Words: Natalie Langmann
As I pulled off Highway 99 and turned the corner to take the road that winds through cedar and spruce trees and up to Whistler’s Scandinave Spa, I could feel my eyes tearing up. This would be the first time in six years that I would be tuning out from the world around me, and my body and my mind needed this more than I could ever express.
As I walked into this modern day traditional Scandinavian spa, music by JennaMae Webb filled my ears – her voice was soothing as she plucked sweet cords and played a Bluesy jam session. When was the last time I had heard music this beautiful? When was the last time I had heard music that wasn’t the Frozen Soundtrack or the Paw Patrol theme song? Where had I been hiding? I walked over to the bistro area to start myself off with their healthy Mother’s Day breakfast, and heaped my plate up with fresh fruit, grabbed a tea and sat back and relaxed. No little voice was screaming at me. No one was calling for snacks. The next two hours would be all about cold baths, hot baths, eucalyptus steam rooms, outdoor hammock haven, and sitting in silence. Imagine that. Silence.
Six years ago, I became a mom to an amazing wild child, and my life changed for all the best. Five weeks after her birth, I was hiking every day with my daughter strapped to my chest in a carrier. Let’s set the record straight here, it was the only time she would sleep, and I craved being outside in fresh air. At three months old, we had hiking through Smith Rock, floated down the Yellowstone River, and fast forward a year and I was teaching her to ski on Whistler Blackcomb. We have snowmobiled through the Chilcotin Mountain’s, sand boarded down the Oregon Coast, ski toured in the Duffey Provincial park, and surfed in the Baja all with our daughter alongside enjoying the ride – but somewhere amongst all the epic adventures, I forgot to take time to just be me.
To explain further, my husband works away for weeks at a time, so while he’s off captaining tugboats up and down the British Columbia Coastline, I juggle working a full time job and looking after our daughter. I’ve gone from wiping bums, organizing after school activities, scheming up what to feed her for dinner, bribing her to take baths, and catering to my little human’s needs while she yells, “Snacks, snacks, snacks!” Don’t get me wrong, the adventures and fun haven’t stopped, but over the past six years, I have changed careers, lost contact with old friends, and stopped doing things that I used to love to do without kids in tow. I haven’t been to a gym in eons – one would think that wrangling your daughter down a ski hill with a harness system would be a significant workout, but it’s missing those much-craved endorphins. And as far as time with friends, well, I will get back to Club Paradise when the stars align.
By the time my daughter hit kindergarten last fall, I was exhausted and operating in full survival mode. A week prior to Mother’s Day, I had a breaking point and let the world know that Mother’s Day is the hardest day of the year as a part time single mom. Now remember, I am only part time, so remember to take care of all your single mom friends on this day. They need you more than you will ever know because when it’s just you and your child, there is no-one to tell you are doing a great job parenting, nobody makes you breakfast in bed, or tells you to take time for yourself on this so-called special day. Instead you get woken up to, “Mom, I’m hungry. What’s for breakfast?”
This year, when I unleashed my struggles on sole parenting on Mother’s Day upon the world, friends stepped up, and offered to watch my daughter, and I quickly booked myself into the Scandinave Spa’s Mother’s Day special event to unwind. After cycling through hot, cold and relax, soaking for hours, plunging between 103 F to 15 C, and drying myself off in my robe in front of an outdoor fire, I came to conclusion that I need more of this. More alone time. More time to slow down.
And that’s when it hit me, I’m going to take one morning once a month to come to the spa to cleanse my body and my mind and rejuvenate my spirit. I’m going to come back to recharge, so the captain, the wild child and I can continue chasing life to it’s full potential. Thank you, Scandinave Spa, for making me realize how special and important Mother’s Day can be.