Sometimes you just have to get away from it all. As we all know, being a mom can simply be exhausting. The physical and mental load can take its toll. Everyone needs a break from time to time. I’m a firm believer that you can not take care of others unless you are also taking care of yourself.
A few years ago, when my kiddo was only a toddler, I did it. I left for some me time.
It wasn’t that far, I stayed in Alberta and visited the Skoki Lodge in Lake Louise’s rugged backcountry. It didn’t really matter where I went though, my soul just needed to be fed with some alone time and adventure. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a mom and wife and business owner, but there comes a time when you can just feel yourself aching, needing, to get away. So I did. I spent 4 days of complete bliss in a log cabin built in the 1930’s with no electricity, no cell phone service and no running water. Did I mention that I also had to hike 11 kms up two mountain passes in the snow to get there? Like many of you are probably thinking, I asked myself what the heck I was doing more than once. Why would I squander this precious ‘mom-cation’ time that I was blessed with by doing something like work and without the luxurious conveniences of technology?!?! With each step up the mountain and each pause to gasp for some air I found out.
Here are some things I learned while on this journey.
- Having no cell phone service is a good thing. I focused on what I was eating, I fell asleep with out staring at a screen, I looked up for a change. Also, I learned that I need to impose some self control with the phone in my everyday life. In case you are wondering, the staff at the lodge were equipped with a radio system, so should there have been an emergency or something I needed to know about happening at home it would be fine.
- You will come up with lots of excuses to not get away. Don’t listen. I paid a hefty non-refundable deposit, so I was committed. But, had I not, there would have been lots of second-guessing. Will my husband manage? Will my son be upset with me for leaving? Will the house be a disaster upon my return? Basically, how does anyone function without me?!?! Turns out, quite well!
- You can rely on your village. Let them be your village. It took 5 different people to cover all the child minding for my son while I was gone. The scheduling was a nightmare and I was worried my son would be an emotional disaster after all the shuffling, but it was the opposite. He had stories to tell me about HIS adventures while I was gone!
- Mommy-guilt shall not exist! Taking time for yourself is called self care. Your mental health depends on it. End of story.
- You will return feeling motivated, refreshed and ready to be the superstar mom, wife, friend, daughter, employee, business owner that you are! If you are really lucky, you will have reflected on some of the big questions in your life and have found some clarity, or maybe even more questions!
Whether you take a week long trip to an exotic locale or spend an afternoon sun tanning and reading a book, just figure out a way to do it! Carve out that time for you and only you, and enjoy every second.
PS: The more often you do this, the easier it gets!
Kim Ouellette is a mom to a little boy & two pups, wife, friend and Edmonton Realtor with Schmidt Realty. She loves exploring all that Alberta has to offer and sharing her experiences with others.