“I was very surprised at the level of comfort I felt at meeting so many new people at one time, but the environment was so comfortable and relaxing that it made it very easy. Can it be longer? ”
“You guys put together a fantastic retreat. This is something that women need now more than ever. We don’t have the geographical roots or family support of past generations. MOMcation allows us to connect with other mothers, and that is vital to our well-being.”
“I loved painting the pots. It gave me time to relax and chat it up with other moms. I also loved charades! Didn’t know I was so good..lol!”
“Thank you so much for coming up with this! I can’t stop talking about it.”
“One thing I really appreciate about MOMcation is that it is women of different colors, backgrounds and incomes. The scholarship program is brilliant, and I plan to get more involved with that next year.”
A friend told me that often, after completing a big project, there’s a period of feeling low and a bit empty. This certainly happened to me as I completed a six week run of craziness that included re-scheduling and then attending MOMcation 2011. However, reading the quotes above and the rest of the comments on the follow-up survey for this year’s retreat brings it all back into focus.
I originally created MOMcation to be a weekend for every mom to enjoy. I wanted something that would be affordable and accessible (and attractive) to everyone. In this, the second year for MOMcation, I learned a lot about letting go of certain things and focusing on what was really the core purpose of the event – relaxing, reflecting, and reviving.
Exploring Heifer Ranch
I loved the way that our 23 attendees bonded together almost immediately this year. There was hardly a need for ice breaker games, but we played them anyway because they are fun. We had several moms that returned to MOMcation after attending in 2010, plus many more that attended for the first time, including five scholarship recipients. I really enjoyed getting to know these ladies, and watching attendees who were already my friends meet new friends.
We spend a lot of time thinking about and planning for the activities at MOMcation. Due to the reschedule, a few of our planned sessions for Saturday fell through. In a last minute dash, committee member Ashlee Bechdoldt suggested we do a garden pot painting activity to fill the gap. Ashlee pulled it all together, and wouldn’t you know it? It ranked high among the favorite activities of the weekend.
Painting Pots Makes MOMs Happy!
My personal favorite activity was Skyping with Amy Wilson, the author of our book discussion book, When Did I Get Like This? Each chapter in Amy’s book covers a different aspect of motherhood. It was really interesting to see which chapters resonated most with different moms in the discussion group, and I loved hearing Amy’s perspective live and candid. MOMcation committee member Nicole Walberg set up the Skype call with Amy and did a fantastic job of moderating the discussion.
Although we’re not planning it yet, I’m already looking forward to MOMcation 2012. I do hope that we don’t have to schedule it twice as we did this year, but even if we do, I know it will totally be worth it.
A huge thanks goes to our fantastic sponsors (see them on the right sidebar over there?). Without them, this weekend would not be possible. Our presenting sponsor, Todays THV and MomsLikeMe.com have a great site where moms can connect with one another. Go check it out!
- MOMcation 2011 Attendees (a few are missing) Photo credit: Linda Young
You can find more photos and posts about MOMcation 2011, as well as keep up to date on future events on our Facebook page.