#momcation mom-cationIf you follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram you probably saw my posts from this past weekend all about my “Mom-cation” –which was essentially three nights in a hotel about 45 minutes from home ALL BY MYSELF! Say what?!

I left on Thursday and came back Sunday. It was my first time away (more than a few hours) from my boys since either of them were born…so 3.5 years. And it was GLORIOUS!

I have so much that I want to share with you about it but I fear it’s too much for a single email, especially since I tend to ramble but there are a few highlights I want to share for sure…

1) I didn’t think I could go. I thought I wouldn’t be able to leave. I thought I would cry A LOT. I thought that by Saturday I would want to come home…or that I’d be asking my family to join me for the last night. WRONG. Hahahaha!

2) Before I booked this trip I had been presented with an opportunity to go to a Mom’s retreat. I LOVE retreats. I host my own retreats. I TOTALLY get the value in retreats. But when I closed my eyes and visualized what it would be like to go to this Mom’s retreat, I immediately realized it was the complete opposite of what I wanted.

I wanted to be alone. I wanted to do whatever I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do it. I wanted to eat whatever I wanted to eat. I wanted to watch whatever I wanted to watch. I wanted to sleep and wake whenever I wanted, without an agenda.

And beyond that, I realized that I wasn’t in need of parenting education or support, I was in need of being alone.

3) I did all of those things. I didn’t make any plans. I had a list of a few things I thought I might want to do like go to the driving range and use the golf clubs I bought just before I got pregnant with Josh, over four years ago, and have never used! I thought I’d like to get a massage, go to a painting/wine class, go shopping for some new boots, get my hair done, eat at a fancy restaurant, and ride roller coasters at Carrowinds. But again, I didn’t make any plans, or book any appointments, or buy any tickets.

4) I did hit golf balls.

I didn’t eat at a fancy restaurant, but I did eat yummy food (the FREE food that came with my hotel reservation- breakfast and happy hour apps which were surprisingly good!)

I got my hair done by a stylist I found while standing in the middle of the mall after locating the only hair salon I saw on the mall map.

I shopped for boots, but didn’t find any.

I didn’t go to Carrowinds or get a massage because my boobs hurt SO bad (totally engorged since Zach was still nursing– weening was an incentive for this trip too) and the thought of lying on my stomach or cramming them into roller coaster restraints sounded like torture.

But I did go to hot yoga! Which wasn’t on my list of options. It was just something that sounded like a good idea, spur of the moment. And it was! In fact, it was the best idea of my whole trip!

5) I listened to my thoughts and I honored myself and my wants/needs.

I ate dessert (free from the hotel) in bed and never opened the gourmet cookies I had brought with me.

I took a nap. I stayed up late. I went to bed early.

I only had two conversations with strangers- one with an older gentleman during happy hour who was a pilot during the Vietnam war, and the hair stylist who did my hair. Normally when I’m alone I make friends everywhere. But this time, I just enjoyed the silence.

6) As I drove away from the hotel, I thought about what I had accomplished. The way I spent my time. The simple pleasures I enjoyed. The fact that although I was looking forward to going home and hugging my boys, I wasn’t lost when I was on my own.

I didn’t come home rested or refreshed like I had expected. (I didn’t sleep anywhere near as well as I had hoped) but what I got from my time away was better than that. It was better than anything I could have hoped for..

Ultimately what I realized is that I am still totally in love with me.

I knew deep down that I felt this way, prior to my time away. But because my time alone comes with distractions like working, grocery shopping, putting away clothes, or spending 5 minutes locked in the bathroom while listening intently for screams or something breaking, I forgot exactly what it is that I love about myself.

Turns out, I love A LOT of things! And being with me, JUST me, for 72 hours was exactly what I needed to be reminded of that…

  • I love my fierce independence.
  • I love my ability to never meet a stranger.
  • I love my willingness to be spontaneous.
  • I love my appreciation for “fancy things” while also being grateful for my simple, everyday life.
  • I love my confidence.
  • I love my mindset that doesn’t judge myself or others, and the peace that it provides me, releasing fears of being judged by others.
  • I love my innate curiosity.
  • I love my transformation from being someone who would have eaten free dessert AND polished off both boxes of cookies, mindlessly, just because they were there– to someone who never even opened those boxes of cookies– that are now sitting on the kitchen counter.
  • I love my commitment to accepting and appreciating myself for who, what, and where I am right now, while also working towards improvement.
  • I love my dedication to forgiveness of myself and others.
  • I love me.

This kind of self-love is what I want for everyone. EVERYONE!

There have been many times in my life when I despised who I was. It’s all written in old journals. I read them recently. It was painful. And reminded me that I don’t want to feel like that again.

If you struggle with this, know that you are not alone, you are not broken, and know that it CAN change.

Start by writing yourself a love letter– without any apologies, justification, or judgement.

Save it in a safe spot, send it to me, share it proudly in the private I’mperfect Life Facebook Community or post it to Facebook or Instagram and tag me so you can inspire others to do the same! Whatever feels good for you. Just do it. You won’t regret it.

And if you’re in need of some time away, find a way to make it happen.

Feel stuck? Let’s talk. I’m an expert problem solver! (add that to my list of things I love about myself. <3 )

And as always, thank you for being a part of my I’mperfect Life, and for allowing me to be a part of yours!

<3 Andrea