'Mums Only' Weekend Escapes

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Do you ever feel the need to just get away from it all? To have a break from the kids, the housework, and to just be yourself for a few days? With, of course, the goal being to recharge and return a happier and more patient mummy?

You know that feeling of freedom, when you get when you go to the shops on your own for a couple of hours, even if it’s just to do the groceries? Or those rare occasions when you have a few minutes to yourself when the kids’ day sleeps overlap?

Imagine an entire weekend (or the equivalent of 378 episodes of Peppa Pig) to yourself.

Twelve years ago, I arranged my first (of many) ‘Mums Only’ Weekend Escapes. My daughter was 12 months old at the time, and whilst our days were busy with swimming lessons, mothers group and play dates, I found the days were all blending into one. I needed ‘time out’. I needed something to look forward to. Plus, I wanted to help other mothers who were feeling the same way.

I wanted to find a house that was:

  • Location – within a 90-minute drive from home (Wahroonga)
  • Accommodation – slept 6-8 people (must have own bed). Single or queen, it didn’t matter. Just to not share with a toddler was going to be bliss.
  • Budget – the cost of the weekend needed to be affordable for everyone. This weekend away was about recharging and relaxing, not so much about decadent pampering.

After a bit of online research, I found the perfect place for a winter escape. It was a beautifully converted old chapel and adjacent stables at Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains. There was an open fire place, soft fluffy towels and all beds had electric blankets. Plus, lots of extras like board games, a piano and a selection of DVDs.

Fishing at eight months pregnant

To keep the costs down, we took our own food. Not a vegemite sandwich in sight! Just plenty of brie, pate, smoked salmon and chocolate. Dinner was roast lamb. Do you know how easy it is to cook a roast dinner with no kids under your feet? Breakfast was bacon, eggs and croissants (of course).

The total cost for the weekend was just $80 per person! Cheap? Yes, but it needed to be so all could attend without feeling financially challenged.

So, who were the eight mums who accepted the invitation to escape? They were a bunch of amazing mums who I had met through various activities, from antenatal classes, mother’s group and swimming lessons. Really, they were just ‘randoms’. Were there any issues with everyone getting on and having fun? Absolutely not. Rule #1 – this was your escape – do whatever you want. Sleep, read (there were plenty of trashy magazine), chat, bush walk etc.

A couple of surprises during the weekend;

  1. Welsh mum Cathy went to Girl Guides as a little girl. Lucky, as starting the log fire was her forte!
  2. There was only one argument during the weekend – whether we should buy six or twelve scones from Bakery Patisserie Schwarz.
  3. There was plenty of alcohol (whites, reds, Baileys etc), yet we all went to bed at 9pm!

Over the years, I have organised about ten Mums Only Weekend Escapes. The group changes. Some move interstate or overseas, some have more babies or simply can’t get away that weekend.

My next Mums Only Weekend Escape in November has a small twist. It is a weekend and a ‘couple’ of days. Oh, and it is to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! Who can say no to $99 airfares? A spot of shopping is planned. Until my next blog about KL on a budget… happy escaping… and returning to your precious family.

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