It’s hard to believe, but school will be out soon. While I love having my kids home more, I also know I’ll go crazy if we don’t have any plans. The phrase, “Mom, I’m bored,” strikes terror in my heart. So I’ve signed them up for a few camps.
My Mom Taxi will be on the go as I transport children to dance camp, art camp, overnight Christian camp, VBS, and grandma camp. We’ll also become regulars at the library’s mid-week storytime, when the summer reading program kicks into full swing.
And with our sweltering Georgia summers, I’ll be around water as much as possible. For our family, this means we buy a three-month family pass to the city pool — and we never turn down invitations from friends who bravely invite us to swim at their private pools.
During all this summer planning, I let myself daydream for a minute. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a summer camp for moms? Ah … Mommy Camp. What would that be like?
First of all, we wouldn’t have to do anything if we didn’t want to. This is a camp where all activities are optional. If we’re totally exhausted, we can keep the curtains closed and just sleep in. Of course, the rooms are luxurious, with whirlpool tubs and the softest sheets imaginable.
After a day or two of sleeping in (interrupted only by room service bringing us gourmet meals), we might be recovered a bit. We’d then begin to dine together on a balcony overlooking the sea and mountains. Soft breezes would gently flow around us, keeping us cool. The balmy salt air would moisturize our skin, so that we’d begin to look and feel like teenagers again.
We’d meet together a few times to listen to a motivational speaker tell us how wonderful we moms (and grandmoms) are, how difficult yet important the role of mothering is, and how much the next generation is blessed by us. After that, we’d be set free to do whatever we wanted.
Some of us would change into hiking clothes and trek up the mountain, led by an entertaining guide who regales us with witty stories about our natural surroundings. Others of us would change into swimsuits and grab the novel we never have time to read and go lie out in the sun by the sea. We’d alternate between sleeping and reading — with no worries about keeping our eye on small, wandering children.
Later in the afternoon, a private fitness coach would meet with us and give us an individual workout, targeting our problem areas. Then we would be offered a full spa treatment — including body massage, facial, pedicure, and anything else we liked.
At some point during this camp, which lasts at least two weeks, we’d receive a complete makeover: new hairstyle, makeup, and an entire wardrobe!
To ensure that we had plenty of time to relax, we would only check email or answer our cell phones once a day, for an hour or less. Everyone would KNOW that Mommy is at Mommy Camp and needs some time to rest.
Oh yes, and this camp would be completely free of charge! It would be paid for by advertisers who provide us with the food, spa treatments, and makeovers — hoping that we’ll enjoy their products so much we’ll tell others about them. (No pressure, of course.)
Would you care to join me at Mommy Camp? I think, after two weeks, our batteries would be recharged to jump back into hectic daily living. And we’d always have that mental oasis in our minds — a place to retreat during our stress.
Seriously, where do you go when you’re feeling overwhelmed? Here’s where I’ve found the most peace: from the words of Jesus, who says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Christ longs to have a relationship with us if we’ll trust Him — and let Him carry our heavy motherload.
(c) Heather Ivester
This column was originally published in the April 2007 issue of West Georgia Ladies & Men magazine.