Learning to Take Time Out As a Mom



Masalamommas with Actress, Sitara Hewitt

By Shweta Jacob @shwetajacob & online at:

If you’ve wondered why this Masalamomma hasn’t written recently the answer is simple. I was EXHAUSTED. Exhausted by work, family, summer travels, house maintenance and everything else in between.

Don’t get me wrong; I love summer and loved my family summer time, but I was exhausted. I mean dragging my feet, drooping eyes, cranky pants tired.  I knew that the only thing that could fix me up was some much-needed quality time for a good night’s sleep, some reflection, some quiet and myself.


Well the universe must have noticed that I needed some rest because out of the blue I was fortunate enough to be invited by Masalamommas and Chevrolet to go for an overnight stay at Ste. Anne’s Spa. A day away for some much-needed rest and rejuvenation!  The mini vacation so hit the mark that I still feel relaxed 3 weeks later!


The trip started on a Friday afternoon with Anjum, our very own Editor in Chief, picking me up in a beautifully smooth Chevrolet Impala.  The moment I sat myself in the heated chocolate leather seats I knew I was in for a ride! If you’re going to go away for relaxation I strongly recommend doing it in a car that oozes comfort.  Satellite radio, giant trunk and fantastic shock absorbers all contributed to smooth and restful travel.


As we arrived at St. Anne’s Spa in Cobourg we were greeted by traffic signs that immediately made both of us smile.


I live in Toronto, in the city and work in the city. I am constantly surrounded by people on the go! This frenetic energy certainly takes a toll people and takes a toll on me. Upon arriving at St. Anne’s Spa (which was only 90 minutes from Toronto) I felt like I could breathe again. Not only was the air cleaner, but there something special about the peace and quiet. As a mom, when is the last time you had pure peace and quiet? The spa is for adults only and there is a rule about no cell phone use. The management wants you to truly experience the grounds, surroundings and amenities, and not be distracted by family or work. Brilliant!


I was so fortunate to spend the weekend with some very cool women, some of whom were leaving their kids home with their dad’s for the first time! Kudos to them! I know it’s not easy to leave little ones behind, (Baby J was 15 months old before I left her for one night) but I strongly believe it is important for mom’s to do every once in a while. To know that you are not alone in the struggles of balancing motherhood with family and South Asian requirements was so comforting!


I had an opportunity to bond with these women over our shared experience at Ste. Anne’s.  The staff at Ste. Anne’s seem to have a way of making each guest feel like a long lost friend.  Hotel check in is quick and easy and done while you sit on a comfortable sofa, by a warm fireplace drinking cranberry tea.  We were each provided with an individual itinerary outlining our schedule of treatments and reservations for food plus extra surprises Ste. Anne’s had in store for our little group.








Our stay started with a tour of our accommodations followed by a special afternoon program designed specifically for busy and tired moms. We were each given individual facial cleanses to me felt like washing away city life. Then we were given a demonstration of yoga poses we could do while sitting at the office or at home. As someone who is always in heels, this was particularly effective! Finally, the wonderful chef at Ste. Anne’s used his years of experience as a chef, father and grandfather to give us advise on how to prepare nutritious lunches that our children will eat.

My biggest take-aways from these sessions were:

  • always wash your face before bed
  • take your heels off and sit with feet flat on floor at your desk
  • prepare lunches in finger food portions for the kids
Tour at Ste. Anne's Spa

Tour at Ste. Anne’s Spa


After this wonderful learning experience we headed to a group dinner and were joined by the lovely Sitara Hewitt, Star of Little Mosque on the Prairie who led the in a discussion group about gratitude and positivity. We all have so much opportunity to complain about our problems. But there is something very powerful about taking a moment to show appreciation for what we have. By the end of the talk, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.


And the food for dinner! Wow! I enjoyed a tomato miso soup as my appetizer, a small steak for my main and a chocolate cake with homemade ice cream for dinner. DIVINE!


After our dinner, which fed my soul as well as my tummy, it was time to hit the amenities! My absolute favourite was the outdoor hot tub and plunge pool for cooling down. And yes, I was that girl who went into the cold plunge pool while it was freezing outside. Felt great! My second favourite had to be the eucalyptus steam room, which will help anyone who’s feeling a bit under the weather.


Dinner Menu

The next morning we all re-convened for breakfast and then each enjoyed individual spa treatments. I chose to have Ste. Anne’s Signature Facial. I had the loveliest therapist for my treatment who showed me how to breathe deeply for fuller relaxation. Something that I have been practicing every night at home. The treatment and all the steps are described here


After our treatments, some lounging and chatting we all met again for lunch. This time our special guest was a representative from Chevrolet, checking to make sure that we were enjoying our experience and our cars. How sweet is that?


Our final treat of the weekend was a fancy high tea with clottered cream, fresh strawberry jam and scones. There was even a gluten free option for those who needed it! They think of everything at Ste. Anne’s.


I walked away from this fabulous weekend feeling relaxed and equipped with tools to keep me relaxed as  the days get shorter, the nights get colder and the holiday season gets closer. Not only that, but I was reminded of how lucky I am in my life, especially with my gorgeous husband and delightful daughter.

As the holiday season approaches it is natural that many moms are going to start feeling some stress and anxiety. Before this happens, I highly recommend that you schedule a day for yourself. If you can go to Ste. Anne’s, do it (and take me!) but if not there are lots of other ways to enjoy time for yourself.

You can:

a) girls night out for dinner

b) a hike or long walk

c) a day to read

d) walk through a museum

e) a yoga/meditation class


Remember, a relaxed mom leads to a happy and relaxed family. So if you feel guilty taking the time for yourself, then do it for your family.

Here’s a look at the fabulous Ste. Anne’s spa:


What are some ways you take time to relax? Please share!

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