And with a blink of an eye, the June retreat was upon us.
Ten more mummies, ten more babies, and a plethora of experts all ready to spend time working on the things that matter in the amazing (but sometimes exhausting!) post-partum period.
There are of course some parts of Mummy Tribe that we hope will never change. We will always take a holistic approach to motherhood, curating the best talent from every area. The house will always be full to the brim of everything mum and baby could ever possibly need, because we know that babies don’t travel lightly and having the right kit can make or break your trip. We will always put the needs of mum and baby first, and we will always remain unbiased in our views.
However, we have made a promise to ourselves that every retreat will also be as different as it can be. There’s so much information out there and we see it as our job to pick the best of it and bring it to you. So, you’ll see lots of different faces and you’ll hear lots of different approaches and opinions. That way, we will never have the chance to get bored.
As we all know, if baby is happy, everybody is happy, so we began with a music class in the courtyard, specifically aimed at making sure baby settled nicely in their new surroundings. It was also a great opportunity for the nannies and babies to familiarise themselves with each other. As always, some babies shuffled in without looking back, and others needed a little longer to say goodbye. Our nannies had a few tricks up their sleeves though and pretty soon all of them were humming along to our favourite nursery rhymes.
Meanwhile, our mums sat outside in the sun with Clare @ Six Physio and talked through the findings from their complimentary one-on-one consultation with Six Physio prior to the retreat. Clare spoke about all things to do with general physical health, and ways in which the exercise classes could be safely adapted for their individual needs. Clare is passionate about making sure everybody’s pelvic floor is in tip-top condition and in many ways this session helped shape the rest of the retreat. Apart from anything, saying ‘vagina’ over and over and over is an amazing ice breaker.
From the talk our mums went straight into a Pilates class, with our post-natal Pilates expert Nicki Philips of @niix.fit, which focused on the core, so they could put everything they had learned in to practice. It was a fast paced class with plenty of sweat and a great way to start the day.
Through lunch, we were joined by Gemma and Sam from @Thisismothership who shared their top fashion and beauty tips with us. They were a few mins late (trains!) and in that time there was a momentary panic where we realised we were all in workout gear, mum buns and sweaty bare faces. This was swiftly followed by sweet blessed relief when we realised that nobody actually cared. Binky wiped some of India’s snot off her and the session began. You can see our Facebook live for the full session but it’s safe to say a truck load of nude eyeliner arrived in the MT office on Monday morning. That, and navy blue mascara. What a difference that makes!!!
The afternoon was full of various hiit and Pilates classes, all managed by our team of trainers, including our postnatal expert personal trainer @luluadamsfitness who helped ensure each class was designed around the mums who were taking part.
Exercise done, the day ended with Piccolo’s session on healthy eating which is always a favourite with our mums. By this point, mums and babes were all exhausted so some time spent cooking, chatting and eating was happily welcomed. After this, some of the mums had a swim, some slipped in a quick beauty treatment with Secret Spa, whilst others had a well-deserved snooze. One mum pulled out a bottle of red she had packed in her bag that morning, which was very well received by the group.
That evening, our nannies kept a careful eye on the sleeping babies so that the mums could have dinner together and carry on the conversation. The MT team left at that point, but we’re told that the chat was 60% baby, 40% Love Island. A sensible mix in our opinion.
This is usually our busiest day, with a jam packed schedule from morning until night. Hiit and Pilates ran through the day, with mums picking classes to work around their personal schedule.
Heidi Skudder, aka (@ theparentandbabycoach), held one-on-one sessions with each mum, talking through any sleep, feeding and behavioural issues they may have, and helping them build a plan to implement at home. We have said that where possible we won’t work with the same person twice but our mums leave her sessions with such a sense of calm, that we’re kinda addicted.
Through lunch, Anna Marthur (aka @Mamas Scrapbook) talked at length about mental health and how it can be affected before, during and after pregnancy. She shared her personal story, and before long mums were joining in the discussion. This is one session where you won’t see the full discussion on our Facebook page as much of what was discussed was very private. We quickly realised that when you put a group of woman together and give them the means to talk, something very powerful happens.
One last Boxing session in the afternoon rounded the day off and just as Binky thought we had all forgotten about her Birthday, out came a well deserved chocolate cake and some bubbly.
Just before bed, as if the babies hadn’t already had enough fun, we ran a baby massage class. We can’t say it was a calming and restful experience (when is that time of day ever calm?) but the mums had the chance to learn new massage techniques and the babes got to lie back and enjoy.
Bedtime for the babies again, another beautiful meal for the mums prepared by our genius catering team @foodbycassie and @thekitchenfox, and a little more wine. What was discussed that night we don’t know, but we’re told it was less Love Island and more of a personal nature…
Our carefully planned schedule was ‘adjusted’ slightly this morning when we realised that the babies were raring to go but the mums needed a few more minutes over their coffees…
So we strapped the babies on and hiked around the surrounding area. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t get lost but it doesn’t really matter when you’re lost in the middle of the beautiful Sussex countryside.
A leisurely brunch ended the retreat and before we knew it, the mums and babes had set off for home.
It’s a funny feeling when you’ve spent an intense three days in the company of so many lovely women, and then you wave them all goodbye. It can sometimes feel like you have known each other forever. Thank you, ladies, for a wonderful few days, we loved getting to know you and loved seeing how close you all became in such a short space of time. We hope you will continue to reap the rewards of our time spent together. And we will always have our WhatsApp group!