Self-Care | Greenville Birth Photography
Birth changed me.
It took me finally being alone in my thoughts to actually realize that. But literally the moment I had Ruby, this change started happening in me. It was subtle at first. Other than the obvious transformation from a family of two to a family of three, I didn’t see the magnitude of what really happened that day.
When I left the birth center that day, with this tiny little girl in my arms, I started walking straight down this jagged, scary path that led me to where I am today. It was/is beautiful and amazing, but it hasn’t been easy. Not in the freaking least. I thought I knew what motherhood was, but I really had no clue. And I still really don’t.
Really I had no clue of the choices I would be faced with and the changes that I would see in myself. Changes that many others do not understand. The saddest part is most of the changes I personally have experienced are exactly what every mother goes through. But because of the fear of judgement and resentment, most hide them away and just try to stick to the role they are suppose to play.
You know. “The Perfect Mother”
The one that is STOKED to be a stay at home mom, LIVES to clean the house, ECSTATIC to give every. single. little. fragment. of themselves to their children and spouse.
Well, while I love my family VERY much, I also love them enough to start practicing more self care. And so do you. No matter how much we may try to fight it, the majority of us are the Queens of our households. If we fall, everything else goes down with it. So how the hell do we expect to keep up that facade and and fake the “perfect mother” role if we aren’t even taking a single minute to ourselves a day? No one can live that way. It’s insane.
Slowly I have started introducing small self-care practices every day. They are very unique to each person. So pick something that is easy and enjoyable to you to do every day. For me it was a bath. I LOVE a good hot bath. I take a hot bath every day. Well, I might skip a day once in a while, but for the most part I take the time to soak, scroll through Instagram, read a book, etc. Just me, by myself. And it helps tremendously. Throw in time to actually put on make up and do my hair and we are really set for a great day. (Which I have learn to MAKE time for those things now too.)
I tried to start meditating, and I was doing great with that and yoga but with some recent (minor) health issues, I hit a wall. I plan to get back into that, as it was a major help as well, and really started me deeper down the self-care path. I had never really noticed all the sounds and smells around me. Never notice how “out of the moment” my mind usually is. And I realized that I was very disconnected from myself and have been for a long time. I needed to be brave and face a few fears in order to start finding myself again.
So I took self-care to the extreme this past week. I booked a BEAUTIFUL yurt on Airbnb for two nights and took a ME trip. When I found this place, I knew it was exactly where and what I needed.
Wednesday (March 27, 2019) I dropped my little ones off and headed towards North Carolina. Driving is my favorite. Especially when there is nice weather. So instead of taking the highway (which would have been an hour and twenty seven minutes), I checked the “avoid highways” box on my GPS. It was an ADDITIONAL hour and a half. And I went for it. Three hours later I arrived in Marshall, NC. The place I had rented mentioned that the GPS rarely takes you to the road you need to be on, so it gives some extra written directions. Due to me taking crazy backroads, I didn’t come in where they expected. So I got a bit lost, but it was 100% worth it. Basically instead of coming in on the end of the main road, I came into the middle of it and continued to follow my GPS. So I went way too far, and saw so many gorgeous old barns and homes. I finally got turned around and found my way back to where I was suppose to be. Thankfully. The sun was already starting to set.
I had hoped to get there in time to unload my stuff and take a bath in the beautiful clawfoot tub while the sun set. But with light running out, that wasn’t going to happen. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me from continuing with my plans for the evening to myself.
When you arrive, you have to drive through a red gate. This yurt…it’s in a horse pasture! The host mentions that the two horses are very friendly and might even stop by to say hi. So I opened (and closed!) the gate and continued down the gravel drive.
I drove past a large old barn and a garden where it looks like they might be building a small greenhouse. Right past that was the yurt. With the sun setting behind it, I knew that moment I had absolutely picked the right place to start finding myself again. I unloaded my car, took a quick look around the yurt, and ate my dinner on the porch.
Despite the fact that the sun was pretty much gone at this point I still took my bath.
And this is where I have to give a huge shout out to the host. I’m about to put my naked butt on this tub. So obviously I’m going to clean it myself. I had forgotten my Thieves, so I was super excited to find cleaner under the sink. Guys, I scrubbed the heck out of the tub….and the clorox wipe….still as white as it was when I pulled it out of the container. So I’d say the cleanliness is amazing here.
Anyways, I soaked for a bit and read a chapter in my book by candle light. (There is power, but I chose to enjoy the candles they provided) I forgot to mention, there is a wood burning stove, in the yurt so it smelled like a campfire. Which is one of my absolute favorite smells. So it was literally one of the best baths I’ve ever had.
I have been dying to try some night photography, so once I got out of the bath, I put on some warm jammies, slippers and a jacket and headed out to the porch. The view was so gorgeous. To me it reminded me of something out of a story book. I had never seen the night sky like that before. It was magnificent.
I spent about an hour just staring in awe at the creation above me. The only sounds where that of a small creek next to me and the crickets/frogs in the distance. It was so refreshing. I called it a night and decided that the loft bed was where I wanted to sleep. That way I could soak in that view until the moment I closed my eyes. I read a little more of my book and turned the lights off for the night. The view from the dome was just as beautiful as I expected it to be.
The next morning I woke up to that slight tinge of light in the sky, hinting that morning was here. Normally in my mommy alone time, I would have pulled the blanket over my head and slept for another 4 hours. Instead I could not resist the urge to get up and start exploring. To see the sun rise. I grabbed an apple that the host left on the table with a granola bar, put on my camera backpack and started down the gravel drive past the yurt.
The first hike of the day was straight up a hill. A lot for my unhealthy self, but I was determined to see that view. I past another barn (which I later heard the father call the Joy barn) and started towards the sun. I’ll be honest, about half way up the hill…I had to stop. I honestly thought I might have a panic attack. Like I said, I’m not exactly the healthiest and I’m not as use to hiking as I use to be, plus I had this sudden realization of being alone. Like doi. That was the reason I came out here right? But it hit me that this was the first time I have been completely and utterly ALONE in, I don’t even know how long. It was blissful, but for a moment terrifying. Once I rested, drank some water, and talked myself down a little, I continued up the hill. When I got to the top…I felt like superwoman. And the view, more than worth it.
I sat and observed for a bit, noticing every beautiful detail I could soak in, and headed back down. There was a mention of a pond, so I wanted to check that out next. It was the easiest of the hikes I did and such a beautiful spot to sit and relax. While sitting there I got to witness two sets of cows calling out to each other, and then crossing the path behind the pond to join up.
After I made it back to the yurt, I decided to drive to Asheville to grab some lunch and to walk around downtown. I ended up driving mostly and walking down Patton Avenue, where I busted my butt on the sidewalk near Empire Tattoo. Thankfully I just bruised my shin and shoulder, so it didn’t interfere with the rest of my exploring, but was still slightly embarassing. I couldn’t find a place to eat that really jumped out at me so I ended up eating at a place called Bonnie & Clyde’s Appalachian Cuisine, which was only about 12 minutes from where I was staying. The food and service was amazing! I even got to eat with a bear. (I felt weird carrying my huge camera in to eat lunch alone so crappy camera phone photos will have to suffice. I’ll get braver next time. Also, I am not suppose to be drinking sweet tea, please don’t tell my kidney’s.)
After lunch I headed back and rested in the hammock outside the yurt. I tried to nap, but I got lost in this “buzzing sound” that was around me. At first I thought it was just a beehive somewhere close by, but I started looking around and didn’t see one close enough for me to hear it that well. As I continued to lay in the hammock I started looking up into the tree it was attached to. (Which I believe was a weeping cherry tree of some sort? I don’t know trees, but it was gorgeous and I want one.) I started noticing all the bees. Pollinating the flowers above me. This was one of the most blissful and mindful moments I experienced while there. When I realized a nap wasn’t happening and that there was still more to explore, I decided to cut the moment short and grab my backpack and go hike again. This time towards the hills behind the yurt. Where the sun was going to be setting in just a little bit.
At first I walked up a steep gravel drive. I ended up beside the cow pasture again so I watched the cows for a minute and headed back down. I wasn’t getting the view of the sunset I was looking for and had noticed a gate on my way to the pond earlier that intrigued me. It led up the bigger hill behind the yurt.
Again, I barely made it. And I even decided to stop half way on the lower of the hills and called it a day. Here I pulled out my laptop and did some journaling as I waited for the sun to set. The owners sweet doggy joined me while I hung out here. Once I finished writing, the sun wasn’t quite set, so I snapped a few photos and decided I would try to take some photos from the other side of the yurt, where I had hiked first thing that morning. In retrospect I should have hiked the hill in the front for sun set and the hill behind for sun rise to get the best views, but they were both breath taking none the less.
I ended the day soaking in another bath and crawling into the loft bed with my laptop and book. I took this time (along with the time on the hill with my laptop) to really reflect on feelings and thoughts that I couldn’t focus on while home being a mother and wife. It was so vital for me to get away and do this for myself. Not only did I face the fear of admitting that I needed the help, but I faced the fear of what everyone else was saying/thinking, the fear of doing something soley for myself, the fear of being alone in my thoughts, and many more fears.
All of which have made me a little bit stronger of a mom and a wife. I cannot put into words how much I needed it. And I plan to do it again, and again, and again. I work hard and deserve this time. All of us do. Every mother and father out there. When I got up Friday morning and headed home, I left with a breath of fresh air in my soul. It helped awaken me and I came home with a new outlook. I am so thankful for this time I had to myself and I really encourage everyone to face these fears too. Help make things like a “me-only” trip, just to meet yourself again, normal. Make taking a moment to yourself every day part of your routine. Treat yourself enough, so that you can be the Queen you are.
I highly suggest checking out this amazing Yurt. Seriously. I’ll throw a link below for you!