Often times, we mothers tell ourselves that the reason we can't escape for a night, a weekend or a week-long retreat is because we have children. "They need me," we think, "our house will fall apart without me."
Or maybe it's "I just don't want to miss a thing! I'm already so busy as it is, and don't see them enough."
In today's post, you'll see why our children should be the very motivation for our retreats, never the deterrent.
3 REASONS WHY MOMS NEED RETREAT
1. Healthy Boundaries, Baby:
The moment we become a mother, a strong attachment is formed. The hormones get going, and we are in love. It's a beautiful thing.
The nature of a mother/child relationship is always changing, and we know this on an intelligible level. But sometimes, based on our own needs for love and meaning, we hold too tightly to our children's "need" for us, when in truth we're desperate to fill our own unmet needs.
When we continue to believe that our children need us in the same way that they did when they were very young, we create great suffering for ourselves.
Taking a retreat is a healthy way to model a good relationship with yourself. Your children see this, no matter their age and understand that taking care of yourself is a priority for mom. It can be for me, too.
Furthermore, mom has more in her life than me. It can be a heavy burden for a child to bear to be the only person in mom's life that matters to her. This creates tension, pressure and many expectations on the relationship as kids age.
If we want kids who care about themselves, we have to do it ourselves, first.
2. More Queen, Less Princess:
Being a mother allows us the opportunity to tap into our Queen energy. Motherhood doesn't elicit this in all women. It merely presents the opportunity.
Princess Energy is highly erratic, unpredictable, but sexy. It is fun and playful, but can be aimless, selfish, needy and emotionally indulgent. It is exciting, whimsical, and fun and also manic, and unreliable. It focuses on serving the self.
Queen Energy is confident and clear, wise and gentle, but firm and commanding when necessary. It is radiant, visionary, forgiving, awe-inspiring and spiritual when positively expressed. It focuses on serving many.
We cannot be visionary when we stay in our day to day lives with no separate time for reflection and evaluation. We cannot gain perspective on our lives when meeting our and our children's constantly shifting emotional whims is at the forefront of our worlds.
It doesn't matter if we spend every waking moment with our children, if our energy is emotionally indulgent, consumed with getting ahead, or obsessed with doing more, more, and more, than the time we spend with them is empty. They will do/become the same.
Retreats allow us to get clear on who we are, what we want, what we value, and which course our life will take. We then come home and share this energy with our children, grandchildren and all those around us.
No matter how old our children are, it is never too late to model mental health.
3. Man or Martyr:
These days, women are pushed into categories once we become a mother. The archetypal extremes of these categories are man or martyr.
We either give ourselves to the cause of being a mother, perhaps stay at home with them, show up for every parent teacher conference, volunteer opportunity and school field trip.
Or, we follow in the footsteps of many working women, and work ourselves like men, provide for our families, make money and professional strides. Maybe, we try to do a bit of both.
I am not interested in discussing the moral implications of the choice we make, as the answer for each family is personal.
What I am interested in is what the choice does for us, energetically, over the longterm.
If we choose to stay home with our kids, what does this mean for us when our children are older? How do we find our way back to ourselves? How do we do it in the midst of raising kids and staying at home?
If we choose to work and life is full and feels too busy, what energetic track have we set ourselves up to continue to follow? How do we get control of the pace of our lives and how do we make sure we are living from a space of meaning and not just driving the car at 100mph and knocking things off the list?
Ladies, it is clear. If you're a mom to children young or old, it is always the right decision to model mental health by stepping away for retreat and gaining perspective on your life.
If you won't do it for yourself, do it for your children and grandchildren. They'll never remember your time away, and you will never forget it.
IGNITE - October 18-20, 2019 (Crestone, CO)
HONOR - November 9, 2019 (Boulder, CO)
AWAKEN - February 15-22, 2020 (Costa Rica)