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.