I just returned from an overnight at Grizzly Bear Resort with my four children in Utica, Illinois by Starved Rock. My husband has a new job at which he cannot take any time off so he joined us late afternoon and had to leave first thing in the morning.

It was a good trip, but a long trip as any trip with small children inevitably is.

The room had two queen sized beds and a sleeper coach which my boys (11 and 13 years old) wanted nothing to do with. I said ‘no problem, I will take the sleeper coach’ knowing that I would have my almost two year old sleeping next to me, and the extra room and low height would be appreciated.  This left my husband and 5 year old in one queen sized bed, and the two boys in the other.

It has been a long time since I have slept on a sleeper coach. I had forgotten the ‘undulations’ involved: how the bed dips and curves in the most unforgiving places.

And Mama Bear had not had her nap.

Mama Bear does not function too well without some down time during the day, so I had already kicked it in to overdrive and was running on fumes at that point.

I settled down for my long winter’s nap and realized … just how gosh darn uncomfortable it was.

I moved this way and that, turning to lay the other way, then sideways, trying my best to find some way to actually lay flat on the bed.

And I realized, in my overtired and uncomfortable state, that Mama Bear might not be sleeping tonight.

Which of course, threw me into panic as I started to imagine what it would be like managing four children on my own the following day with no sleep.

And if there is one thing that I have realized as the mother of four is that Panic and Overtired Mixed Together = Not Good.

Very ‘Not Good‘.

I had already listened to my relaxation segments on my Ipod and nothing, nada, zilch.

Mama Fact #114 – sleep deprivation begets sleep deprivation.

So I turned on my Moon Lodge music.

This play list on my Ipod has the music from our biweekly Moon Lodge meetings.

World music, flutes, drums, chanting, new age, Christian, Indian – it is a wide mix.

Soothing, lovely, dreamy, relaxing, and it all reminds me of the Moon Lodge – an hour for me and other mamas to connect, celebrate nature, meditate, share.

I fell asleep easily and had a wonderful rest of the trip. Yes, it was tiring, but we got our ‘moments’.

Moments of togetherness, moments of fun, moments of love, moments of memories.

And those usually don’t happen unless us Mama Bears are first taking care of ourselves.

Find what refills your soul.

Connect with others.



 Some of the Moon Lodge Music:

Lisa Gerrard – Elegy


* Photo credit to