Do you fantasize about taking a mom holiday? Sitting in a quiet space, sipping a latte and reading the newspaper or lying on a beach alone with your thoughts?
More than I would like to admit. In fact, full disclosure, this was a hard blog for me to write. To be honest with myself and with you. But maybe you can relate?
When I was in my 20’s, I hated being alone. I would go to all costs to always ensure that I found someone with whom to share all my activities, from going for a coffee to snowboarding or mountain biking. I thrived on the social interaction and although I still do to this day, things have changed.
Fast forward a few years: married with 2 young kids and I found myself often dreaming of peace, solitude and a seemingly unattainable balance to my life.
I would classify myself more as: Burnt Out. Stressed Out. Maxed Out
Anyone know what I mean?
As women we have gained so many rights and we love our jobs and the feeling that it gives us to be successful working moms, professionals and entrepreneurs. But the juggle of being a mom, income earner, house-keeper and cook while trying to maintain any sense of personal well-being balance can be overwhelming at the best of times.
We all think the other women in our lives have it all together. My sister-in-law bakes cakes that blow my mind every time, my daughter’s little friend at school receives vegetables with faces and apples cut like chess sets. My good friend is a partner at a law firm, who works regular overtime and yet still manages to make multiple princess wigs out of yarn and create an extremely impressive ‘aquarium’ made of colourful construction paper marine life on her huge front window. You know, the stuff that makes Pinterest so good.
How do they do it?
Well, I recently hit my limit. It was becoming too much and I hated the person I had become. A nag with high expectations. Little sleep for multiple years left me short with my spouse and kids and unable to problem solve like before. I couldn’t make a decision to save my life. Regular daily functions like grocery shopping and being on time were even overwhelming. I became slow and inefficient (even though I was moving fast) and daily life just seemed harder than it should be.
My oldest child reminded regularly how I was “the worst mom ever” having forgotten to put a fruit bar in her lunch or not buy new underwear as she didn’t like the ones she had. There is nothing like a little guilt to go along with everything else.
Little and big things would hit me where it hurts. My confidence, my self-worth, my strength. It was hard not to cry at something daily.
In my eyes, I was a FAILING.
Failing at being a good mom. Failing at being a supportive and loving spouse. Failing at being innovative and forward thinking with my clients.
That may not have been how others saw it, but that is how my completely exhausted, thoroughly spent brain saw it. And it need to CHANGE.
Sure, I had times like these before. I knew I would get through it and I knew I would get up again, because that is what moms do. They GET UP.
So, get up I did. But this time with a renewed spirit. A strength that I knew was inside me but that had long-time been suppressed. I did something that I feel that maybe I should have done sooner.
I took my own advice that is printed right on the back of my business card.
Stop waiting for something to happen. Go out and Make something happen.
I knew what I needed for MYSELF.
I needed to step out and let someone step in for a beat. A time to catch my breath. To rejuvenate and regenerate. I mean, after all, doesn’t everything have seasons of refreshing in some sense. Leaves die to make way for new buds, snakes shed their skins, even computers need to be turned off and rebooted sometimes.
I proposed the Unthinkable. I asked for the world. I suggested taking a holiday.
Now, I know from previous experience that a weekend alone at home leads to me impeccably cleaning the house and accomplishing any undone tasks before feeling remotely relaxed. So I knew I needed to be AWAY.
And for me, the thing that centers me the most is kiteboarding. More specifically, kiteboarding somewhere hot.
So, 2 plane rides, a 2 hour bus shuttle and 20 minutes by boat taxi and I write to you from Isla Holbox, Mexico.
Even though I miss my kids and husband enormously, I know they are safe and in the hands of a wonderful and capable man who is providing priceless daddy-time to them. This opportunity is allowing him to parent his way, after all, as one of my friends mentioned, “they are his children too”. In addition, the kids are also in the company of a very understanding grand-mother who knows first-hand what it’s like to be a mom and who agreed wholeheartedly that a break would be beneficial for my entire family. To those two amazing souls, I am forever grateful.
I have been here for a few days and relaxation has started to kick-in. I feel amazing – loving my mom holiday.
It has given me the chance to reflect.
Having been in the fitness industry for many years, I know that we put an incredible emphasis on exercise and nutrition, but we often neglect the third cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle, regeneration. Media constantly bombards us with ‘to-do solutions’ to better ourselves. As good as some of that advice is, sometimes, it is in the doing less that we actually find solutions. When we absolutely stop, it is so much easier to see a clear picture and make clearer decisions. Like looking at a city layout from a rooftop as opposed to wandering aimlessly through the streets with no map.
What about completely stopping once and a while?
Those who meditate daily (and I mean really take time to uber chill and meditate daily) are some of the happiest and most relaxed people I know. They also do not try to accomplish 6000 things a day. Right, note to self*.
So here I am. Stopping and regenerating. Writing a blog and feeling fortunate for the opportunity to work on the Online Fitness Training business I have been trying to build and devote more time to for months.
Moms and fellow ladies, my advice to you is to ‘stay strong’ and go out and make things happen. It is my utmost hope that you will seize and create opportunities for yourself as a person and as a mom.
Own your Strong in fitness and in life and be a role model for those amazing beings that you have the blessing to inspire and shape.
Surround yourself with people who will support you and do not be afraid to ask.
I did and I am sure glad of that.
For more information on my amazing trip, check out my blog on Isla Holbox.