Recently, my friend and I went away for a night to celebrate her 40th birthday. We are both busy mums, she has 3 teens and I have 4 girls, from 10 -16 years of age. My youngest, Brielle, has multiple disabilities and complex needs due to being born very prematurely.
With all the craziness of the past year and a half, COVID-19, all the lockdowns and time at home, this was my very first hotel break in absolutely AGES!! And boy did I need the break from the kids (and hubby LOL!). It really does the soul, and body, so much good to get away from everything- even if only for about 28 hours!
It was a little taste of heaven.
We booked a very lovely spa hotel on the seafront, complete with our evening meal, breakfast and massage in the morning. A proper pampering girlie getaway! We made use of the swimming pool and spa area (hot tub, steam room and sauna) both the evening of our stay and the following morning before our massages. What a treat to swim laps in a pool- like I actually cannot remember the last time I did that! I’m usually holding a big 10 year old on my hip in the water so no chance of actually swimming. It was a little taste of heaven, do laps and just completely letting my hair down, not worrying about dinner time and everyone else’s needs.
I’m realising, the older Brielle gets, how vital it is to still make time for self-care, to just be me- Becca. Not Brielle’s mum, her carer. To do things I enjoy too, not for any other reason than to relax and have fun.
To step away from giving, from caring, from doing all the time.
And trust me Brielle is intense - she’s a sweetie but also a monkey! Temper tantrums and meltdowns have become commonplace. She requires 1:1 care - help with peg-feeding, toileting, mobility, communication, pretty much everything, all the time…
A bonus for me was I didn’t feel too guilty about leaving the kids because Brielle had an overnight at respite - which is really LOVES- so Ian and the girls didn’t have to mind her. Funny how I would worry or feel guilty if that was the case- even though she’s equally Ian’s responsibility, I always take the majority of the load. The older teens are pretty self-sufficient so they had a chilled takeaway night with Dad. I booked our night away when I knew her respite date so worked out so well.
If you haven’t in a while, or ever, I highly recommend a night away to unwind and just do things you enjoy if you get a chance over the summer- you won’t regret it! Carers need to care for themselves once in awhile too.