Last month I had the opportunity to explore the Santa Barbara area with my Kia family and to say this trip was needed would be an understatement. I had no idea how much I needed relax, recharge and reflect on life without my kids present. I often travel everywhere with my kids and though we always have so much fun and make a ton of memories, there is stress. Yes, I’m a real parent! I stress out on family vacations!
When I first became a stay-at-home-mom when our first daughter was born six years ago, I had no idea how difficult it would be. The parenting part wasn’t even what was difficult for me. It was losing someone I was comfortable and familiar with – myself! I guess you could say that we evolve when we become parents. We learn new things, we face new challenges, we develop an unconditional love for someone other than ourselves, and in that process we have to get to know ourselves again. We change. And that’s okay.
I have changed so much since having kids, but I would say that I have changed for the better. I feel stronger, more confident, a little stressed, but overall, I feel good. I know not all can say that about themselves after becoming parents, so I wanted to leave little bit of advice in case you are struggling:
Take some time for yourself. Challenge yourself. Make new friends. Try new things. Buy the purse. Get the massage. Enjoy the Venti coffee.
Parents, it is so important for us to take time for ourselves. It’s important to show our kids what it means to be a confident, decision making adult. By taking time to work on yourself, you are essentially helping yourself be a better parent.
This post was inspired by my recent trip to Santa Barbara with my Kia Family (hosted). Thanks to Kia for showing me how important it is to not only take some time for myself, but to take the time to get to know others.
Here are some ways you can work on yourself:
Take a Road Trip
Whether you’re driving or sitting passenger, a nice road trip can give you time to think – or even go mindless if you aren’t driving. Go on a kid-free road trip with you friends, your spouse, a family member or even by yourself. Turn on YOUR music, drive on YOUR desired routes, end up at YOUR destination. You choose because this trip’s for YOU!
I drove the four+ hour drive from LAX along the PCH up to Santa Barbara with my girl Christa from The Fairytale Traveler. We laughed, enjoyed our Starbucks, took lots of silly pictures, drove up some random roads through the Malibu hills. It was so nice to just wander aimlessly for a few hours in the luxurious Kia Cadenza. I really needed that.
Book a Stay at Resort
This “take time for yourself” tip is pretty obvious, I know. But guess what? You don’t even have to go very far away to book a stay at a resort. Enjoy a staycation someone near your home.
Belmond El Encanto
The Belmond El Encanto is an absolutely stunning Forbes five-star resort located high in the hills of Santa Barbara. Dating back to 1920, this landmark property stays true to its Californian roots, combining that “old Hollywood glam” with the laid back lifestyle us Californians love. Over the years, this resort has been restored and updated, with the newest additions being the beautiful pool and boutique spa.
The resort has 92 unique suites and rooms built in the California Craftsman-Style and Spanish Revival style bungalows. The room I stayed in was huge and featured a seating area, writing desk, large bathroom with two sinks, a changing area, a large bathtub, heated marble floors and so much more.
Treat Yourself to a Spa Treatment
I have been getting monthly massages since April and my body has never felt better. Visit The Spa El Encanto and treat yourself to a massage or facial, and don’t feel guilty about it. You deserve it!
Try Something New
It’s so important to try something new every now and then. Try a new restaurant you’ve been eyeing, or do something extreme like cave kayaking! Play a round of cornhole or giant Jenga, go on a hike, rent a private yacht, float around in a giant eggplant floaty. Whatever you decide to do, just remember to be guilt-free.
(Photo: Joe from Joe’s Daily)
(Kayaking Photos: Jeana from Surf and Sunshine)
Spend Time With Friends
Friends can completely lift your mood, help you realize other ways to be a good parent, inspire you, and just help you have fun! Thanks to this fun time with friends, I realized more than ever that friends should add to your life, not take away from it. You should also be adding to your friends’ lives.
I had a blast wine tasting with my friends Clarissa (Clarissa Explains It All) and Jennifer (Double Duty Mommy) at Grassini Vineyards and Sunstone Winery (thanks to SB Taste). We laughed a lot, danced a lot, and just let our hair down because “we’re the cool moms!”
(Vineyard Photos: Africa Miranda)
(photos: Jeff from Out With The Kids)
Live. Create. Inspire
I really hope this post today has inspired you to do something fun, whether by yourself, with your significant other, a friend, or family member. If fun to you is laying on a couch with a glass of root beer watching reality TV reruns, then by all means, DO IT! Or head over to my Pinterest page if you are looking for some new “treat yo’self” ideas. Remember, by keeping a clear head and not losing yourself completely, you can be a better parent because you will feel complete and satisfied enough to give your children the mom they deserve – YOU!
Live: Live your best life.
Create: Look for new ways to be creative in your life.
Inspire: What inspires you to live your best life? How can you inspire someone else to live their best life?