Ever wish you had a break? Not just five minutes where you lock yourself in the bathroom to be alone, cry out to God or just check Facebook on your phone.
A real break.
Let me paint you a picture... beautiful sunshine, open road, sunroof open, music of your choice, all responsibilities covered. ALONE. Freedom. Freedom from caring for anyone other than yourself. Freedom to do as you please all in the company of other amazing women.
I did this recently. I had an opportunity to be myself first and literally be away from the home so I could decompress and remove myslef from what I define myself as from day to day. I am a mother of two (a boy, 10, and a girl, 5), wife of 12 years, baker/business owner, crossfitter, friend, volunteer, taxi driver, planner, cleaner, etc., etc., fill in the blank here _____. Sounds like a small list of duties OR some may even say blessings?! Well, if you are any of these or more, then you know exactly how full a plate can get.. right?
Or shall I say overfilled?!
When thinking of taking extended time out for yourself, you may feel selfish, a sense of running away or guilt. In this annual weekend that my girlfriend started, I have found I am not alone in the overwhelming feelings of all the "to dos" we moms face. It seems at times, in the midst of all the lists, we never really find time to enjoy ourselves and who we are as individuals... as women. But now, after my trip, I literally feel the health benefits of my "freedom" therapy practice, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Women are relational and usually social beings. There is something about a good chick flick, girls night, sharing good food/beverage and socializing that really gets us excited. The encouragement we provide and the wisdom from each of our life experiences is worth sharing. It can be helpful to some in the right timing. We have a lot to learn from other women.
At the Girls Annual Weekend, there were 10 women in one beach house. Not everyone knew each other. Some were already friends and some of us met for the first time. Some of the women are mothers and wives, some were not. All had different career paths, backgrounds and views. Happenings during the weekend included biking/running, paddeling in kayaks, wonderful meals, reading and laughing, as well as ridiculous goofy behavior from all of us throughout the weekend. What I found inspiring is how well connected each woman became over the short time spent together. The life skills each woman had to share were fascinating to me. The independance, strength, encouragement, faith, grace, love, hobbies, career choices, success and failures were all spoken of, laughed about and even cried over. I believe our shared experiences/stories are gifts to another.
By the end of the weekend I realized that these little breaks away come usually when it is most needed in mine and my family's lives. I feel like a better mom, wife, business woman and all around person when I take this time away. My family and I appreciate each other more and are reminded of how incomplete we are when away from one another. I find myself ironically missing the things I complain about on some days and trust I will get a chance for another break in the near future.
I encourage you to share time with a girlfriend. Take time out for fun. Try new things, meet new people and have deep conversations with different women. I believe there is nothing more desirable to your family then a happy and healthy mama. You truly deserve a break, Mom... probably more than you know.
Jill Fay is married with two children. Read her Fridays on Douglas County Moms.
There is something about a good chick flick, girls night, sharing good food\/beverage and socializing that really gets us excited. The encouragement we provide and the wisdom from each of our life experiences is worth sharing.