What's the Gentle Parenting thing all about?
I have called this retreat a "Gentle Parenting Retreat" because I want all the mamas there to have common ground between them. It's such an important part of our lives and it is what has brought many of us who already know each other together, so it makes sense for this common ground to unite us on this day of community and sisterhood. Gentle parenting describes a way of parenting that leads with kindness, gentleness and understanding. Gentle parents try to meet their children's needs through keeping their babies close, listening to them and responding to their needs, because of this they tend to lean towards attachment parenting techniques such as co-sleeping and baby wearing (but not always), and they discipline through connection rather than exclusion or punishments. All mamas who relate to these techniques would be welcome at the retreat, and any mamas open to the gentle parenting philosophy and would like to move towards this approach would also be very welcome.
Do I have to be arty, creative or be able to draw?
There is absolutely no need to be arty or have any art skills whatsoever to take part in this retreat. Many of us have bad memories of school art lessons which have sadly tainted our feelings towards creative activities. As women we are inherently creative beings, we have the ability to create life and by embracing this side that is part of us all, we can feel more fulfilled, relaxed and empowered. The piece you create at the retreat is just yours; you don't have to show anyone, you won't be graded, it won't be exhibited. You will be invited to share your piece with the group but there is no obligation to do this if you don't want to.
It sounds a bit hippy-ish and New Age which I am not into, does that mean the retreat isn't for me?
Not at all. There is no religious element to this retreat. The guided meditations are not to do with emptying your mind or communicating with God or the Universe (though you can incorporate this element if you want to), they are about relaxation and exploring your inner world. This retreat is suitable for anyone of any faith or none at all. You don't have to wear tie-dye, do yoga, be vegan or love unicorns, though if you do, that's awesome too!
It sounds like you all know each other, will it be weird for me if I don't?
It's true that some of us who are attending the retreat may already know each other, however there are people coming who don't know everyone so you won't be alone if you don't already have friends in the group. What's more, we are a very friendly bunch, everyone coming is very welcoming and kind and you are sure to leave with friends even if you arrive without any!
I am on a budget, how can I justify the price?
By making self care a priority. Self care IS important and your £54 isn't just about having one day away from your children; the benefits you will gain from this day will carry through into the year ahead and will enhance your family life. The price is competitive compared to similar day long retreats and includes: the use of the beautiful Renewal Centre and all its facilities from 9.30 till 4.00, a delicious lunch with drinks, teas and coffees and snacks and afternoon tea, the morning creative workshop with all art materials provided and the afternoon vision board workshop with materials provided. Take a moment to think about what else you might spend this amount of money on and the value you get from those things, for me the value of this day long retreat is certainly on a par with or more than a meal out, a massage, a hair cut or spa day.
If you would like to come to this retreat but you feel cost is a barrier to you, please do get in touch.