| Written by Trish |
There was this retreat, called Aro-ha, that my wonderfully fit friends had gone to and had come back raving about. (And by fit, I mean that one is a yoga teacher and the other one is a marathon runner.) They told me I would absolutely love it and they planted the idea in my head that once I had weaned my littlest, it could be a little bit of a "treat" for me. When push came to shove though, mother’s guilt kicked in, and it wasn’t until my dear husband left me for two weeks to head to South America for a friend’s wedding did I decide that I could allow myself this sort of indulgence for five nights: New Zealand. Kid-free. A bed of my own. Daily hikes. Daily massages. A time of quiet, of rest, and or reflection—for the first time in a very long time.
I hadn’t donned my hiking boots since Duke of Edinburgh in high school and venturing up those mountains was both difficult and exhilarating all at once. On the one hand, my under-used muscles wildly protested. On the other, my heart found new energy in the immense beauty and peace of God’s creation every where the eye could see. That, and needing to keep up with the majority of the pack, who were a good ten to twenty years older than me!
After years of busying myself and keeping busy for fear of failing to be productive, for this past year, I have finally embraced the need for rest and have prioritised trying to look after myself a little more. This little wellness getaway is definitely not for everyone, but for me, it was the time out I craved to put a few things back into perspective. I was reminded how healing it can be to embrace the outdoors and adventure. I was reminded that, as mothers, we need to do our best (within our ability and resources) to fill up our own tank so that we can fill up those who rely on us. Whether this be making time for exercise, not feeling guilty about the occasional sleep-in, outsourcing if need be, or simply trusting that others can provide what we sometimes cannot—not because we are not capable, but because our bodies are made not only to work, but also to seek rest.
So here’s my little encouragement to all you mamas out there, especially the ones feeling a little out of their depth or run down. Give yourself permission to ask for help. Schedule in a little rest this week. Take the time for a walk and soak in the beauty of Spring. Sit still with a hot cuppa and a good book—or maybe that journal you’ve been meaning to jot some thoughts in.
Find the time to do something for you. It will reward you in more ways than you know.
You can see the other posts in this series here.