I had just five weeks to put together the Great Cloth Diaper Change and Expo this year. It was a whirlwind to communicate to sponsors; organize swag bags, raffles, and tickets; recruit volunteers; and learn the rules of the the diaper change. This list was really much longer but I steadily crossed things off the list and I worked after Lillian’s bedtime every night for the last two weeks leading up to the big event, sometimes until after midnight.
And then the day arrived and I got to meet so many new moms and new business owners and hear speakers and raise awareness for cloth diapering and give away prizes to a few really lucky moms! Wow! When the last mom left and the last box had been loaded into the trunk, I said goodbye to my daughter and partner and jumped in the car to drive to Glenwood Springs.
I’m not shy about the fact that I’m in couples counseling, and that our couples counselor is basically a genius. On her insistence, my child would be taken care of for a few nights exclusively by her dad and I was off to my Mommy Retreat!
I took care of myself, and only myself. I slept when I wanted to sleep and ate when I wanted to eat. I even indulged in a spa treatment. And in between the relaxing, I did a LOT of thinking.
I thought about how the event went and how to make it better. I thought about all the moms and babies that had come and the future of Denver Natural Mom. I wrote down a list of all the lessons learned from throwing the Expo and a list of goals for the rest of this year and next year, too. I know I needed to step away from life for a little bit to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re headed.
By the second day I really missed the whole family and was quite excited to be driving back into Denver, inspired by looking at all those mountains and from having some quiet time. I’m sure this concept is as foreign to you as it was to me! The best was getting home and being told, “Wow! Our baby/home/dog is a lot of work! Thank you for doing it all on a daily basis and I’m so glad you’re back!” I was glad to be back too. The break left me refreshed and feeling extra patient with everyone, myself included.
I also warned my husband that I’m probably going to need a weekend like this at least twice a year from now until oh forever.
The truth is that it’s hard, sometimes impossible, to carve out the time for ourselves. In my case, I was given the homework assignment from counseling to book a hotel room. She knew I might find a reason or excuse that someone needed me and I couldn’t go. She also know that if I did go, it would be really good for me, and for everyone I’m trying to take care of, day in and day out.
I was trying to figure out how we can organize big Mommy Retreats and we’d have to do a lot separately to make sure each mom was free to do what she desired. But we could also offer group meals for the times when we do want a little interaction with others. What do you think? Would you be as excited to sleep in a queen bed all to yourself as I was?