vinegar combo… YUM. Of course I bought some to take home with me.
After that I went to the cafeteria and ordered a healthy and hearty carrot ginger soup with a cup of lavender-rose tea. Fabulous!
I sat in the glass covered cafeteria and ate my soup while enjoying every tasty bite. Then I started reading a brand new book while sipping my HOT tea s-l-o-w-l-y and deliberately.
Afterwards, I strolled around the greenhouse and stumbled upon the “Make It” Show which features handcrafted products from local artists. I made my rounds twice (and reveled in the fact that I was perusing the show kid-free)!
I drove to a local grocery store and picked up some assorted goodies for my day away. My apologies to all the people who said they would eat chocolate, desserts, or ice cream… I’m not eating refined sugars anymore but I thought these organic strawberries would satisfy the sweet tooth.
I checked into my room and lounged on the king-size bed, soaking up the silence. In the silence I noticed the hum of the hotel room air vent, the occasional murmur of voices in the hallway, and faint traffic noise outside.
Silent… yet not.
I unpacked my bag of supplies. I know I over-packed but I wanted to be prepared for this Mommy’s day out. I brought some books, my Bible, watercolour paints, my yoga mat, my Passion Planner, and a couple of magazines.
I waffled over what to do next. Do I do a yoga session? Do I go to the concierge lounge and pig out on appetizers and wine? Do I take a hot shower? I decided that the concierge lounge seemed like the most logical choice.
After enjoying several rounds of appetizers and wine, I returned to my room and wrote for a while in my Passion Planner.
Once again I had a great debate about what to do next. Dinner in the hotel lounge or order room service? I went to the lounge and was freaked out by all the men in the lounge who were staring at me as I assessed the menu at the door (which, by the way, was exactly the same as the room menu). I quickly exited and walked a few blocks downtown. A lot of the food places were closed and it would be a lengthy walk to the nearest restaurant.
Decision made. I returned to the hotel and ordered room service.
I was told that it would take 15-20 minutes. Half an hour later I got a phone call – they forgot about my order and were going to get it started. He told me it would take about 20-30 minutes. I cancelled my order and ended up eating chips, strawberries, cheese, and olives for dinner.
Afterwards I hopped in the shower. I made the water as hot as I could tolerate and enjoyed the silence. I dried off and hung out in my luxurious bath robe while reading my Bible and enjoying the scenic view out my window.
All of the activities wore me out and I went to bed early (around 9:40 pm).
I woke up at about 6 and quickly got dressed so that I could enjoy the complimentary continental breakfast in the concierge lounge. I know it was an early start to my day but I was starving!
The lounge was empty, so I had no issues with having 3 plates of food and 2 cups of coffee. I ate slowly and watched the sun rise. What an inspiring start to the day!
I headed back to my room, read my Bible, prayed, and did some watercolour paintings. I created four paintings but this one is my favourite. I’m calling it Prairie Storm.
Afterwards I did some yoga stretches and then read my Bible while leisurely sipping a cup of hot coffee. Then I wrote some more in my passion planner and packed the last of my belongings.
I checked out, did a bit of grocery shopping, and then headed home to my loved ones.
After enjoying this time away, I realized just how little I take care of myself. Granted, this experience was unique and I can’t do something like this regularly but I’ve decided to be more mindful about carving out time just for me.
This was one of THE best experiences of my life. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to my time away… I can’t thank you enough.
That sounds amazing! I would def bring my Kindle, magazine, my favorite bottle of wine and prob never leave the room. I would probably go to a nice lunch all by myself, I love doing that! I also love your painting! It is really beautiful.
Thank you Lauren! It was a wonderful getaway. I’m so thankful I was able to do it!
2008? Wow momma this was LONG overdue and yes, you so deserved this! SO glad you got this opportunity, looks so wonderful. I hope you get this chance again soon!
This was LONG overdue! I feel so blessed that I had this opportunity. It was amazing!
This quite frankly sounded divine and would love to get a night away. Maybe when I turn 40 in 2 short years, too ;)
It was divine! Start planning for your 40th my friend!!! Every mom deserves a childless vacation.
I am extremely proud of you for making good use of that complimentary bathrobe and I enjoyed the night away, vicariously through you of course! Now I am thinking that I need one of these nights!
Yes, I used the heck out of that bathrobe and I thought of you while enjoying it (hope that doesn’t creep you out lol).
Yes, EVERY mama deserves a vacation from mama life! Start planning your escape my friend!
What a wonderful idea! I love it!! I have plans for a night/day away after I get my littlest weaned and I cannot wait for this!
Every mama needs a getaway like this. I now know I need to plan for time away.
Start planning Keri :)
Good for you!!! Your day out sounds pretty heavenly!! I just got back from 5 days away (with my husband). Every time I get to do that, I always think “Wow! I didn’t realize how much I needed this!” We really should take better care of ourselves and do things like that more often!
It was bliss. I really do need to be more mindful about taking take of myself. When I’m full, I’m much better at filling others up too!
Sounds like a wonderful way to spend your birthday! Glad you had such a great get-away!
It was such a great birthday gift. I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity!
2008????!!!!!!! You definitely deserved this! So glad you enjoyed your time to yourself and I really do hope you get more opportunities like this in the near future. Time away with your hubby can be really great as well.
Yes, this was a loooooong time coming! It was a wonderful weekend and it definitely inspired me to try to carve out more alone time for myself.
This sounds incredible, what I wouldn’t give to have 24 hours of uninterrupted ME time!! It would probably go too quickly. I bet you were so happy to see your girls afterwards though. That early morning continental breakfast and sunrise sounds just so refreshing, that would refresh and rejuvenate me for weeks!! :)
Glad you had a good time, sorry your room service didn’t pan out but the berries, chips and olives sound good haha!
It was a wonderful getaway and every mother should have one at some point or another. It really rejuvenated me!
You look amazing rested and happy in your selfie. I can’t even tell you the last time I had a night away from my kids (that is, other than staying in the hospital which was NOT restful or happy!)
I was so rested and rejuvenated. It was an amazing weekend. Every mommy needs an opportunity like this!
So where do I sign up for one of these days?! Looks like you had a great time alone! Time well spent! I’m impressed you got up at 6!! I would sleep in til NOON! lol!!
Place your request to family and friends and start planning *wink*. I’m tempted to ask for this every year!
I only got up at 6 because I was starving and the breakfast opened up at 6:30. You know what they say about the early bird… they get three plates of continental breakfast!
What an amazing experience! It sounds like you’re refreshed and recharged, and more aware of the need to take care of yourself. All of these things are so important.
I was so refreshed from this experience and now I’ll make sure to take time away regularly. It’s amazing how we don’t realize we need something until we get it… you know?
My husband keeps asking me what i want for my birthday… No, I don’t think I would do this, but it crosses my mind every time I debate between crafting and sleeping.
Well even if you can’t get away for a day and night, maybe you could request crafting and sleeping time. Ahh, the bliss!
oh my, this is amazing!! I read your post without even blinking! I want this!! Now!
It was amazing. I’m so glad you read about my day away. Yes Marina… you do need this… NOW!
Good for you! I am glad you did this.
We women do need to take care of ourselves! I Just need to tell that to myself more often, because (cringe) I have never had one day like this in the last 17 years. Eeek!! maybe it’s high time I do.
It was such bliss Jen! I highly recommend you take a day to yourself. This experience filled me up so I could serve my family even better. So beneficial!
I wish I knew you back when I wrote the post A Perfect Day! I interviewed women in different stages of life and asked them what their favorite day would consist of. I would have added this to it. What a celebration of “you.” Everyone needs to do this at least once a year (more actually). I call them “mental health” days.
I would love to do this once a year. It was certainly a fulfilling and wonderful experience.
This is one of my dreams! Cassidy is going to Brazil tomorrow for ten days and I keep thinking about what I should do for myself when he gets back. Mother’s Day and my birthday are somewhat coming up..
By the way, I think strawberries, chips, cheese and olives make a splendid dinner.
I guess my “supper” wasn’t too bad… it just wasn’t filling enough, that’s all.
You should request a getaway of your own. I think every mama needs one!
My kids are older now, so I am home alone alot, but I would love to have a day like this with my husband. It is rare that we get time away or alone together. I am happy that you got to do so much and that you realized you need more. The painting was lovely and I want those olives! xo
As I read your response I was thinking that a day away with my husband would be a delight too. We have the occasional date night but connecting for a whole 24 hours would be wonderful.
It’s funny how sometimes we don’t realize how much we needed something until we have it. That’s what this experience did for me. I’ll definitely be more mindful of taking care of myself.
I love to paint… I’m pleased you liked the one I shared.
Congratulations! It’s so easy to keep pushing ourselves to the back burner and forgetting that just a bit of alone time can top up our energy reserves and nurture that part of us only we can.
My husband is a big fan of giving me time to recharge like this and I think he deserves another thank you. :)
I knew I needed this but once I had this experience I realized just HOW much I needed this. I’ve already told my husband that I need Tuesday nights to get out and be away by myself. I hope this lights my fire for a while longer… I was feeling quite burnt out!
Ahhhh thank you for sharing your day away from the chaos. I almost felt like I also got away. I also love that you shared your watercolor talent. Beautiful!
Thank you Marnie – I’m delighted you enjoyed my watercolour. I’m also happy you could “escape” vicariously through me.
So happy for you, sweet momma! I could use that exact 24 hours! The food and reading sound wonderful!
It was a wonderful 24 hours. I feel spoiled and keep on reflecting on it (and wondering when I can do it again).
Hi Jennifer! Good for you! You got a birthday present for yourself, and one that made you a more relaxed and calmer person. Great idea :)
I think your dinner sounds lovely. Probably much better than what you’d get with room service. I’m not much of an olive fan, but the strawberries look amazing!
Lead us on in loving ourselves enough to treat ourselves to quiet!
I’m so glad I took this time for myself. It was really peaceful and I spent a lot of that time with God… bliss!
I would share my strawberries with you any time!
I read this post, in it’s complete entirety, with complete fascination. What an amazing 24 hours you had, and I love the way you spent it! I love that you spent so much time writing in your planner and also doing things like painting, I bet you felt so re-connected to yourself afterwards. I found myself wishing I was there hanging out with you, but then I realized that would’ve defeated your purpose of being alone lol. But maybe two moms, side by side doing their own thing and then having cocktails and dinner together :) How fun, I’m so glad you enjoyed yourself and I found what you said at the end very interesting, I bet most of us moms don’t realize how much we neglect ourselves. And you having this chance to be completely focused on yourself allowed you to see that. Okay, I’m starting a mommy day out fund in my house too!
I felt completely connected to myself at the end of this experience. I was refreshed, recharged, and inspired.
Thank you for walking through the experience with me. It would have been fun to do this side-by-side.
I will definitely pay closer attention to giving myself a break every once in a while!
Hi Jennifer, well done you for taking the time for yourself. I think you may have started something, I bet it’s planted a seed in many a Mums mind…I know I’m sat here thinking what a jolly good idea. I could do with a break myself….To be honest I am totally alone in the house, which doesn’t happen very often and I am loving it (even though it’s only for an hour!).
You sound like you had an excellent time away, it’s just a shame that you felt intimidated by the men in the hotel restaurant and room service was not up to much. There’s always your next birthday!
I’ve started taking weekly time away for myself now too. I realized from this experience just how little I was taking care of myself.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on having time away.
This sounds amazing! Our daughter was born two weeks ago, so it’ll be a good while before I get to do something like this, but it’s definitely something to look forward to. :)
Awww, congratulations! I can barely remember what a baby looks like at two weeks of age. Enjoy the snuggles Veronica… you have lots of time to plan your perfect day and night away.