So now that we have the tricky stuff out of the way:
What do you need to have a successful annual mummy sabbatical?
1. A partner, who is in agreement, can see the benefits, and supports somewhere between you 70-100%.
2. A reliable quality sitter or here’s a though - the partner can do it if they are present.
3. A destination
4. A time-frame
5. A few of your favourite things
6. A sense of freedom. Oh, and leave the guilt at home.
Tips to ensure you have the best Mummy retreat:
• Plan ahead of time
• Have a backup plan in case things happen
• Leave guilt at home
• Try and be in the present, and enjoy the moments. Try not to pine for the children too much.
• Surround yourself with people or things that make you feel good about yourself.
Ideas of what to do on a Mummy Retreat:
• Visit a friend’s place or Ryan Gosling.
• Go to a resort if you can afford it
• Go camping - take the Kombi Van out
• Stay with a relative you like
• Get on a plane and leave town
• Challenge yourself at a retreat like a silent retreat.
• Volunteer in a community (doing something you like) - somewhere where nobody knows you.
• Go to a hotel, and read books or watch movies.
Once I settled with myself that I wasn't going to take on other people’s judgements of me, then what really mattered is that it worked for my family and made me a better person. Then I thought to hell with it. Next year I'm going to New York for a whole two weeks, and I did.
When I returned to my family, they are happy to see me. I am happy to see them. I can see things more clearly, and lo and behold the earth didn't end with my absence. Best of all I’m ready to love another day being the best parent I can be, and I am already looking forward to planning next year’s mummy sabbatical.