It was 20 years ago that I began a September ritual that has saved my life, saved my sanity. This message is for the moms out there of school aged kids. 

So, summer is over. It’s been weird, it’s been fun and likely it’s been a bit exhausting. You might have been shifting kids back and forth to summer day camps. Maybe you had a list of things that would be super fun to do and some of them happened, but likely some of them didn’t (hello Covid), which can leave some disappointment.

And then as August rolled along, there were things to sort out – new school routines and extra-curricular activities. Things to get registered for, organize, consider, afford, and juggle. Add Covid to this list and I’m exhausted just writing it. 

Twenty years ago, I had a daughter in grade three and a three-year old son. I ran a thriving landscape architectural practise and lived in a country cottage/house. I was indeed very blessed, but I was also very stressed. Without getting into the details, I had a ‘bit of a broken moment’ where it became abundantly clear that I needed a break from it all. I was juggling too much!! 

And so, began my September ritual. Mid to late September, I would go away for a weekend, by myself, with no family or friends. Just me, some yummy treats, comfy clothes and a good book. I would find a place that was quiet, where I could totally relax and do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. It was blissful and healing. Often the weather was still nice and places less busy.  

The timing of this self-care escape is key. By the third week in September, kids are somewhat settled in school. Some of the extra-curricular activities have begun. Things are starting to get into a bit of a routine. 

Believe me, knowing have a weekend coming up totally to yourself is a bright light in the tunnel. I can recall many times when I would be exhausted wandering store aisles looking for the perfect whatever or on-line or on the phone trying to sort out soccer, piano, my kids life, family life, when all of sudden I would remember – woohoo, only __ more sleeps until it’s my time! The bright light in the tunnel. 

As a memory collector, one of the things that I love to hear about are traditions that people have for themselves or their families. This is definitely one of my traditions and I cherish it. Taking this time has saved my sanity. 

You definitely deserve time totally to yourself. Maybe you would be tempted to take a friend but having to coordinate with absolutely no one is truly a wonderful thing. Go with a friend another time but that time to yourself in September is yours alone.

After a few years of bouncing around to different places, I eventually settled my September time at Yellow Point Lodge. You know even though my kids don’t live at home anymore I still go away at this time of year. I’ve been lucky over the years to work with the team at this incredible lodge. 

It’s so wonderful to have traditions to look forward to. Do you have an annual self-care tradition for yourself? I feel like this is a Public Service Announcement. Please do share this with any of the moms in your life. Again, add Covid to all this and it’s a recipe for big stress. You need a light in your tunnel. You deserve it.

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