Someone (who shall remain un-named for this blog post in an effort to protect the idiotic) recently commented to me about my upcoming vacation, the first I’ve taken in eight and a half years, that they can’t believe I’m “abandoning” my children for nine days to go off on my own.
My response? A very emphatic and loud, “Are you fucking kidding me?”
Another person (again to be un-named to protect the moronic) recently stated that they didn’t understand why I needed a vacation, being as all I’ve been doing the past eight and a half years was staying at home with my kids, and that’s the easiest job ever.
So after my husband paid my bail money for assault…. I’m kidding of course. I didn’t assault anyone, because they were smart enough to make that comment to me on the phone.
In January, I began really making an effort to work more on my writing. That meant handing over some household and childcare duties to my husband, a feat that to a control freak like myself, was not an easy one to do. I had to let go of my tendency to control every little thing in an effort to make sure its done properly. And in letting go of those things, of not worrying if the dishwasher had been loaded and ran, not worrying about laundry being folded, not worrying about what to make for dinner every night, I was able to find more time to write. It also meant some nights, when I’d lock my bedroom door, I’d actually have to put on headphones and listen to music in an effort to block out my children being noisy and wanting Mommy. Their father is perfectly capable of handling them just as well as I can (and he does, so massive credit to him for stepping up and taking that added measure of work on his shoulders).
The result? A weekly podcast that brings me a huge amount of joy, five books (two of which have been best-sellers), a completed writer’s grant for three different projects, and five works-in-progress to be released sometime in the next year or so. And most importantly? Some excellent friendships that I have no idea how I survived my life without before these amazing people came into my world.
I’m also very exhausted and in much need of some down time, and some time alone. Because I am never alone. All told, my upcoming trip includes a total of driving forty-eight hours from Dallas, Texas to Norristown, Pennsylvania.
Of course, my vacation isn’t strictly fun: I will be travelling to the East Coast, to visit the city I was born in, and to see where I was born. I have been working on a book for the past twelve years, an autobiographical account of being an adoptee and searching for my biological mother. And while my story is a positive one, and a story of what really makes a family and what love truly is at it’s core, writing it still brings up certain emotions that are very hard to write through.
But I get to see family, and I get to meet, finally, face-to-face, friends I’ve known for several years through social media and friends that while they’re recent wonderful additions to my life, feels like they’re my oldest friends. They’re certainly my dearest.
For the jackass who says I haven’t really worked in the past eight and a half years, and the jackass who thinks I’m abandoning my children: Feel free to guess which finger I’m holding up. I’ve busted my ass for all of my working life, since I started my first paycheck earning job at fifteen, until this present day. I might not earn a gigantic paycheck, but believe me, I’ve been working non-stop since my first child was born. I’m way past a well-earned vacation.
lots of love
Woot!! Standing ovation to you, Amber! And you don’t need to justify yourself for having some holidays or some time for yourself. You deserve them! If people cannot understand that, they are not real friends.
As a former child myself, I can attest that being a mom is not easy. Because I made it my business to be a pain in her ass.
And as an adult, I agree with Cinta — you don’t need to explain yourself to anyone. Do what YOU need for YOU, Amber. Because I guaran-goddamn-tee that anyone telling you how to be and when to take down time with your family would never lift a finger to help you do the parenting they expect of you.
I wasn’t justifying, merely pointing out the hilarious irony that the first vacation I’ve scheduled for myself is a working vacation,,,, Oh, and being a smart ass….;-)
Yep, people judge; I just shrug, listen to their opinions, and do what I want to do anyway. Who cares what other people think? Doesn’t matter a hill of beans in the long run.
Which is why I truly love and adore you, Justin!
awe and shucks — I sometimes compare the negative judge types who can’t resist stating their opinions (about anything really — it could be about how to load the dishwasher rather than how you are taking a personal/work trip) to those who love to rate books or any art with a negative critique. It’s an unfortunate human condition in many people. Your friends will support you through and through.
Amen Boggy! Still wish you were one of the destinations on this trip!
sweet to say . . . you will have the best of days on your trip. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Zippy and Kipling think they’re cornered Mr. Squirrel at the bottom of the well and Lassie is busy.
Whoever thinks being a stay at home mum is the ‘easiest job ever’ clearly hasn’t done it. I went back to work two months after my first baby was born because it was EASIER!! Don’t get me wrong, it’s tough working and having to do all the household stuff as well, but my lord my child would drive me insane if I saw her 24/7. It doesn’t mean I don’t love her, only that kids are very trying, and they need to be entertained – it’s not like you just sit around doing nothing witgh your feet up as a stay at home mum!
Reason 1,325,312 as to why I adore you Ciara!
You’re an amazing writer, mother and person, Amber. Keep it up 🙂