My life as a mother is pretty easy right now. My children are grown and pursuing their independent interests. They still live at home but less and less are they needing my help with much of anything at all. We are developing different ways of relating – having lots of fun, but spending great amounts of time not being together.
This past week, I went on a two day retreat to The 3 Bears Bed and Breakfast in the country, to celebrate my my friend’s 60th birthday. While I was there, completely removed from my normal domestic routine, I found myself realizing how unusual it is for me (even now) to focus on my own needs, before first considering those of my girls.
This is a necessary habit we parents form when our children are infants. For a time, our baby’s needs simply must come before anything else. But most of us hang on to the habit long after it is really necessary and get further and further away from asking ourselves what we need or want or desire. Rather, we throw ourselves into accommodating our children’s needs, sometimes to the point of living vicariously through their successes and achievements.
That could be the reason why some parents take it so hard when their children grow up and take a different path than they had hoped for them. – But I digress.
If we, parents, can learn to take time for ourselves on a regular basis – time with friends (or even alone) to refresh and renew our energy – we have more to give our children when we are with them, and more of ourselves left intact, when our children no longer need our constant care.
By the way… if you live in southern Ontario, I highly recommend a get-away to The (Amazing) 3 Bears Bed and Breakfast near Elora and Fergus. http://www.the3bears.com/ . You will sleep well, you will eat well…it’ll be juuusssttt right!
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Tags: relaxation, retreat