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I've never made a secret about my love of the Twilight Saga; mostly in an exaggerated joking way; but I'd like to explain that a little; as well as describe my strategy for staying positive and energized while I do what most people would agree is the hardest job you'll ever love; being a mom.
I became a mom at the age of 19; after being married for 11 months. We lived in a very nice two bedroom apartment; but money was a struggle. James had gotten laid off from his job five days after our wedding; a very simple wedding that we paid for ourselves; leaving me as the breadwinner of the family. It's funny, because I remember our early marriage being kind of a magical, sweet time; but James remembers being constantly stressed; which I think is a funny difference in perspective! Thankfully, James found a great job when I was six months pregnant; one that had full medical benefits; and so I gave my notice at my job weeks before Andrew was born. After we had Andrew; James also picked up a job delivering pizza four nights a week; in addition to working 5 days a week at his full-time job and commuting two hours a day; so Andrew and I were home a lot on our own! We also only had one car; so I was in our apartment just with baby all the time; we often wouldn't leave the house until the weekend, when we'd rush around getting groceries and running errands; before James' second job in the evening. I found the hardest thing for me about being a mom was the loneliness; although funnily enough, now that I look back on that time; that one-on-one interaction and peace seems nothing less than heaven! I was very isolated, but I didn't really mind; I'd always dreamed of being a mom; having a house and a baby and a husband to take care of; and it seemed like the fulfillment of a dream; although it was more difficult that I had imagined. I discovered how important it was to maintain whatever bit of autonomy I could, even in a situation where I was basically dependent on James for everything.
Over the course of the years of being a stay at home mom; I've always tried to treat myself to little things that gave me a bit of a diversion, because the days at home with no adult conversation can be long; and tedious; and can strain your psyche in ways I could not have anticipated. I suppose I could be reading great, uplifting works of literature; but honestly; when I have a few stolen minutes to pick up a book, I don't want to be reading "Anna Karenina"; no matter how brilliant Tolstoy was; I want a peppy little pick me up that sticks to simple themes; love and happily ever after.
I got started on Twilight last summer; after a very difficult pregnancy with baby Elvis; not so much physically; although it was the most trying pregnancy physically that I've ever had. I was strained to the limit emotionally after Elvis was born, and have a history of Postpartum Depression; which I was trying everything imaginable to avoid. I became a little afraid of nighttime, fearing that the depression would return, so I started renting and watching movies while nursing Elvis in bed in the evenings. On a lark one day, I rented the first Twilight movie and surprised myself by really finding it fun and entertaining. So I picked up the books, used, at a bookstore; and picked them up whenever I had a spare minute. I was riveted! It was a sweet love story; and for some reason I found myself relating to the story; which sounds silly, I know; but I found myself reading while I couldn't sleep, in between feedings; and whenever I could. I'm a fast reader, and devoured all four books in a short amount of time. I honestly feel that having that diversion helped my postpartum blues stay manageable; and kept me from delving into a true depression; as I had after Dorian was born.
Since I've started my own business; I've developed quite a penchant for picking up paperbacks while I grocery shop; something which would have been unthinkable even a year ago; our budget simply could not have managed it. Making a little of my own money has allowed me freedom to do things like that; things that probably most people take for granted; but I must tell you; when I choose a silly little paperback, it seems positively decadent! I now have very little time to read, but I do pick up paperbacks when I have time. I'm a very, very fast reader, and can go back and forth between stories with no problem; so I often rotate books in the middle; starting and stopping often. It's rare for me to find a story I truly get enveloped in; the way I am with Twilight; or my other favorite; Outlander; but I still enjoy the little bright spot in my day that I get from reading a few chapters of silly, frivolous, with-no-literary-value pieces of fiction; and I hope I never get to the point where I can't enjoy a fun little novel!
So that's my story.. and I'm stickin' to it!
This week will be very busy for me; and very, very bittersweet; since the last day of school and the last day of Andrew being in Elementary school is tomorrow. I'm going to be scaling back the amount of work I put into my etsy shop; concentrating more on my in-person prospects and summer with my boys, above all. And the weather is supposed to start behaving; at long last!
Summer is here!