Happy Monday Mamas!
Happy Monday Mamas!
This Saturday I had the good fortune of attending the first Mama Retreat with eleven other wonderful women. We were met at the gorgeous Sheffield Cottage in Midlothian by Natalie Russell, owner of Fit4Mom Richmond, Alexandra Cenname, health coach and owner of Mama in the Makin' and Becca Campbell, owner of Little Z's Sleep Consulting.
(From L to R, Natalie Russell, Becca Campbell and Alex Cenname)
The morning started with Lamplighter coffee and a sweet potato breakfast bar. I love sweet potatoes as a savory dinner side, but I've never thought to have them as a sweet breakfast meal with almond butter, nuts and shredded coconut! After we ate and mingled, Alex showed us how to make these delicious apple "cookies". They were so good that I think my kids will forget that they're healthy.
Next, Natalie led us through a 45 minute workout. The weather was gorgeous and our beautiful surroundings made it a great place to get our sweat on. When we came back inside, we were offered a mimosa, fresh berries and more apple cookies. Becca took my order and brought me my drink. I didn't even need to leave my seat. It was so nice to feel pampered and cared for.
All three of my kids have really been struggling with their sleep lately, so I was psyched for Becca's better sleep info session that came next. She taught us the fundamentals of child sleep and the most important tools for bedtime and nap success. I came away with so many great ideas to improve my family's sleep, and newfound hope that our current sleep situation could get much better.
For lunch, we had delicious bowls from Cava, along with chocolate chip cookies for dessert. After we ate, we had time to ourselves to use as we wished. I honestly didn't know what to do with myself. Since having kids, how many of us get much time like that? They even brought in a masseuse from Alle Massage Delivery to give us head, neck and shoulder massages. I missed getting one because this shopaholic was busy browsing the beautiful handmade things at Gather, but I heard they were wonderful.
Gather is an amazing shop full of things you're guaranteed to covet. It's just up the road and owned by the same woman who owns the cottage, Melissa Carr. She also sells her one of a kind gifts at the Shops at 5807 on the West End. Sheffield cottage can be rented through Airbnb.
(Check out the beautiful space at Gather!)
After lunch, we got to pick Becca's brain, asking her all of our kid sleep questions. She was so kind and patient as I asked question after question. Serious sleep help is needed in the Sorkin house!
When Becca was finished imparting her sleep wisdom, Alex taught us all about the beauty of meal prepping and batch cooking. This is something I've been meaning to start doing for awhile, so it was great to hear all of her tips. She also taught us how to make chia pudding, which I was surprised to find I really enjoyed!
We ended the day feasting on healthy snacks (My favorites were the Justin's peanut butter cups.) and kefir water (Very refreshing!), and then had some serious stretching and meditation time outside with Natalie. I loved the beautiful piece of writing she shared on mom guilt and the importance of self-love. Before we left, they raffled off some great giveaways, and we all went home with folders full of information to help us simplify and improve our lives and swag bags full of great gifts.
(Relaxing and stretching on the deck with Natalie)
The gifts and pampering were amazing, but, for me, the best part of the day was talking to and learning from other moms. Being a mom can be a lonely business. Whether your child isn't meeting milestones like you think they should or you're feeling guilty about yelling at them for something unimportant, it's easy to feel like you're the only one who has issues. However, when moms get together and talk to each other, something amazing happens: We learn about the real moms behind the curtains of Instagram and Facebook. We learn that we're all imperfect. We all struggle. We all love our kids fiercely. Taking a day to acknowledge that, and to leave with a renewed sense of energy and purpose, is such a gift. It is a gift I wish for all of you. If you're sitting there reading this and thinking it's not for you, you don't have the time, or you don't deserve it, please shut that voice down!