This weekend marked a new experience for me – my very first ‘Staycation’. For those who aren’t familiar with the term it quite simply means you have a vacation but you stay close to the home.
When you’re a parent sometimes you just need to check out of reality and escape to a place of bliss and relaxation. Going away isn’t always an option so why not take advantage of what your home town has to offer?
My staycation was spent primarily at the Vibe Hotel near Canberra Airport and I spent my time with one of my very favourite people, my best friend Bec. Now let me preface this post by saying that I was not sponsored by anyone or anything mentioned (totally my loss!) everything I say is my honest opinion.
When we arrived we were greeted warmly by the reception staff and they were quick to get us checked in. Thank goodness, we were obviously exhausted after our long journey (a 20 minute drive)! We were presented with two room key cards, a bottle of wine, and our parking ticket (parking was an extra $14 which is a bit of a bummer when you’re already paying for the room, but that was a tiny tiny negative that would soon be well and truly outweighed by the positive).
After we finished checking-in we took a moment to fully appreciate the stunning architecture and interior design work that surrounded us. I don’t think a hotel has ever blown me away quite like Vibe did. I mean, I have a sore neck from looking up in awe for so long!
We may have gone a little crazy with the camera, but we were power-hungry with no children demanding that we ‘take a photo of me mummy’. That, and everything was so incredible that we just wanted to soak it up and make those memories.
The first thing we did when we entered our room was run around like giddy teenagers. There were selfies, bed-dives, and toilet breaks without a single child handing us toilet paper. The room was incredible. The beds were inviting and super comfortable, the shower head could convince me to leave my husband and run away with it, and the view of the airport was awesome – and we did not hear a single airplane the whole time we were there so the sound-proofing worked perfectly!
I will say though, as beautiful as the bathroom was, the half-wall made it a little awkward at times. My friend isn’t obligated to put up with my post-childbirth, post-weightloss, melted-human candle body like my husband is. I’m sure she saw more than she bargained for.
After the reality of being alone (read: child and husband free) had sunk in we got changed and made our way to the gym. Oh my giddy aunt, I would spend all my time in the gym if it was that one. For the most part we had it to ourselves, and we took advantage of it, trying out all the machines, enjoying the view, and taking even more selfies because there were skinny mirrors everywhere. No Target mirrors at Vibe!
After we were finished doing the grown-up thing by working out we took the obvious next steps – showered, changed, and stuffed our faces with burgers at Treehouse. And I mean stuffed, they were huge. And delicious. It’s one of those meals that make me wish I could temporarily reverse the gastric sleeve surgery because it was just so delicious that I wanted to keep eating it! I don’t think Bec was hating the wine either, considering how quickly two glasses went down!
When we had sufficiently stuffed our faces (no really, I got the hiccups because I ate too much), we made our way back to Vibe and stopped in at the incredible bar on the ground floor. A knowledgeable, friendly, and extremely helpful gentleman by the name Pawan served us, and while Pawan and Bec talked wine I succeeded in downing the first of (too) many perfectly mixed vodka and OJ’s – my first drink in four years (thanks to pregnancy and breastfeeding)!
We honestly had absolutely no bad experiences when it came to customer service at Vibe. The staff were all super friendly, and efficient, and they knew what they were talking about. Even the room-service staff that delivered more drinks and a scrumptious Affetatti Plate to us later in the evening, a young lady who I affectionately nicknamed ‘Non-Steve’ (I was three drinks in, sorry!) was so lovely that I wish I had grabbed her real name! She was fantastic! We just can’t fault anyone!
The rest of the night was spent in our room where each of us were treated to a luxurious massage with the smooth sound of Michael Buble in the background, and then we channelled Shrek in our avocado and oat face masks. We even threw in some drunk yoga for kicks! Add-in a good old fashioned D&M and our evening was complete, and absolutely perfect.
The next morning after a quiet coffee in bed we ventured down to the buffet and let the amazing food wash away all the fuzzy feeling from too many drinks.
I sat and contemplated the incredible healing that the weekend had performed. Every parent deserves a break from the norm. A time to reflect, and relax, and rejuvenate. A time to act like a teenager with no responsibilities, a time to drink a little too much, a time to talk about the things that really matter, and a time to completely switch off.
A time to truly be themselves, and to have that be enough, because they don’t need to be what anyone else needs them to be.
A luxury resort in a faraway land may not always be an option, but luxury can be found close to home, so try a staycation and melt away in the moments.
I wake up. My first thought is about how horribly real the dream I had of one of my kids or my husband dying was. Nearly every morning.
Every one is fine. It was just a dream.
I lay there with my eyes closed for a few minutes waiting for the dream to fade and listening carefully for the voice of the person I dreamt about.
See, he’s fine. It’s ok. Up you get.
I finally face the day usually being attacked by my three little boys (3, 2, and 10 months) as I walk out. They start fighting over who gets me first and I consider going back to bed and trying again tomorrow.
Then I remember we have to leave the house. This is where it really goes downhill.
Ok, it’s a morning out. I can do this. Maybe I should just leave four hours early so hubby can help me get them into the car. Surely we can just drive around for four hours, right? No. Can’t do that. Maybe I should just cancel.
I think about the fact that I need to find them all clothes by digging through mount Foldmore (created because I simply don’t have the patience to refold every item of clothing ten times a day after the children throw it all out of the drawers).
Can’t they just go in their pj’s? Is it going to be warm or cold maybe I should pack both options, then I’ve got spares just in case. Oh gosh I can’t find any pants for bub. He can get away with these 0000’s right? No, they’d look like Kylie Minogue’s hotpants. Can’t do that. Maybe I should just cancel.
Then I need to make sure I’ve got all the bottles sterilised and packed, as well as formula. I need to get myself ready while they try to climb over me or ‘help’ me brush my teeth. I need to make sure I’m timing everything right for the little man’s bottles and the bigger boys morning tea/lunch/afternoon tea.
Will they need it all? Will we be home? What can I pack? We have no food. Can I buy them something? Not with $3 I can’t. What will I do? This is too hard. Maybe I should just cancel.
I finally get their food organised and start to register that I’m going to have to get their shoes on in a minute. I’m also very aware that I’m getting them ready way too early, which always leads to them whinging because they want to leave immediately. I manage to find them all mismatched socks and put their shoes on the wrong feet, put them back on the right feet, then realise the middle one is wearing his big brothers shoes. Oops. Fix that.
This is all just too much. Of course I put the wrong shoes on. God, so typically me. Why can’t I just be more organised. Every other mother seems to have her life together, why can’t I? Do we even still have the pair to this shoe? I don’t remember seeing it. This is ridiculous. I can’t do this. Maybe I should just cancel.
Then the big one has an accident.
Breathe. Breathe. He’s still little. You should have reminded him, it’s your fault not his. Stop yelling, you’re being ridiculous. Just deal with it. Reassure him that it’s ok, that you aren’t cross. Why are you still yelling? You can hear yourself. You can hear how horrible you sound. Please, please stop.
I give the little man a hug and tell him I’m sorry for yelling, and that everything is ok, accidents happen. He smiles and goes back to playing.
You’re a mess. You’ve lost it. These poor kids deserve better.
Just walk away.
Don’t leave them alone.
Just go outside for a minute, collect yourself.
No don’t do that you can’t leave them.
You have to go out for a minute.
What do I do? I am failing. I’m not cut out for this. It’s too much. I should just cancel. But then I’m letting them down, they’re going to hate me. Maybe they’ll understand. What do I say? I can’t just say ‘sorry can’t make it, anxiety won today’.
I send a message. ‘Hey, I’m so sorry to cancel, but we’re having a rough day. Can we reschedule?’
Note to self: Actually follow through with the reschedule. It’ll be another day, a fresh start. For goodness sakes, stop lying to yourself. Don’t commit to anything. They haven’t replied yet. Please be understanding. Please, I can’t handle any more today. It’s fine, they’ll totally get it. They’ll be totally fine. OK, it’s all good.
My phone notifies me of a message. It reads ‘That’s pretty disappointing. I was counting on you. Don’t worry about rescheduling.’