Uugghhh!! I’m being so dramatic!!! No, I didn’t actually leave my family. Well, I did, but I came back. And it wasn’t the type of leaving where I storm out of the house, slamming the door, upset that no one ever listens to me. I would never do that. :) No, this was the type of leaving that I would consider self-care. The kind that everyone needs in order to re-group, re-focus and re-center your life.
After the holidays, my son’s birthday and Joe being out of town, I was starting to feel out of sorts. I hadn’t had a chance to sit and plan out my year or figure out where I wanted to go with my life. I had changed careers, was starting a new business but hadn’t really stopped to think what was next. So, I left. I knew this meant my family would have to make some adjustments while I was gone, but I also knew that my husband is fully capable of taking care of the kids. When my boys asked why I was leaving I told them “Because it’s important that mommy take some time to herself. And I need to think about how I want to grow my business”. I think this is one of the most important lessons I could teach my children. First, it’s important to take care of yourself and take time to decompress. Second, their mommy is building a business. I want them to know that women are just as capable of building a business as men. But the lessons I learned from leaving were not the lessons I had expected to learn.
When I scheduled the day away, I really did so in order to get away and be pampered. I had convinced myself that a spa day is what my brain needed in order to relax. So, I had the mimosa. I splurged on the massage. I sat in the in the sauna. Was this relaxing? In a way, yes. There weren’t children following me everywhere. No one was needing my attention at all times. But I still felt anxious. Almost like “well, I’m here at the spa. Relax! Now!!” I felt like I had an obligation to be relaxed and if I wasn’t there was something wrong with me. I decided to go on a walk. I brought my notepad to journal, even though I HATE journaling. I’ve never been a person who journals. But I had heard that sometimes you just need to write down everything that comes to your mind. I found a courtyard, got another mimosa (I mean, why deny myself that joy), and just started writing. Honestly, I didn’t even know what I had wanted to write about but suddenly I had written five pages. Five pages!!! The next morning, I did the same thing. And I wrote three more pages! My hand couldn’t keep up with my brain. I realized that I hadn’t connected with nature in a very long time. I hadn’t sat in silence and just listened to the birds or watch the clouds for years. Years!! Here’s the thing. Your body craves nature. It needs fresh air and stillness in order to be healthy. It literally lowers your blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension. My brain hadn’t felt so alive in a long time. By the time I got home, I was so relaxed and ready to be a patient, loving wife and mom again.
Yes, a spa visit is very nice to help aid relaxation. But it isn’t needed. Want to relax but can’t afford to jaunt off to a spa? Go outside! Take a hike. Literally. And you guys, I’m not so oblivious that I don’t realize a lot of you are single parents and are barely holding it together. Finding time to take a hike or sit in nature seems like a crazy stretch. Bring the kids. Yes, you’ll still hear them and there might be whining, but kids love nature. Bring a notepad. You can journal and the kids can draw what they see. Or better yet, ask your friends for help!! I have no idea what it’s like to be a single parent, but I can tell you this, when Joe is out of town, I find myself spiraling. Knowing this, I would jump at any chance I had to help a single parent friend out. I’d gladly take your kids for a few hours so you can get away and regroup. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Moral of the story, you need to take time for yourself. We’ve convinced ourselves that this looks like getting our nails done, getting a massage or going to the spa. But it doesn’t have to cost us money to reconnect. Go outside! Sit in some quiet time. You’ll be a better mom, wife and business owner (even if that business is CEO of your household).
I'm an average girl who has discovered her passion for self-development after warrioring (yes, it's a word) through 6 miscarriages. I took that passion and applied it to helping others find their passions through High Performance Coaching. Boy mom to two "energetic boys" and navigating the art of being a step mom to a teenage girl, all while working daily on maintaining an authentic relationship with the best husband around. Sometimes mindful. Sometimes a runner. Always a little crazy!