Monday, 8 April 2013

Mommy Retreat

As a mother, sometimes I give too much - give until there's nothing left.

Everything makes me angry or sad or I just totally shut down and don't feel anything any more.

This was my week.

I know I'm not the only mother or caregiver out there that feels this - I'm sure it's a pretty safe bet to say that every one who has the responsibility of caring for others feels this way at some point in their career (whether paid or unpaid)...maybe it's just occasionally, or maybe it's every day...all day. Some of us are better at taking care of ourselves than others, but we all face this point sometimes.

I'm trying to learn to take care of myself, but it's hard - I'm a giver - I love to help people and sometimes I'm the one that pays the price. The demands of life and the availability of life-giving activities that interest me during the "off times" (oh ya, what are those??) have made it difficult to find quality ME time. It usually ends up being an evening in front of the TV with a glass of wine, wishing I had the energy to go join a group, go to the gym or socialize with other adults. It almost never actually happens.

This time when I started to go nuts, I managed to find a chunk of time where everyone I am responsible for had other care and I took my opportunity to sneak away to a local place that refreshes me.

I got a massage, pedicure, soaked in the hot pools, walked along the beach & went out for dinner at a lovely Thai place ALL BY MYSELF! I don't think I've ever done anything like this alone before, so I have to say it was a bit intimidating at first, but I gathered up the courage and went.

It was amazing - after about 5 hours of "me time" I felt like a whole new woman. I smiled. Yup, those muscles have been so tired lately, I don't think they even knew what to do, but I smiled and it was natural!

I am doing this again and I'm encouraging other mothers and caregivers out there to take a retreat for yourself every once in a while to recharge those caring batteries.

Take some time for yourself, do something just for you, and remind yourself that you're a real person too!


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