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Mothering › Family Fun Articles › Did you remember to pack....?

Did you remember to pack....?


by Sarah Juliusson of www.MamaRenew.ca – Find Mama Renew on Facebook & Twitter


campingWe’re back!  One glorious week away at a stunning remote mountain lake – just two ferry rides and a long stretch of very bumpy logging roads to get there.  The reward?   Children running wild & free, a perfect clear water for swimming, sun, sun & more sun, wonderful friends & family to share in it with.  What could better, right?


Just one big catch:  in order to enjoy such paradise, we had to leave home. Which means:


1.  Arranging for someone to care for our large garden, 33 chickens, two cows, two cats, and one very furry (Angora) rabbit.


2. Making my way through the To Do list so that I could leave my office for a week with relative peace of mind.  This took far longer than I had anticipated it would – of course.


images23.  Cooking up one late night final batch of oregon grape jam – I just couldn’t leave those berries to waste…  I should have, but I couldn’t…


4.  Oh yes, we had to pack.  Now this is where it gets tricky. Between instruction lists for the garden & animals, my work responsibilities, and late night canning adventures, there wasn’t much time for packing.   I don’t know about your household, but getting away for a family vacation tends to be more than a wee bit stressful.  Always too much to do in too little time, and those questions of “honey, did you remember the ….” shouted out to nobody in particular, hoping someone will say “Yes, of course!”.


Thankfully my dear husband had already spent the morning gathering camping equipment and helping the boys pack their bags.  By the time I made it out of the office, however,  I had exactly ten minutes to pack my belongings and all the kitchen gear.


With my work load that morning I had to let go.  I had to trust that he would pack everything we needed for our trip.  I had to accept that his definition of “everything we needed” would be different from my list of “must haves”.


There’s something about being “mom” that makes me somehow believe that I am the only one who actually Knows everything about our family needs.  There seems to be a lesson about letting go that I need to learn over and over again.


The results?


Missing: Camping chairs with back support, sunscreen (luckily borrowed some from neighboring campers), a few favourite camping cooking ingredients, knives to spread all that peanut butter, dishpan, dish towel, dish soap.


Present: Beautiful friends, happy children, plenty of delicious food, friends with knives and dish soap (still no pan or towel though), my beloved pillow (thank goodness) and absolute gratitude for the gift of leaving it all behind and being so beautifully present with one another for a week in paradise – even without good back support…


*******


I’m hoping some of you can relate with my packing woes – the last minute rush, the erroneous belief that “mom knows best”, the letting go and living without…  How did your holiday packing go?



Mama Renew

About Sarah Juliusson

Sarah Juliusson, founder of Mama Renew, is a gifted facilitator and writer on the journey of birth & motherhood. She brings two decades of experience supporting families through pregnancy, birth and motherhood to her work. Sarah is mother to two growing boys, a playful crafter with cloth & wool, student of traditional food preservation, and a diva at heart. Join the conversation on http://www.mamarenew.ca & on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mamarenew



Comments (4)

So funny! Normally I am a three-times packer - I pack a bit in advance and then have two 'weed-outs' to pare things down to the necessities. My hubby has been rubbing off on me in a bad way - i.e. leaving it until the night before to pack and often forgetting things... I have to admit that it's been quite liberating, and forgetting the tweezers for teeny slivers wasn't that big a deal.
How well put, Sarah! And how true. It is so ingrained in us that Moms can do it all -- the addition of moms into the work world did not lesson our burden in the home but only added to it. And we all buy into it as well which becomes part of the problem. I'm so worried about not packing everything we need I keep my car stocked with bug spray, sun screen, rain ponchos, folding chairs (with back support!) and even blankets, mittens, and hats! But letting go is about realizing how well we can do without the things we think we need and how much we need the things we truly cannot live without: family, nature, love, togetherness and the time to enjoy it all. Glad you had a great trip and thanks for sharing! :) Maggie
Loved this piece, Sarah. Before I became a Mom, I was a serious packer... every corner of my backpack was meant for something specific and I checked and double-checked that I had everything. The first few years of being a mom, super-sensitive to bringing EVERYTHING necessary to replicate the home so that precious sleep would not be disrupted :) Then something started to happen... it was the letting go part... it started off small, like... not bringing her pillow AND duvet cover... then not bringing all the toy-like stuff. And now... Ruby and I went away for 4 days to a friend's cottage and I let HER pack her own stuff. She's 4. What was in her suitcase? 4 pairs of underwear, a pair of socks, 4 dresses, 4 bathing-suits, 2 tank tops and a pair of shorts. 3 stuffies, a connect-the-dots book, and her 'fish' card game. And she told me, "I put in 4 pull-ups, because even though we are going for 3 nights, we might decide to stay another." And of course, her pillow. Seriously. The best part: we did stay an extra night :)
Loved this piece, Sarah. Before I became a Mom, I was a serious packer... every corner of my backpack was meant for something specific and I checked and double-checked that I had everything. The first few years of being a mom, super-sensitive to bringing EVERYTHING necessary to replicate the home so that precious sleep would not be disrupted :) Then something started to happen... it was the letting go part... it started off small, like... not bringing her pillow AND duvet cover... then not bringing all the toy-like stuff. And now... Ruby and I went away for 4 days to a friend's cottage and I let HER pack her own stuff. She's 4. What was in her suitcase? 4 pairs of underwear, a pair of socks, 4 dresses, 4 bathing-suits, 2 tank tops and a pair of shorts. 3 stuffies, a connect-the-dots book, and her 'fish' card game. And she told me, "I put in 4 pull-ups, because even though we are going for 3 nights, we might decide to stay another." And of course, her pillow. Seriously. The best part: we did stay an extra night :)
Mothering › Family Fun Articles › Did you remember to pack....?