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Posts Tagged ‘nurturing women’

…submitted by Guest Contributor: Dawn H.

A few weeks before I was preparing to leave town for my annual five-day women’s retreat, my eight-year old daughter told me, “Every mother should have a week-long retreat for each child they have.” Since I am parenting only one child, I deserve only one a year, she told me, but our friends who have four children, that Mom deserves four retreats! Now it was a fun conversation, and I liked her viewpoint, although sometimes, my daughter takes as much energy to parent as a large family! 😉

Tif and Kelly helping each other in one of our creative arts projects - mask-making!

Tif and Kelly helping each other in one of our creative arts projects - mask-making!

I began taking a retreat from my family when my daughter was five years old. I really struggled with the guilt as well as the worry that she would be sad and unhappy during my absence. She had/has a great, close relationship with her Dad, and I knew he’d do fine being the single parent. They went on a vacation together while I was at my retreat, and after she got over being very sad and crying herself to sleep the first night, my husband told me the rest of the week was great for them. It worked best for me not to call them, and I was able to just focus on being present in my new surroundings and activities. I came back from my retreat refreshed, invigorated and in a new frame of mind. It had been a wonderful combination of kundalini yoga, creative art projects, and personal growth work offered by Allyson Rice (The Total Human). I’ve now made it a personal commitment to do at least one of these retreats a year. I also have added in some solo traveling with girlfriends (also sans children) each year in order to balance my needs with the demands of being a mother. At times my daughter still gives me grief about leaving, but I just remind myself that I’m doing the best I can as a mother to set an example that it is okay to nurture myself in order to help nurture others. She may not realize it now, but someday she might be a mother and need similar retreats.

Tif with her mask

Tif with her mask

Now, I also realize that not everyone can afford the time or money to go away each year, but there are so many little things we can do as women (and mothers) to nurture ourselves. I do my best to carve out some time each week (a high expectation) or once a month (more realistic goal for me) to do something just for fun, just for myself…what ever works!

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