COMMENT:

When was the last time you packed light? Actually packed light — two changes of clothes, pajamas, a book and your laptop? That's what I did this last weekend. I packed and walked out the door.

As a mum to two toddlers, this happens rarely. The purpose was to both recharge and spend time on my under loved business. You know that saying working in the business, not on it? That was me.

Six months ago I'd booked one of Dr Julie's Bhosales' Working Mum retreat on a bit of a whim. As the weekend neared I felt guilty, who was I to be swanning off? Leaving my (capable) husband with the kids to deal with Kindy pickups, Saturday morning swimming classes, bedtimes and washing (all the washing!), I felt the mum guilt kick in and settle down to stay in the pit my stomach. This is what other people got to do.

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When Julie rang me to check in that I had all the information that I needed for the weekend her voice was one of reason.

Feeling guilty was part and parcel of the deal, but once I got in the car and on the motorway Auckland bound, the load would lighten, and it did.

Dr Julie Bhosales is a best selling author who runs retreats for working women. Photo / Supplied
Dr Julie Bhosales is a best selling author who runs retreats for working women. Photo / Supplied

As I pulled up to a cute homestead style home with a vine covered, sun-kissed deck. I had arrived. I was greeted warmly and offered a cup of tea or coffee, shown my cosy room that was all mine for the next two nights.

Now what? That's the great thing about Julie's Working Mum retreats, there is no timetable to stick to whatsoever. You set aside the weekend for your own creative space. There are cute nooks and crannies for you to set up your laptop wherever took your fancy.

Julie Bhosales is well known for her nutritional advice and her amazing cookbooks. She was on hand to cook us nourishing dinners each night which we enjoyed with a glass of wine or two and got to chatting to the other attendees.

Dr Julie Bhosales is a best selling author who runs retreats for working women. Photo / Supplied
Dr Julie Bhosales is a best selling author who runs retreats for working women. Photo / Supplied

Breakfast was simple and nutritious and ready for us whenever we awoke. The plunger coffee was refilled more times that I cared to count and if you opened the fridge good quality chocolate awaited.

The homestead and the antiques that carefully filled each room allowed my brain to come back to life and get on a great hum.

It's amazing what a parent brain can do when it's not bogged down with the mundane.

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Food gatherings are a time to chat with like-minded mums, but not about the kids. Photo / Supplied
Food gatherings are a time to chat with like-minded mums, but not about the kids. Photo / Supplied

Dinner time conversation was interesting and had depth. We were like-minded mums
wanting to chat about things other than parenting.

The setting, the company, married together with rest and great food meant that I left feeling recharged and excited about my company and the year ahead. Even hubby mentioned that my brain seemed on 'super-drive' when I got home.

This is one retreat that I can't wait to revisit.

• Julie's next events: Mum Squad: Sugar, Hormone & Exercise Event (Tauranga, February 26, 7-9pm). Working Mum's Retreat (Matakana, May 23-26). juliebhosale.co.nz/events
Amber Kedian owns Sprout Marketing in Papamoa East, sproutmarketing.co.nz