Mom’s Retreat


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I’ve been thinking that it would be wise to institute what I’ve done in the past, but that I don’t do with enough regularity: a Mom Retreat. Truthfully, what I’ve done in the past probably can’t legitimately be called a mom’s retreat as much as simply a planning session.

mom's retreat

I try to have a planning session sometime during the summer for the following school year. Typically, I’m able to do this on the weekend of the curriculum fair when my wonderful husband takes the kids to his parents’ house for the weekend. I gather a legal pad and my planner (and, from now on, my laptop!) and take myself out for lunch at Panera Bread. (I like Panera Bread because it’s “grown up” fast food — I can place my order, take my food and be alone with no servers stopping by my table wondering when I’m going to leave…not to mention their sweet tea or free Wi-Fi.)

There, I can sit and really think about the direction I want our school year to take, brainstorming what worked and what didn’t the previous year. I can explore what made some things a success and others not so much. I can spend time thinking and praying about my goals for each child as well as considering what activities we might want to get involved with. I can get tentative schedules down and think about what a successful routine might look like for us for the upcoming year. I also enjoy reading homeschooling books for ideas and inspiration.

I guess that’s actually quite different than what I’d envision my mom’s retreat to look like, though the benefits of a regular planning session are many. The place for a “retreat” might be the same and it might still involve my laptop, but it would be more “me” time — time to read my email, catch up on some blogs or do my own blogging without guilt or interruption, which would mean leaving the cell phone at home or only answering calls from my husband (after asking him very nicely to please only call if he really has to). It might also simply involve a book that I’ve been wanting to read — there are four or five sitting on my nightstand right now.

I’ve also heard some moms speak of taking their Bible and some inspirational reading and spending a night or two in a hotel alone with God. That sounds really nice, too, but probably more difficult to plan.

I know that Crystal, of Money Saving Mom fame, has posted about taking some time each Saturday morning for coffee and planning.

All of these ideas are simply a different approach to the same basic idea — having some time, on a regular basis, to get away from the responsibilities and interruptions of home to plan, focus and rejuvenate.

I know that it’s often difficult for me to get away on my own — either due to scheduling conflicts or simply just guilt about taking the time. However, I think it’s important that we moms take time for ourselves on a regular basis, be it weekly, monthly, or every other week (I don’t think my once a year plan is as effective as it could be! lol). As Veronica Maria mentioned, in her comments on Tiffani’s post, this time away for us moms is also a good chance for the dads to spend some quality time with the kids.

What if you’re a single mom? I would suggest arranging child care with a relative or even arranging with another mom to alternate child care. I know that there are several relatives and friends that my kids love to stay with, so they would probably enjoy this time away as much as Mom.

While I love our homeschool group’s monthly mom’s night out, I think I could equally enjoy just getting off by myself for a couple of hours once or twice a month.

What about you? Do you do anything like this? What do you enjoy doing during your time away?

photo credit sarah gilbert on flickr

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8 Comments

  1. Wow! Is that 5 blog posts in 1 day?! All that sweet tea must’ve kept you awake last night! lol! I think you really need to start on that fiction. I would definitely read it! I enjoyed talking with you last night!

  2. Hi – I am just reading your blog for the first time. It’s great! I too benefit from some time away and I think I am overdue for some to be honest. Sometimes, I will just go to the bookstore and wander around with a cup of tea. Other times I bring my books and either go to the library or a coffee shop and plan and think. Your post made me realize I need to take some “mom time” more often. 🙂

  3. I do not take nearly enough. My ideal time would likely be at the bookstore, aimlessly wandering about with my hazelnut latte, or cozying up in a chair somewhere to read a great book.

  4. I need to plan some time like that. I always end up doing my planning at like midnight on Saturday or Sunday night. No fun!

  5. I go on a yearly scrapbooking retreat at a local campground, they have a Vantine’s special during Feb, so several women only get together and scrap all weekend, it is great, we stay up too late, eat too much chocolate and talk!

  6. Taking time for planning should not be considered a luxury, but a necessity. Without careful planning, everything goes wrong. Being a homeschool mom is not only hands-on, but also brains-on, and that requires alone time.

  7. What about a retreat for the single mom who DOESN”T have any relatives to watch her kids (and who has a special needs child on top of that?) How does a mom like that EVER get time away? Having a special needs child along with two others means that I must pay for TWO sitters every time i want to go out, just in case the one child becomes overstimulated and needs to be given one on one time to calm down. Single mom, fixed income – paying for two sitters is a stretch, and lately, even finding two sitters is harder still. I keep seeing ads for all these homeschool retreats and mom retreats, but every single one of them assumes that every mom will be able to find someone to watch their kids while they attend. Isn’t there something out there for moms that provides childcare as a part of the registration fee? Honestly, I have friends who would pay for me to attend a retreat but who would not be able to babysit my kids so I could attend.

    1. I wish I had a good answer for you, but, honestly, I’ve never been in that position. I know that some conventions like Great Homeschool Conventions do have activities for kids that are kind of an all-day, drop-off thing for an additional fee. You might check out the Special Needs Homeschooling page on Facebook. Some of the moms there might have some ideas. I hope that helps!

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