In Which I Do Something Selfish (Part 2)

When I last left you regarding this blog post theme (In Which I Do Something Selfish, Part 1) I was preparing to do the unthinkable: I was getting ready to take a solo vacation, whilst leaving the kids in the care of my capable husband. Here’s a quick recap: I was on a book draft deadline, and when my husband got laid off unexpectedly, we realized he would no longer have the time off needed in order to go on our planned family vacation to a cozy yurt nestled on a remote farm. I was heartbroken…until I realized that my book deadline might be most easily met if I took the yurt trip all by myself in order to experience having a room of one’s own in which to write.

And here’s the most magical thing about the trip: people came out of the woodwork to offer assistance. People offered babysitting to help my husband, people offered to help with dropoffs and pickups, people checked in from afar to see how things were going. Not a single person said (to my face, anyway!) that what I was doing was selfish, even though I felt like it a lot.

Because that’s the thing about motherhood, isn’t it? Even when we do something that’s objectively the best decision, the guilt can still be overwhelming. In our case, we’d recently taken in a foster child, so my husband was tasked not only with watching the kiddo he’d been watching since her birth, but also an additional child we were both still getting to know (likes, dislikes, best way to soothe, etc).  It was not an opportune time to have a book deadline! And yet, everyone was supportive and understanding and always seemed to view my trip as valid. That’s a tough thing in motherhood for me: finding validity in the things I do outside of motherhood.

So I took my little yurt trip. And readers, let me bask in something for a moment: it was glorious. Having the ability to starfish about and write and wander around and then sit back down to write, then get up, make some tea, sit back down, nibble a biscuit, write some more, ponder, write, ponder, write…for hours at a time? Amazing. AMAZING. I can’t stress enough how incredible it was to have so many hours to devote to a creative task. I was able to find my flow for the first time in what felt like years. I feel like a whole new creative person.

So here’s my takeaway: if you can, get a room of one’s own for a while. Lean on your community and give your creative spirit the care it deserves. It’s worth it. I think mothers so often try to wedge in any outside work or craft or art or hobby simply where we can. Sometimes, that’s all we can do. But sometimes, there are moments that beg to be taken, and this one time, I took one of those moments. And it was worth it in spades.

So go.  If you can go, go.  I’ve never felt more creatively alive. If this is what selfish is…maybe I’m just happy being selfish sometimes!

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