It’s been a few days since I returned from almost a week away from my family to attend a blog conference in San Jose, CA. I’m still getting used to being home again; the routine of conference life quickly became my “new normal” and the re-entry of my everyday life has been a slow process.
As a mom, I rarely leave my children voluntarily. Sure, they are with their dad on the weekends (and during agreed upon vacations) but I don’t take “vacation time” away from my kids. Blog conferences are the exception to that – and I don’t attend more than two a year. This one in particular had me away from home for five days – and away from the girls for six and a half because of their schedule.
Upon reflection of my time away, I realize the following things:
Despite my daughters being a massive part of my life, I barely talked about them. Sure, the people that I interacted with knew that I was a mom, but that fact was not the central discussion point. We weren’t comparing pediatricians or the best places to buy school clothes. We talked about US; our likes, dislikes, interests, dreams, passions and heartbreaks. It was exhilarating.
I love teaching! I had the opportunity to spend the day leading an education seminar about learning ways to turn your blog into a business. It was fantastic to spend the day with 50 incredible diverse women, helping to guide them on a path to defining their dreams and making money doing it. I need to find more opportunities to do this because it was incredibly fulfilling.
It IS possible for adult women to make new friends. I met amazing, incredible, smart, strong, funny as hell women (who are also moms) that I feel like I’ve known all my life. We laughed, we cried, we shared stories, we worked as a team, and we inspired and motivated each other. And we HAD FUN! I love them. They will always be in my life and I hope that I get to see them more than once a year.
But most of all, I need more time away like this. Time to just be ME. To sleep in a place alone without fear of interruption. To laugh until there are tears streaming from my eyes. To be moved by the words of strong, inspirational people that challenge what I think and believe. To dance. To be silly. To be inspired. To be bold. To put pink streaks in my hair without having to worry about the precedent I am setting for my daughters.
And to remember that there is a Jennifer buried deep inside the layers of Mom that are on the surface.
Jennifer Evers is a 40-something blogger and small business owner living in the Chicago suburbs with her two young daughters and a DVR full of reality television shows. She blogs about her life at Me, Myself and Jen (www.memyselfandjen.com) - single parenting, recipes, crafts and home projects, crazy things her children do, travel, celebrity encounters, community events and those wacky "Real Housewives."
See more of Jennifer's stories here.
Let us plan your weekend with the best family events and activities in Chicagoland.
Start the week right with deals, prizes, parent life hacks and more delivered straight to your inbox.
Need last-minute ideas for a weekend of family fun? No worries. We've got you.
Get the inside scoop on the people, places and things we are loving right now.
Resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Score exclusive offers from our fabulous advertisers.