Since entering motherhood I feel like there’s more intense everything. Intense love, intense pressure, intense emotions in general (intense hormones?!). That term “work hard play hard” I tend to associate with a very demanding job – long hours at the office and then hours spent partying it off. Welllll…I think that could apply here too, though those big nights out drinking and carrying on aren’t quite the same when you have a 5am wakeup call (when you might otherwise just hit the snooze button and explain later). “Play hard” is just going to look a little different now.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to go away with a good friend while our husbands stayed at home with our girls. It was the ultimate escape (other than looking at pictures of your little one throughout the day, thinking about how they’re doing, and sharing stories constantly…). My girlfriend and I actually planned on doing this while we were pregnant a year ago, but I’m glad it happened now because I feel like we both have really earned it at this point. It also made me reflect on motherhood and how much we do all.the.time. We talked, we laughed, we slept, we spa’d, we worked out, we drank, we ate, and we reflected.
(Here we were greeted at the hotel with a glass of champagne and my Aunt had dropped off a little gift for me since she lives nearby!)
I think as a mom, whether you’re stay-at-home or have a full or part time job on top of being a full time mom (because let’s face it – you’re never off the clock), your plate is full. I’ve realized it truly is the ultimate responsibility. It’s not just caring for one child, or many, but your significant other (and/or other family members) too. There’s a lot to think about! It can be both emotionally and physically draining. I mean, we don’t even get to go to the bathroom in private anymore!
(Breakfast at the Ritz after a 8am Barre class!)
In wellness, having that holistic approach means attempting to achieve balance in as many areas as possible so that when the load gets heavy in one place it doesn’t seem like too much to handle. It’s when day in and day out you’re living and breathing something without getting that take that breath, doing something for yourself. Sometimes I feel like I’m just running on fumes, and I end up feeling like I’m getting sick or just awful in general, and I need to refuel.
Grasping that balance, that time for yourself, will probably make you feel more refreshed and happy to tackle all those crazy things that happen during the day that could otherwise feel defeating. And don’t feel guilty! It’s so easy to fill up with thoughts like you’re not a good parent because you’re electing to leave, or you should do this or do that. But chances are during that short time you’re away everything will be just fine and if anything you’re going to come home to one (or two or three or four) excited children awaiting your arrival. You take care of everyone else all the time, it’s good to take care of you! It doesn’t need to be fancy or elaborate, it could be as simple as taking that half hour or hour to watch the show you recorded, sneaking out for a pedicure (and asking for a shoulder massage while they’re at it), or even just going to bed early! It all counts – and so do you!
(My friend and me at a nice restaurant our hotel told us about – and the saxophonist playing that night was from Earth, Wind, and Fire!) And of course, a delicious appetizer to start us off, spicy tuna on crispy rice:
And let’s be honest, even if you do go away, you’ll probably end up doing something to help whoever is taking care of your little one(s) while you’re gone. Or maybe that’s just me. What can I say…I’m a health nut and I like to know my daughter is eating well!!!
What do you do to unwind and recharge?