A Dispatch from Mom's Morning Retreat, by Jenny Vogdes Lange

When the moms chose our theme for this year, we had no idea what realities the spring would bring.  Our current topic for Mom’s Morning Retreat is “Connect and Replenish – Sustaining You, Your Family, Your Community, and Your World.”  But, hold on.  Now that we are living under quarantine, how can we truly connect and talk about living a sustainable life when we are so isolated, and we are focused on getting through just one day at a time?  Despite our intentions for the year, our present situation feels utterly disconnected and inherently unsustainable.

Through Zoom we have reached out to the moms to find out how families are doing, and to give people a chance to breathe and to focus on themselves for a bit.  We also emailed a set of reflection questions to our members.  Here are just a few of their responses.  What are we moms doing?  We’re slowing down.  We’re appreciating beauty and family.  We’re trying to make time for ourselves.  We’re reconnecting with what’s simple and what’s most important.  All of this sounds awfully… sustainable.  At least for a little while longer.  Learning through doing!

We invite you to use these questions as you see fit in your families, potentially to capture some of what is happening in your lives.  
Photo Credit:  John Lange

What has been an unexpected joy during this time?At least once a day, I get a “cozy” feeling of having all of my people (and dog) under one roof. Sometimes I forget for a minute about what is going on and just enjoy being all together. 

What has been an unexpected challenge?SO MANY DISHES TO WASH.

What is something that you’ve learned that you might continue when this is over?I’ve learned that the duties I perform on a day to day basis as a mom really matter and I’m good at them. I want to retain this feeling of valuing myself and my role in this phase of life.

Did someone do a good deed for you that you want to remember?My neighbor made masks for all of us.

What will your kids remember about this time?That we will listen and honor their feelings without judgment.  That we marked special moments in creative ways.  And that laughter and gratitude matter and help.

What have you been able to do for self care?  (You are important!)I put “me time” on our calendar for myself and my husband – I’ve mostly used it to go for a jog or bike ride, but also to take a bath or just do 10 things by myself.

Have you noticed or appreciated something about our natural world?The sky is SO blue.  I have enjoyed watching the dogwood tree blossom outside my kitchen window -- every day, it changes. 

What can Mom’s Morning Retreat provide to help you right now?Camaraderie. Empathy. Laughter. Hope. It is so reassuring to know that you aren’t alone and that everyone is pretty much feeling the same thing. That is always a benefit of Mom’s Morning Retreat, but it really helps now. 

For more information about joining Mom's Morning Retreat in this time, please email Jenny Vogdes Lange.