The Effort


About four weeks ago, and a year into being a new mom, my baby still wasn’t sleeping more than 2 hours at a time. I was feeling both sad and sleep-deprived, so I made an escape plan to meet up with some girlfriends just three hours south in Dallas, Texas over the weekend.

By the time the trip rolled around I had caught up on sleep and no longer wanted to run away from my family. I almost thought about canceling last minute so I could keep my typical and easy weekend. The effort of breaking my routine for a quick road trip made me feel a little anxious. You see, I’m tethered by a short rope to my little family – the very thing that makes me want to stay is the very reason why I need to go. To be the kind of mom, boss, and person I want to be I need to be able to let go – even for just one night.

The drive alone was pretty amazing. Just me in my MINI – alone – it gave me some time to examine my thoughts. I listened to some podcasts and began to generate new ideas. And it goes without saying that hanging out with my creative pack – Chelsea, Becky, and Jane – was totally worth the short drive down I-35. I don’t take it for granted how lucky I am to have them in my tribe.

So the big takeaway of my weekend is that doing fun stuff – the stuff that builds relationships and strengthens bonds, the stuff memories are made of – it takes effort.

P.S. Jane has chickens in her backyard. It’s been a long fantasy of mine but now I feel inspired to actually make it happen.

  1. Carly

    I love this post! Escaping, even just for a little bit, is so refreshing!! Especially when you’re as busy as you mama.

    PS: So much good denim in these photos!!

  2. I SO hear you on this one. It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I sometimes I struggle with even wanting to leave the house to do things I KNOW will be fun. I’m an odd combo of introvert and extrovert–being around people is super fun to me, and gives me energy in the moment, but being around new people leaves me super drained LATER, and so I think I dread it sometimes. It’s just easier to stay home or be with the people I’m extra comfortable with. But it’s always worth it when I go–when I make the effort. I’m glad you had such a great weekend!

  3. Ravyn

    Regarding the chickens: Do it!!! I know you like to eat local, and even dip your toes into plant-based foods a lot. Obvs eggs aren’t plants, but backyard eggs are amazing. It’s been awhile since I’ve had any, but if I ate them, we’d totally have a little flock. Plus, Fox would get a beautiful view of where his food comes from, and truly value the chickens as providers. We are thinking of adopting some spent chickens, but Jim can only accept one of my crazy vegan ideas at a time. 😉

  4. Oh I can so relate to this, and particularly to Erica Midkiff’s comments. Actually Erica, are you posting as me?!!

    Even if I’m drained when I get home, I’m always glad I went out, but when I wake up on the morning of a big event/trip/meeting, I’m almost praying that it will be cancelled. I’m reading Susan Cain’s book, Quiet, at the moment, which is explaining a great deal about this strange introvert-extrovert combo Erica and I share.

    Sounds a great break!

  5. Sarah

    I am in awe / also terrified. For a lady who barely sleeps, I’m so impressed with all the stuff I’ve seen you do this past year! I’ve been pretty lucky as far as sleep goes with my first (she’s almost 5 now), and with number 2 on the way I’m a bit scared it won’t be so easy. I’m totally impressed with your drive despite sleep.

  6. Maria

    You are such a warrior to have achieved everything you have on the sleep (or lack, thereof) that you’ve had this past year! It’s been amazing following you.

    I totally feel you on the escaping. I recently went on a 3-day trip to London leaving my two babies behind. I went mostly for work but also some pleasure, and I felt so guilty in the lead-up to my flight. I felt like I was abandoning my children and all my responsibilities as a mother. I’m working on re-wiring my brain to accept that I have other responsibilities aside from my children and family life — which include fostering good working relationship and strengthening friendships. Working on these areas will help me be the best mom, and person, I can be.

    And similar to how you felt on the plane, it was such a joy to be able to put my headphones in on the plane and listen to music for 3 hours STRAIGHT.

    It’s a constant struggle fighting the contradiction demons — feeling guilty and excited at the same time!

    Maria xx

    P.S. Have you quit instagram?

  7. Jane

    HAHA! I totally knew you would think of canceling! I was actually kinda afraid you really would! I am so glad that you came and that we are friends! and I totally know how you feel about being on a short leash with your little family. I feel it too! And yes, I totally agree that that is exactly why we must get away (to spend the night with our girlfriends talking too loud about our personal lives in public. haha) Being treated like my old self again feels really good every once in a while. It makes me feel free. Thanks again for coming down and hanging out!

  8. claudia

    I had the opportunity to hold/hug a chicken recently. They are softer than expected!

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