Culture Shocks of Mama Breaks

Culture Shocks of Mama Breaks

One of my natural tendencies is to run away and hide, to tell myself I can’t deal with a situation and find a way to leave.  But… Over the years I’ve worked to stop running and instead, face the problem or conflict.  Yet, there’s still one area in my life where I need to run away sometimes: “Mama breaks”.  I’m not really hiding, but I’m getting away from the kids, from my house, from anybody else’s needs besides my own.  This last weekend was one of those beautiful breaks.  It was only a daytime event, but it was a break from mama identity and a great time to unwind and tap into myself.

It was luxurious.  I was with other women. I ate well. I was relaxed. I never felt hurried and no one asked me to do anything for them all day.  But…. Monday morning was a bit of a rude awakening.

Did you ever travel abroad? Or go spend an extended time in nature away from technology and cars and such?  When you returned was there an adjustment period?  This is commonly called culture shock.

That’s what I was experiencing Monday morning.  And as I reflected later that day, I realized that I go through that culture shock each time I get to take a “Mama Break”.  This shock can happen so fast, even during the walk around the block or the hour yoga class down the street, I get lost in myself for a little while and it’s hard to come back to the other realm of being mom.

What I’ve figured out is that this culture shock happens because I’m always a little different each time I return. I’ve gotten a mental break. I’ve looked at the world through different eyes. I’ve met new people and been exposed to new ideas.  And by taking this break, I’m happier.  Sometimes, it’s the stress that’s left my shoulders, other times it’s my playful nature that’s been activated.  No matter what, there’s more joy and connection to myself, but there’s also the reintegration that must happen.

After this weekend, what was different was my ability to observe my habitual reaction each time mornings get hard with my son.  I was able to notice my pattern in dealing with it (mind you I did not change anything in the moment, it was just observing)  but afterwards I could see what triggered me better.  I could see how my own reaction didn’t help the situation.  I then replayed the scene in my mind and tried out new and different ways to deal with his unique and creative ways to delay leaving the house.  And this felt great.  It felt so amazing because I was observing myself yet keeping my inner mama critic in check, and still being willing to acknowledge my own part in the struggle we’ve been having.

This little experience is something I hope to take further into my week and into my relationship with him.  And I know this insight comes from the pause, the break, and the quiet I received by taking my “Mama Break”.

My wish for you women, is to take a break. Whether it’s from the kids, or from work, or from your lover/partner, best friend, etc.  May you find quiet; find that new experience that takes you outside of your everyday life so that you can return to it more fully you.