Something happens to me when I return to Los Angeles. Of course I’m excited. I’m excited to reconnect with friends I haven’t seen in a year ( or sometimes more). I’m excited to have no real responsibilities outside of feeding myself and showing up where I promised I would.
I can sleep in. I can read. I can nap.
I can even watch TV shows above a G-rating…Or indulge in reality show marathons on my iPad!
But something else happens too.
In the land of the Beautiful People I desire to feel beautiful. Suddenly I care about my wardrobe. I want to take care of my skin. I want to actually wear make-up. I want to do something with this hair of mine, beyond my usual pony-tail.
It’s not that I become totally shallow and without spiritual depth. I think it’s that I want to play. I want to just be me—complex and multi-layered me. Not JUST a MOM. Not JUST a home educator. Not JUST a Christian woman. Not JUST a homemaker. I am proudly all of those things, but I am also so much more than that.
There is no ONE side of our personality. We should each be unique and not easily defined.
What does it actually mean to be a homeschool mom? Do I have to wear a blue jumper, Keds and make all of my children’s clothes? What does it mean to be a mother of 5? Does it mean that I should no longer care about my appearance or want to feel attractive? If I say I’m a Christian does that mean I should always be solemn and never laugh? If I am married does that mean I can never spend the evening chatting with girlfriends or a week in another state sleeping in and spending time with girlfriends?
I am so blessed to have a husband that encourages me to reclaim joy, explore my interests, reconnect with friends and refuel my batteries. He knows that it makes me a better (and happier) person, wife and mother. He knows because like most men he has always operated this way. Men know when they need to rest, and they do. They know what they need to do to refuel, and they do.
Why did it take me so long to catch on?
David has always been the one to tell me to get away, take a break, relax… He often knows me better than I know myself!
When I hang around my sister in NYC, I always come back to TX a little more inspired (and with a few extra things to hang in my closet). It is good to feel beautiful and we often forget that it does take some effort on our part. It is easy to feel selfish when we focus on ourselves, but when you find the right balance, it helps our family in the long run. A mommy that feels beautiful will act beautiful too!
No denim jumper for me. Although I was really close to buying Keds last month. I got on a crazy Americana/nostalgia kick. Instead of the Keds, I opted for some cute wedges instead! Next on my list is swimsuit shopping. Ack ack ack. I think I am going to get a hotel room and invite my friend Laura. Our sole purpose will be to find a swimsuit and eat good food without the distractions of school, husbands, house and kids. Wait a minute… maybe food and swimsuit shopping is not the ideal combo?