Why Moms Need A Retreat Routine

By April 10, 2011Get Inspired

(I’ve written about retreats before, but I think it’s such an important aspect of being a healthy, whole, intentional mom that I decided to rewrite and expand on some previous posts I’ve written on the subject.)

credit: sackerman519

A Favorite Quote…

    “A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” — Tenneva Jordan

Mother’s give. It’s what we do. More often than not, we give to everyone else before ourselves. We say yes to everything and everyone else’s needs before we tend to our own.

We get rundown, overwhelmed, exhausted and unfocused.

We get discouraged, depressed and frustrated. And we don’t know how to dig our way out of the hole we find ourselves in.

Sound familiar? Maybe you’ve been there or maybe you are there.

Martyr Is Not Spelled M-O-M.

Your body is smart.

It knows what you need and will make sure we get rest one way or the other. If you don’t choose to rest, your body will choose for you and you’ll get sick or emotionally exhausted and let your responsibilities pile up while you zone, eat mint chocolate chip ice cream, watch House Hunters International marathons and waste away the day dreaming of living on the French Riviera.

Hypothetically, of course.

This is why it is vital that retreats become a part of our routine.

Maybe you’re Maximizing Your Mornings. Maybe you’ve created a Mission Statement. Maybe your to do lists are at your mercy and last night you ate dinner on your baseboards because they’re Just. That. Clean.

Rock on.

Or maybe, like we all do sometimes, you feel hopelessly behind. Maybe you wonder how anyone has the time to do all this planning and deep thinking.

This next series is just for you.

Why And How To Create A Retreat Routine

We are going to talk about how to take and find time for daily, weekly and yearly retreats. We’ll also discuss how to use them to their fullest (to get refreshed, envisioned and create plans that will free up time in day to day life).

Action Time

Where are you? Are you feeling rested and focused or rundown and overwhelmed?

Do you need a retreat?

Action Step: Make a list of 5 things that refresh you.

Leave a Comment



  • Laura says:

    YES. This is so important. Here are my five:
    1. Writing
    2. Photography
    3. Concerts
    4. Nature Walks
    5. Showers

  • Mandy says:

    My five:
    1. Coffee
    2. The ocean on a cloudy day
    3. Flowers
    4. Seeing something new
    5. Napping in the hammock

  • I loved the quote you started with! And it is SO important that we take regular retreats, even if they are mini-retreats!
    I would absolutely love to go where that picture was taken!

  • Sign me up! Where are we going? Tahiti? The Bahamas? How about Pago Pago?

    Okay five things that refresh me…

    1) Swimming
    2) Running
    3) Horseback riding
    4) Quality time with my Hunny Bear
    5) Writing

  • Jennifer says:

    My five:
    1. reading
    2. walking outside
    3. cooking something new
    4. time with my husband
    5. a fun movie

  • Not rundown but definitely overwhelmed. Need this, thank you!
    Feeling refreshed:
    1. Chat with one other lady and prayer at the end
    2. Being away from my house and out in nature
    3. Reading top quality fiction
    4. Crocheting or sewing or writing for fun
    5. Taking vitamins and studying the Bible with others (yes, connected)
    Hey, maybe I can do one of these every day!

  • Christin says:

    Strangely enough, I spent 4 hours at Starbucks yesterday by myself. Four hours. I spent the entirety of that time lesson planning for the next 3 months of our school year.
    While it was nice to get this done undistracted, I didn’t exactly leave feeling refreshed. Even I can’t explain why. Maybe because I was still “working”. I don’t know. Like I said, it was awesome to have gotten that work done. But I am still struggling with feeling overwhelmed with too much to do and yet feeling like I’m not making ANY ground whatsoever.
    I totally agree with the retreats. Totally.
    Five things that refresh me?
    1. Spending time in the Word (it seriously does refresh me)
    2. Coffee (I have it in the morning and at night once the children are in bed. It relaxes me.)
    3. Writing
    4. Getting out of the house—alone. (I’m such an introvert).
    5. Getting out of the house–with friends (the encouragement is irreplaceable)

    • Kat says:

      I understand. I’ve had “retreats” like that too. Sometimes we need to take retreats from our own productivity in order to feel refreshed.

  • Erika says:

    Is it bad that I had to put thought into this?
    Here are my five:
    1. Being outside, with or without my children
    2. Getting a good nights sleep
    3. Date night with my husband
    4. Time with my Christian girlfriends
    5. A clean, organized home

  • Haley says:

    Definitely need this. I am feeling very overwhelmed and exhausted these days. My newest little bundle of joy is completely wearing me out. 🙁

  • Katy says:

    i’ve never been so excited about a series in my life! awesome post! I cannot wait to read the next one!
    1. coffee (good coffee yummy coffee)
    2. sunshine
    3. girls night out even if its just for coffee
    4. ocean
    5. not having to share my food! (hes 2 and loves to eat off my plate!)

  • Heidi says:

    I’m really looking forward to this series! Funny thing is, I just signed up for our church’s annual ladies retreat today! Can’t wait!

    My 5 things:
    Girl time
    Time with my husband
    Bible study
    Time with my kiddos when I’m not too tired to play & don’t have an agenda of what they need to learn! 🙂

  • Rana says:

    I’m focused, semi rested and a little over whelmed.
    My five:
    1. Reading
    2. Photography
    3. Cuddling and talking with hubby
    4. Spending time with my sister and best girlfriends
    5. Cooking

  • Janey says:

    I am very excited for this series, I am so desperately burned out, exhausted and very far from my desires for who I want to be!

    Off the top of my head, these are my five:
    1. Solitude
    2. Exercise
    3. Worship music, scripture, prayer
    4. Dates with hubby
    5. Time with girlfriends

  • Karin says:

    My 5 things are:
    1. running
    2. reading
    3. evening (date) with Hubby
    4. the beach
    5. being a part of a bible study

  • Jenn says:

    Definitely overwhelmed these days with all I do around here and some other stuff too.
    1) Hiking anywhere in beautiful nature
    2) Dates with my husband
    3) Talking to my accountability friend and praying together
    4) Getting enough sleep
    5) Time alone

  • Joyce says:

    Looking forward to the series!!

  • No clue how my post ended up as a reply to Mandy’s:/ Sorry about that-

    1. Reading a really good book
    2. Sunshine
    3. Coffee
    4. Just being alone with my thoughts
    5. The sound of birds in the Spring

  • april_babies says:

    1. Reading
    2. Crafting
    3. Beaching
    4. Doing nothing at home on my family farm
    5. Horseback Riding (This is a very new thing for me . . . there are horses boarded at my mom’s farm, and I have ridden a few times with mom’s pastor’s wife.)

  • Rebecca says:

    I like to take twice yearly solitude retreats at my folk’s house on a lake when they go to visit my sister. I always come back refreshed and ready to jump back into routines.
    I have to admit I’m lousy at getting “mini-retreats” in daily/weekly, though. I either work through rest periods or get totally sidetracked and never get back to work.
    Really looking forward to this series!

  • Jess Guest says:

    1. Knitting
    2. Reading
    3. Writing
    4. sewing
    5. gardening

  • Enna says:

    Hello ladies! I’m just coming out of my “fog” or “funk” (as my hubby affectionately calls it), in medical terms…post-partum depression. Thanks Kat for sharing the significance of retreats. I think it’s so valuable to retreat away from our business and our striving to please others (our boss, our hubby, etc) or to get away from our usual tasks/responsibilities. I just came back from my church’s women’s retreat and it was the best refreshment I’ve had in a long time! Anyways, I wanted to share my 5 b/c I see that it’s similar to some of yours.
    1. Water (showers, beach, bath, waterfalls, etc)
    2. Worship music, singing to the Lord, and listening to inspirational music (worship music or cl…assical music)
    3. The outdoors (parks, hikes, walks, etc)
    4. Arts & crafts & appreciating something beautiful (strolling thru some museum to appreciate someone’s talent in creating something, or just getting together with other women while making handmade cards)
    5. Conncecting with my women friends and investing in their lives by hanging out with them and sharing struggles/challenges (journeying together with them!)

  • Jennifer says:

    1. Getting out of the house by myself and not feeling like I have to rush back
    2. Getting my hair cut and colored (doesn’t happen very often!)
    3. Exercising
    4. Spending time with girlfriends
    5. Going on date night with Jason

  • Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for this Kat. It has made me remember why retreat is so important and even sit and think about what does refresh me! My five:
    1. My mornings alone with God (this is truly a surprise to me because I am not a morning person at all and until “Maximize your Morning” did not wake up before my kids ever!)
    2. A good nights sleep (or a nap)
    3. Time with my wonderful husband
    4. Scrap-booking or other creative outlets
    5. My gratitude journal inspired by One Thousand Gifts

  • Julie Anne says:

    1. Reading the Psalms
    2. taking a shower (or a soaky bath) w/o interruption
    3. getting crafty, making handstamped notecards
    4. visiting Starbucks
    5. time with my husband

  • Nova says:

    I can’t wait for the rest of this series! I really need to implement retreats into my life, and I have no clue how to go about it. Five things that refresh me:
    1. Nature
    2. Creating: writing or painting in some form
    3. Prayer
    4. Time alone
    5. Sleep

  • JennJenn says:

    Wow… there are a lot of women here that need some serious R&R – I’m basing that on the number of women taking the first step!
    I feel so guilty taking time for me because I’m studying as well as working, so my 3 year old needs quality time with me, as does my husband. Doesn’t leave time for me at all.
    So… here’s my 5:
    1. Day at the Spa
    2. Driving out of town with my husband
    3. Long hot bath
    4. Good night’s sleep
    5. Achieving goals I’ve set for myself

  • Meggin says:

    Although I am not a mom yet, I feel burnout and run down frequently because I have a tendency to overcommit and try to be superwoman all the time. I feel guilty taking time for myself because I know that will only leave more to do later, but after being so sick I could only sleep for over a week, I’ve realized I have to start taking care of myself a little bit too.
    My five:
    1. Taking the time to enjoy sunshine
    2. Reading
    3. Exercising
    4. Serving/volunteering
    5. Going some place new or trying something new

  • Q says:

    I had to think about this, it’s been a l.o.n.g. time.

    1. creating something
    2. reading
    3. a weekend with Mr Perfect
    4. being poured into
    5. being loved

    After a year long dry spell, I received 4 & 5 this past weekend from new church family. I had forgotten what a gift that is! I know those probably don’t count since I can’t control them, but it’s a start, and I’ll be firming up my list this week. 🙂

  • Emile says:

    1. hot baths
    2. reading
    3. yoga
    4. time away from kids
    5. being outside

  • GREAT post… I’ve been feeling this need for a while now, and this was exactly the extra motivation I needed to actually put this into motion. My five refreshers:
    1. Reading a poetic book or novel.
    2. Getting some fresh air – a walk, or even just stepping outside and listening to the birds for a few minutes.
    3. Turning on some music (current favorite: Christa Wells)
    4. A hot cup of tea.
    5. A long hug from my husband.

  • Shawn Koca says:

    I’m a little late to the party but I’m ready to join the fun!
    My five things in no particular order:
    1. spending time with our daughter
    2. spending time with hubby
    3. blogging
    4. vacations – whether they are long ones or just weekend get aways to our cabin
    5. reading…anything…fiction, non-fiction, self help, magazines…

  • selena says:

    1. Time alone
    2. Writing
    3. Reading
    4. Coffee or Tea
    5. Crisp, clear mornings…

  • Jill Garcia says:

    I thought this would be an easy one to answer, but I really had to think, because I’m often deceived about what actually refreshes me, rather than just distracts me from the hum drum to do list of every day life…so here’s my list after a thoughtful 10 minutes…

    1. Early morning coffee, bible, journal and worship music, sitting on the patio, without the kids screaming in the background
    2. Sewing, as long as it’s something that I’ve made before, that I know won’t frustrate me 😉
    3. Being in the wondrous creation of my Savior, specifically sitting at the edge of the Vail river, looking up at the majestic Rocky Mountains, breathing in the fresh air (this is VERY rare, as I live in Texas, nowhere close to Vail, anymore!)
    4. A date night with my awesome hubby, no kids (this is VERY rare as well, since we don’t live near family and all of our friends have more kids than we do)
    5. dinner, shopping and fabulous conversation with one of my best girlfriends
    6. Yes, I know this is one too many, but I couldn’t forget one of my most cherished ones…SLEEP (I’m a mom of two boys, two and 7 months, so this is also rare!!)

  • I am so thankful to have found this series, even if a bit late. (Interestingly, I was in DIRE need of you right when this was written!! But I have calmed down a bit.)
    I had to laugh when you mentioned the mint chocolate chip ice cream– I was munching on Thin Mints as a response to feeling frazzled right as I was reading this post.

    I took a step away, though, pulled out a notebook, and thought about my five things. I came up with six:
    1. Cycling
    2. Listening to live music
    3. One on one conversations with good friends
    4. Baking
    5. Looking at completed scrapbook pages
    6. Listening to God and journaling about it with a pen and paper

  • kari says:

    This is EXACTLY what I need. Can’t wait to read the series.

    1. Knitting/Crocheting
    2. Music
    3. Cycling
    4. Good Food
    5. Friends (encouragement)