Remember saying to your friend the other day “I need a break”? Well I took that break this weekend, and let me tell you it was amazing. As a new mum we constantly sacrifice our physical and mental state for everyone in the house but ourselves. We are on auto pilot for the first couple of months/years of being a new parent and it is just instilled in us to make everyone else a priority. This brings me to a saying I hear often “You can’t pour from an empty cup”, basically meaning you can not sufficiently look after any one else, or make them happy, if you are not happy yourself. Last weekend I organised a getaway with 2 other mums I have met via mummy forums that I now call my friends, and we went off to enjoy 3 days and 2 nights of guilt free ME TIME! We packed our bags and headed off on the gorgeous, scenic 1.5hr drive to Amarant Retreat in the Yarra Ranges of Victoria.
I stupidly packed makeup and a dress, which came back in the same condition they were in when I packed them. It was so wonderful to be able to just relax and focus on myself the whole time we were away. Upon arrival we were greeted by our lovely host Vikki and shown to our rooms. The girls, Georgia and Mandi, had arrived before me and were already enjoying a cup of tea in front of the fireplace that overlooked the magical rainforest below. Our room had three beds and seeing as I came last I was banished up the ladder to the nook. In all honesty I was the winner, I had privacy and hot air rises. So other than the stink from their gases, I had the warmest spot in the room. I’m kidding they weren’t gassy (just the last night from all the detoxing and lentils). Now, I’m not sure if it was the fact that I had the bed to myself, no toddlers crawling over me and no snoring husband, but it felt like the most comfortable bed I had ever slept in. This might sound crazy and unimportant to you but the linen smelled so clean too! You know sometimes you go away and they smell like mothballs from the linen closet? The entire house was just so clean and WARM! Fireplaces roaring in multiple rooms and in floor heating in some of the rooms meant I was completely toasty.
We had a gorgeous little welcome tray of goodies on our beds, which was completely unexpected. It included gorgeous samples and full-sized gifts from beautiful small businesses, mainly owned by women entrepreneurs. Not sure if this is something that changes month to month or not but it was a nice little added extra.
Once we had all arrived we convened in the yoga studio for the ‘welcome circle’. Twelve women sat on sweet little round cushions, around a cloth mandala that had dried rose petals and rose quartz crystals strewn on in it. We were given a notebook and told to write down a few things at various points throughout the activity, but we went around the circle and introduced ourselves. We spoke about who we are, what brought us here and what we wanted to gain from the retreat. I think my answer was something like “I’m looking forward to no one touching me for the next three days”. The funny thing is, they all looked and nodded an amen almost. I wasn’t judged, they didn’t really laugh and everyone just understood. That really set the tone for the next couple of days. Throughout all the activities some people opted out and others participated in, they shared really deep and meaningful things too, which had me in tears at least 7 times throughout the retreat.
Then we had dinner, delicious vegetarian organic meals cooked by personal chef with locally sourced produce for us to enjoy. How amazing does food taste when you don’t have to cook it? I’m not vegetarian but honestly these meals were so different and delicious, there was nothing left on our plates at the end of every meal. My favourite by far were the desserts, the caramel slice on the last day, drool. The wine was also amazing and definitely in abundance.
That first night was so great to get to know the other women and how different we all were, but all with the common goal of taking some Me Time and being selfish for a change. Some were single mothers, some had older children and some had babies under one.
There was a range of different activities available and you could do them all or just choose to sit on the couch and read a book if that’s what you felt like. I only skipped the second yoga class on the Sunday morning because I had chosen to stay up until 2am with my new friend Sabina drinking wine and pretending to know how to read tarot cards for each other and giggling the whole time. She made it to yoga (and also got most of the glares from the others who could hear us from their room…. oops) but I chose to have a sleep in, how great is sleep? Most of the activities were relaxing, meditation etc. and a few other classes on things I had never even heard of, all with the common goal being stress relief.
All the toiletries were Grown Alchemist range of botanical shampoo, conditioner + soaps. I would have loved to take them but they were full-sized bottles and I’m not a kleptomaniac. There was ultra violet rain water + a range of organic teas for us to help ourselves to at all times and amazing sunken lounges with fireplaces as well as outdoor balconies with amazing views. I think my favourite was definitely the Celestial yoga room overlooking the valley. The decor, heated flooring and divine wall and ceiling windows made me feel completely zen.
You can choose to go alone and get a single room or speak to Vikki and she can put you into a room with other mums who are happy to share. The rooms are quite spacious so you definitely don’t need to spoon at night in the same bed if that’s what you imagined. You are free to leave at any time, so if you need to head back Sunday morning before the closing circle or arrive late on the Friday night, that is also completely fine. One thing you can rely on is that by the end of the retreat you will have made at least 5 new friends (if you want).
Head to METreat’s page for more information https://www.metreatretreats.com or leave me your questions in the comments below and I will answer them all. There is another retreat coming up at Amarant, which is where I went, on 10-12th of August so get in quick if you are interested as the spots are limited and sell out pretty quickly. Honestly it was such good value for money, I have spent more just for my hotel in Sydney a few months ago. This includes all your food and drinks, wine, 2 yoga classes, 2 meditation classes and so much more. It also includes sanity rejuvenation which you cannot put a price on.
I came home to my kids feeling pampered, energized and completely rejuvenated. My husband commented how much happier I seemed and wanted to know everything we did, but I just smiled and said, “hmmmm, yeah the food was good and lots of fresh air”, then went off to pack the load of washing that had been hanging there from Friday afternoon before I left. He was a great mum for the weekend though.
Thanks for reading, love from a very rested and zen Zoe. xoxo