By: Brandy Black
I’ve done my best to transcend labels. I’ve had a lot of reason to be labeled. I had a childhood of many moves and (some might say) hippie parents. I was an actor, I came out, I joined the corporate world, I became a mother, and I have now become a mother of three! All of these things have shaped me and made me the person that I am but not one particular thing has defined me. I’m careful to remember every road along the way so that I’m not just one type of person but many shades of me. I say this because when I found out I was pregnant with twins I resigned that I may not be able to avoid the labels anymore. When you have that many kids how do people not stop and say “there goes that woman with three kids!” How could I not succumb to all that I believe that label entails? I envisioned life without vacations, constant chaos, family size bags of potato chips, and tiny screaming voices throughout my house. I didn’t know how I could overcome this and still have balance. I remember driving to work in my first trimester, nauseous and wondering if I would ever have any freedom again.
It’s no secret that we’ve been struggling over here. Susan and I have hit many bumps along the way and it’s certainly not easy having three kids. But lately I’m finding that I’m still me and although people think I’m crazy, I still push myself to do things that make me feel like me. We started date night every Wednesday and although I’m sometimes so tired I can barely get dressed up for my date, I do. I grab a decaf mocha and off we go just because we both desperately need to remember who we are.
As if that weren’t exhausting enough, I recently decided that we were going away for one night to Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. I planned for the au pair and Godparents to take care of Sophia and we would take the twins because I’m still nursing every 3 hours. I spent a few weeks getting this all organized and the day before we left Susan called to book me a massage and the receptionist told her there was no reservation under Brandy Black, “try Susan Howard”, nope no reservation under that name either. Guess what? I did everything but make a reservation for our one-night getaway. Yep, I’m that tired, what was I thinking making us do this anyway! I called them and fortunately begged my way into a last-minute room but as I was packing up on Saturday, tired from a sleepless night on Friday, I thought what the hell is wrong with me? It was exhausting just packing everything for ONE night! We jumped in the car and I told Susan that people were right, we are crazy.
But once we got to the resort and I sat in the Jacuzzi waiting for my 50-minute massage I realized 24 hours away was exactly what I needed. We ate a three-hour meal and the kids slept the whole way through it and even though much of our Sunday was spent trading off with the kids while the other worked out and went to the spa, it was worth it. We came home rested and rejuvenated.
So I realize, some may think I’m crazy and I probably am but I have to be me, the same me that rallies for fun no matter the cost. Who knows how long I’ll be able to keep this up and I’m sure I’ll keep you posted, but for now I say take that trip even if you think you shouldn’t. We’re off to Vegas in two weeks. I’ll let you know how that one turns out.