I am So Floating Mum

Yesterday, I found a new favourite thing to do!
Yesterday, I went Floating.

“The Float Room” in the Finn Valley Centre, Stranorlar is recently established and going from strength to strength.

I’ve been meaning to try floating for ages now, having heard great reports, so I was delighted when Gary invited myself and the Hubby over to try out the floating chamber.

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I didn’t really know what to expect.  We arrived to a warm welcome from proprietor Gary Ramsay, who brought us through to the floating suite.  The room is spacious, well appointed and clean; a bathroom and shower adjoins the changing room.

In the centre of the room was a big white door.  The door looks like a fridge from a space ship, but inside is a little cocoon of blue loveliness.
Gary guided us through the process with simple instructions.

Once everything had been explained, he left us to it.  What I really enjoyed about the experience was that you are left alone.  You are completely in charge of your own experience.  When in a spa, you’re always aware that the therapist will return in just a few minutes.  Here, unless you need a member of staff, you are free to enjoy the experience at your own pace.  (there is of course an emergency button should you need assistance.  It’s never been pressed!)

The chamber is beautiful.  The blue lights are soothing and calming.  The ceiling has colour-changing LED lights which are a sensory treat. When you enter the bath, music plays for the first 15 minutes.  This is followed by 30 minutes of quiet and then the music gently returns when there is 15 minutes of your session left.  It is a clever system as you can allow yourself to forget time completely.
The bath itself is huge.  Two people can comfortably share the chamber. The water isn’t overly deep and is toasty warm, and once you lie into it, you do indeed float!  With over a tonne of Epsom salts in the tub, you are fully unable to sink. (I swim like a concrete block, so this was a very new experience for me!)

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The most difficult part of the experience is actually relaxing!  It took me quite a while to fully surrender to the water.  I had to fully focus on relaxing certain muscles.  My neck was automatically keeping my head above water, but when you consciously force it to relax, it’s incredible.

The lights on the ceiling can be controlled manually.  We chose to turn them off.  I think that when I go again, I’ll keep the music on throughout.  I enjoyed the silence of course, but the music was relaxing and added that spa-like feel to the experience.

At the end of the session, when the filter begins to clean the chamber, you begin to spin gently as if on a whirlpool.  This was weird, but fun!  I think that with a few more sessions, I’d get better at relaxing and get further benefit from the experience.

As a couple, we don’t often get a full hour of uninterrupted conversation. I thought that we’d have a chance to talk, but obviously when you’re floating, your ears are under water, so there was no chatting! There are neck cushions that can be used however if you do want to chat with your floating partner.  Goggles and earplugs are also available in the changing room.

The one piece of advice that I wish I’d paid more attention to, was to keep my hands away from my eyes!
Epsom salts + contact lenses = ouchee! But a dry towel beside the chamber door soon sorted that.

The shower room and changing room are fully equipped with robes, towels and toiletries.  There is a powerful hairdryer and a basket of everything you might have forgotten!  Bottles of water and “sucky sweets” were welcome after the float.

I have to say, by bedtime, my back and shoulders had the ache of having had a good massage.  I slept like a baby last night.

So all in all, the experience was a lovely one. It was different.  It was relaxing.  It was very enjoyable.
I would happily go back on my own, or with himself.  If nothing else, it meant that I knew that he had had a full hour of relaxation without his phone beeping!
I can fully understand why Floating can benefit everyone.  It is proven to have immense benefits for pregnancy and Gary tells me that he has a number of clients to who bring their autistic children along as a form of relaxation.

Gary will be at my Bump and Beyond event on April 3rd so will answer any questions.  Or if you can’t wait until then, call him on 0894428691 or email him on info@thefloatroom.ie

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I am So-floating Mum 😆

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I am Suds-and-Sauvignon Mum

Recently I had a bubble bath.

It wasn’t just an ordinary bubble bath.

It was my first bubble bath since having Princess a few months ago.
It was my first bubble bath with bubbles made by a ridiculously luxurious and smelly bath lotion.
It was my first bubble bath in almost a year where I could sip on a glass of Sauvigon while I soaked.

It was my first bubble bath in quite a while, where I actually fit into the tub and didn’t require the help of Hubby and a forklift to get out!

It was heavenly.

I lit some scented candles, turned off the main light and closed the door knowing that Mini-Me and Princess were safe with Daddy.
I had at least a half hour to switch off.

It was utter bliss.

To get a few minutes, however long or short, where you know the kids are safe in someone else’s care and you can completely relax, is a luxury that I never appreciated until I had children.

I reached out for the fancy, long-stemmed wine glass and sighed.  The golden liquid swishing around the huge glass looked extra pretty and lush in the candlelight.  I found myself stopping to look at the scene in front of me.

Had I had a camera, this would have been a cool photograph.
Candlelight, suds, the gold sauvignon, my recently painted nails.  It was all quite fabulous; classy; romantic even!  The photograph would have been the perfect accompaniment to an article on a Yummy Mummy, or indeed a perfect pamper evening.

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I sipped on the cold wine and enjoyed the flavours.  It had been quite a while since I had had wine in the bath!  Deep breath and relax.  And then smile as I felt a little bit of the “Me B.C” creeping back.
Yes.  This was Heaven.
And then I turned my head slightly to the left…
On the edge of my “photograph of perfection” was a reminder of real life.

Along the side of the bath, was the full collection of Disney princesses…the bath toy versions…which are pretty, but a little creepy when you consider the size of their heads in relation to their bodies!
(And the Rapunzel doll looks like she’s high on something illegal!)
Interspersed with these Princesses, were multicoloured rubber ducks, glaring at me through their pirate eye-patches.

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I looked to the right.
The over flowing laundry basket looked like it was puking clothes.

And so my picture perfect Yummy Mummy moment suddenly became a snapshot of reality.
And I simply laughed.
I focused again on the centre view.  If I just kept looking straight ahead, I could pretend for a few minutes that I had nothing to worry about but the suds and that my servants would sort out the laundry!

And so that is what I did.  I finished sipping the Sauvignon, stared at the candle flame dancing through the suds, and relaxed.

When I was suitably wrinkly and relaxed, (and the water was starting to get too cold to enjoy), I turned my attention back to Cinderella and her band of ducking pirates.

Yes, I was cross at them for ruining my picture perfect moment, but still.
They represent my reality.
I can pretend to be as classy and sophisticated as I like, but the reality is that I am an overgrown child who quite likes the colourful mess of bath toys in the bathroom.
And I don’t have servants so the puking laundry basket would be dealt with, by me…but not until the next morning.

I got out of the bath, (without help!!!  HUGE accomplishment!), wrapped myself up in a fluffy towel and left the candlelit bathroom, completely relaxed and smelling lovely, and looking forward to cuddles with my own little Disney Princesses in the bright light of the next morning.

But for just a little while,
I was Suds-And-Sauvignon Mum.

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I am Somedays Mum

Some days are for wearing whatever concoction of clothing Mini-Me decides she wants to wear.

Some days are for twirling in sparkly dresses; around and around; just because. spinning

Some days are for snuggling into the soft mat and watching Sleeping Beauty – and all the extra features and trailers that we usually skip past.

Some days are for staying the PJs, for not even considering brushing hair or washing faces.

Some days are for stopping what I am doing to watch her dancing in her own wee world, instead of just being glad that she’s occupying herself for 5 minutes while I peel potatoes.

Somedays are for cracking eggs and baking cupcakes, and not worrying about the mess or how many pieces of shell end up on the counter.

Some days are for pretending to steal her little nose!

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Some days are for not doing very much housework, but just chatting to a three year old.  It’s amazing how the logic of our world can seem so ridiculous when a child explains how they see it. “Mammy, you get off that seat and go over there.  I have to push that seat and you’re still on it cos Percy Penguin needs to go swimming!”  Okay!

Some days are for cutting sandwiches into star shapes and making up stories about them.

Some days are for playing Hide n’ Seek.  Not just counting to appease her and then pretending I don’t see her for a few minutes; for actually stopping what I’m doing and playing it.  It’s amazing where this S-Mum can still fit when she puts her mind to it!

Some days are for just stopping to be glad that these Some days exist.

Some days are for making memories instead of catching them as they flit past.

Some days are for smiling. 🙂

I am Some days Mum. life laughing