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Mums Escape To The Seaside - Asking For What You Need!

I had a two-hour car journey ahead of me, a trip to the seaside on the east coast, in a lovely little town called Deal. Driving down, the Julia Donaldson audiobook got chucked on the backseat immediately, (sorry Julia but I have listened to your albeit wonderful stories on a loop for over 4 years now!) then I had a bit of silence (awww bliss….no snack requests or anxiety of someone about to have a danger nap) and just drove, occasionally looking out the window and having a little daydream. Then 30 minutes in I got bored, so I dusted off the CD holder (yes I kick it 'old school' with CDs) and picked out album’s I haven’t listened to in years!! I truly mean years…..putting them on and singing along (like a bit of a lunatic I have to admit) reminded me of myself, what music I liked to listen to, how I bloody love to sing out loud (horrendously badly obvs) but when you’re driving no one can hear or really see you can they?! Although a few times, I stopped at traffic lights and forgot – oops!

As I drove further away from home, I came back to myself more and more. Not to say that I haven’t thought about the girls constantly, they are always in the back of my mind but the distance between us, took a little of the weight off my shoulders, of the day-to-day “what are they going to wear today?”, “what’s for breakfast?”, “do they need sun cream today”! This ticker tape of to-do’s and questions going round and round and round in my head became quieter and quieter as I drove towards my destination and it felt good. By the time I had arrived, my mind was that little bit quieter and I had needed that soooooo much. My mind needed a reset.

I’m so proud of myself for doing this, for listening and realising how much I NEEDED THIS.

I woke up this morning, in bed on my own, I did still wake up at 5.45am (my body clock is just trained to wake early now!) but I thought you know what, good, I am going to soak up every second, minute and hour of these two days alone and live them all for Jenna for the past 4 years! The one who has craved solitude and some space, the Jenna who sat sleep deprived breastfeeding in the middle of the night, just thinking how relentless it all was and just wanting to pause for just a second so I could catch my breath.

I’m so lucky that where I’m staying is a one minute walk to the sea, so at 7am on my first morning, I dusted off my swimsuit and went for a swim. I mean, I say swim, I very much just floated around and it was pretty bloody cold at first, but oh it felt amazing! Once the shock of cold had subsided, I was mostly alone just floating around, listening to the waves, feeling the sun on my face and feeling so grateful, I couldn’t stop smiling.

But I’m now sat with a cuppa, warming back up and wondering why the fudge didn’t I do this sooner?! Why was it so hard for me to ask for what I needed? Why is it so hard to admit..”hey…I need a few days away from my children, by myself, to just recharge and do what I want to do”.

Motherhood should not be this sentence of once you meet your children that you now have to be this martyr and be with them all the time and constantly be of service. It doesn’t have to be that way but sometimes it feels like that doesn’t it?

I’m still very much in the early stages of my journey as a mum, 4 and half years in but I’m slowly realising and I’m going to quote my beloved Glennon Doyle….I want to be a Model not a Martyr! Given that I have two little girls, I really want them to see mummy going out there and living her best life and taking care of herself and asking for what she needs. I want to show them that when they become mothers, if they choose to, that they in turn can ask for what they need, as that’s how they were taught, by my actions and behaviour.

I promptly then got hit by some sort of a viral bug and spent the rest of the day in bed!! FFS! Not great timing, but I was still able to mope around and actually be ill, something we sometimes can’t be as a mother, let's face it! Normally if you’re ill, you’ve just got to try and power through best you can and continue to mother.

I told the owner of the cottage, where I’m staying, that I was feeling a bit under the weather and asked if I could have a late check out and she kindly offered me another nights stay free of charge! Amazing right?! But my immediate reaction was, "no I better get back", "I’ve already been away too long"! I’d fallen at the first hurdle…..

It was like the universe was testing me to see whether or not I was actually going to start walking the walk and continue to ask for what I needed. See, I was really disappointed that I had got poorly, I’d planned this trip for a while and to say it was needed was an understatement and I would of loved an extra night. But my first response was to just say no, I shouldn’t. I sat with this feeling for a bit and then called my husband (at home with my girls), I was nervous, I don’t even know why, as everyone was happy at home but I just felt like I was taking too much time for myself.

His response.... "yes of course, you should do that!" Easy as that, the simplest conversation. I almost didn’t get that extra night, something that I desperately needed, because of not asking for what I needed!

So what have I learned…. I’ve spent far too long not asking for what I need. I must continue, to take up more space and communicate my needs to those around me as it’s necessary to thrive in motherhood and I encourage anyone reading this to do the same.

I’d also love to hear of your solo adventures or any times you have stood up and asked for what you need.

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