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The One Thing Every Mom Needs (and Deserves) to Stay Sane

Photograph by Twenty20

Once you have kids, it feels like their stuff begins to invade every room in the house. With three boys at home, I can’t even take a shower without stepping on an assortment of plastic superheroes and zoo animals. Dads are notoriously known to escape to their man cave, garage or even the toilet for an ungodly amount of time when they need a break, but what about moms? Don't we deserve some space of our own?

As an introvert, it has long been my dream to own a "she-shed," reading nook or some other quiet place where I can read, or binge watch some “Grace and Frankie” without interruptions. It has yet to become a reality, but that hasn't stopped me from somehow finding some space for myself. As a mom who struggles with depression, it's essential for my mental health.

Motherhood is all-encompassing—it’s life-affirming and draining at the same time and all moms deserve to have a special place to call their own, something that can fill their cup (and their soul) when it's running on empty.

To all the moms out there: Find your special place.

What's working for me right now is turning my bathroom into a sanctuary and indulging in a bath. My husband watches the kids, we lock the bathroom door and the bedroom door, and I turn on the fan for good measure to prevent myself from listening to everything that is going on with the kids.

I've also found my own "special place" outside of our home, where I can get a longer break that I know will be free from interruptions. It involves taking a scenic drive to Zion National Park (which I am fortunate to live close to) and enjoying some uninterrupted writing time and a giant plate of nachos that I eat by myself at my favorite restaurant. It took me years to figure out that I needed to do this for myself once in a while without guilt. We moms need to realize there's nothing wrong with needing space to ourselves.

To all the moms out there: Find your special place. It could be a craft room, a cozy hammock or the cool vintage store downtown that you love to browse. Find what feeds your soul and makes you feel alive. Don't give up on your passions and what makes you you just because you're a caretaker now.

And if you can't think of any place to escape to, learn to take a long drive by yourself. The beautiful world awaits you.

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