And breathe – anyone else forget to do this after having a baby? I mean there’s feeding, changing, cleaning, sterilising, washing, cooking to be done. Breathing? Surely that takes a back seat? That’s how this new 24-hour retreat for mamas and babas came about!
The award-winning family wellbeing company &Breathe have collaborated with The Four Seasons Hampshire to make sure we prioritise, or at least just remember, to breathe. My son Max is eight months old and I can safely say he’s taken over, he’s the boss, he’s the one that occupies all my hours and all my headspace so when I got invited to spend 24 hours on this retreat, I jumped at the chance. Except this is a retreat for mamas and babes….oh. How’s this going to work!?
Surprisingly it works very well. We arrived at the Four Seasons in the picturesque Hampshire countryside at midday and were immediately shown to the new restaurant Wild Carrot – think Soho House style decor with a deliciously varied and locally sourced menu designed to repair and refuel. The private dining room was ours for lunch and both myself and Max enjoyed a tasty and nutritious selection of hearty salads, breads, dips, crudites – perfect prep for the day ahead.
The afternoon was spent with the &Breathe experts who educated us in pre and postnatal exercise, including an essential pilates class to aid rehabilitation of the body and then a slightly more high intensity session that cleared the mind and bought some much needed energy. They then focus on the importance of mindfulness and relaxation and on achieving serenity of the mind for overall wellbeing. As most of us are sleep deprived and spend most days in a hazy fog, the benefits of practising this for just a few minutes a day helps to rebalance and re-centre our minds amidst the craziness of being new parents. All of this was done with babies in tow, who seemed to be entertained enough by watching their Mothers stretching and jumping around. When Max got a little bored or grizzly, the &Breathe team were on hand to help, so we were able to fully concentrate and participate.
The evening was specifically organised for the adults and we were treated to the luxury of in-room babysitters so that we could all enjoy an evening together without any baby distractions. We sipped on cocktails at the bar at The Wild Carrot, followed by a deliciously undisturbed 3 course dinner all whilst relishing in long uninterrupted conversations. Both Max and I slept like babies in our sumptuous and spacious room, me in a super-sized Egyptian cotton bed of dreams, him in a large provided for cot. Packing for a night away with a little one can be stressful but with baby food, nappies and Child’s Farm products provided, the extra touches went a long way.
It’s so easy to neglect yourself when you become a parent. With a tiny human to look after, every day is focused on providing and nurturing for that little person which means we can forget to take care of ourselves. It’s so important to try and incorporate a little ‘me time’ but in reality this is hard to prioritise. Even more reason to treat yourself to this 24 hour retreat as the next morning, the & Breathe team provided us with a few hours of childcare in the form of an entertainment creche for the little ones to interact and play, whilst we indulged in some R&R in the lavish spa. We swam, sauna’ed and just lapped up the luxury of having nothing to do. To top things off we were treated to a spoiling and pampering massage, just what I needed to get rid of those pesky neck and shoulder knots.
At this point I really felt the importance of taking a break and remembering to just breathe. A dreamy 24 hours spent.
The &Breathe Postnatal Retreats at Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire will run in May, June, September and November 2018. Prices for the &Breathe Postnatal Retreat at Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire start from GBP 495 per person and include a one night full board residential stay, one spa treatment and all fitness and wellbeing classes.