Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Escape to Mom Island

This week is Mental Health Awareness week. In an effort to create ongoing discussion and awareness of Mental Health throughout the month of May, my sister over at Champions for Community Wellness has created a blog challenge called #Blog4MH, and I have decided to participate. I wrote this post three years ago; however it continues to be relevant to me (and I believe other parents) today. How does it relate to Mental Health? I believe parenting is one of the most challenging adventures we can embark upon - and I believe supporting one another through the struggles, successes, and difficult days is critical to our own mental health. A girly drink doesn't hurt either ;) 

Escape to Mom Island

I love my children . . . they are kind, considerate, well mannered, and thoughtful little beings that genuinely love and care for others. Then they come home. And turn into demons. I'm not sure why, but sometimes I feel having me as a mother might have something to do with it.

These past few weeks have resulted in a full on desire to take a Mommy Vacation. Please don't misunderstand - it isn't that I don't want to be around my kids. I just want a short break from the responsibility of the day to day joy of raising them. Time to reflect on who I am as a person, who I want to be as a wife and mother, and for goodness sake, just get some sleep already!

The other day I got a text from my friend asking if I was at home. My response was something like this:

Sadly, I am. I would prefer to be relaxing poolside being served some yummy girly drinks by cute dudes in towels; however I am here instead.

Image from Shoeboxblog.com

And I was. Making Kraft Dinner and hot dogs for the third time that week. Listening to the kids fight about who used the markers last and let them all dry out, whining about why they were given a particular kind of juice box in their lunch, and complaining that their Dad wasn't home - you know, because I'm so mean.

Yes, on Mom Island (thanks for this term @FoodieandFamily), things will be different. Someone will be cooking for me - and Kraft Dinner, hot dogs, and fish sticks will NOT be on the menu. Someone will be serving me a beverage of my choice. I can lay by the pool in my bikini (ha! you're welcome for THAT visual!), read a book or drift off for a nap. When I return to my room, it will be clean and there will be little chocolates (wrapped of course) on my pillow to snack on while I indulge in some reality tv that is too inappropriate for my children to see.

The best part of all? It's Mom Island. There's a ton of other Mom's there to talk to, share experiences with, laugh, and embrace the joys of being a mother. We will celebrate our children, and the gifts they give us. We will express our thanks to our husbands/parents/friends for taking on the responsibility of caring for our children and making it possible for our little escape.

We will talk about our hopes, our dreams, our interests, our experiences. We will celebrate being women, our resilience, and our tenacity. We will renew friendships, and cultivate relationships with others who we have never met before. We will laugh, we will cry, and yes, we will miss our children a great deal. They are, after all, a huge part of our world.

And then, I will return home. Refreshed, refuelled, and ready to take on the next round of "Who Used That Marker Anyways?". Confident in my ability as a woman, wife, and mother. Secure in the knowledge that I am not alone on this journey - even though at times I may feel like it. And hopefully, the kids will have missed me - even if it is only just a little bit. Because I know I will have missed them to the moon and back.

Having the opportunity to be a Mom to my kids is the greatest gift I have ever been given. I am so very thankful each and every day that I was chosen to be their mother. It is my responsibility to be as healthy as I can be - both physically and emotionally - so I can be worthy of the honour of being their mother. Because a tired, stressed out, crabby mother is not the kind of woman I want to be - nor is it a woman they deserve.

I'm going to start planning a trip to Mommy Island soon. It probably won't turn out exactly like I have envisioned, but I'm ok with that - as long as hot dogs aren't on the menu. Anyone care to join me? I promise, I won't wear my bikini ;)

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