Sometimes I just have to pack up and get the hell out of Sydney to breathe and get some balance back into our life.
About a month ago, I had had weeks of endless, back to back appointments for myself and my kids. Just looking at my over-scheduled calendar and the increasing to do list at home and work was overwhelming. I was stressed, my husband was stressed and our kids were at each others throats. Our family was out of balance and we needed to just stop and re-connect.
It was a Monday morning when everything came tumbling down. I ended up with all 3 of my kids home from school and the thought of re-scheduling appointments and re-arranging work tipped me over. I felt my chest tighten and knew it was time. I sat down at my computer, took a deep breath and booked us a weekend away. And immediately I began to feel calmer as the light at the end of the tunnel began to shine.
We didn’t get out of Sydney till after 4.30pm on the Friday, and surprisingly we didn’t get any traffic or any backseat bickering. The kids actually sat quietly, listening to music, talking and laughing and obviously needing the break (or knowing that their dad and I did) too.
I had booked us into a self-contained villa at Rafferty’s Resort at Lake Macquarie – spacious enough for our family of five (2 bedrooms and a loft which my girls decided was their domain), on the lake with swimming pools and on-site restaurants. Not too far out of Sydney but far enough that we would feel like we were miles away.
We checked in to our accommodation and headed to the on-site restaurant for what was the best meal in ages – not because of the food but because our children were laughing and smiling and our family were relaxed. There was no cooking, no housework, no ‘to do’ lists, no devices, no social plans, no work – just us.
The entire weekend was drizzly with small snippets of sunshine, but that was OK. We had breakfast at Seed in Swansea (highly recommend it – fabulous food, generous servings) before going for a drive and ending up at Caves Beach. Coffees in hand, we explored the area around the caves (which we didn’t go in to as it was high tide) and wandered along the beach, talking, taking photo’s, enjoying the moment and our time together.
We wrapped up the afternoon with cocktails by the pool and a stunning view of the lake while the kids enjoyed the pool.
So, that was it. A change of scenery and an unplanned weekend getaway re-connected my little family and helped get us through the rest of the school term.