As a stay at home mom, neonatal kitten foster, and 24 hour caregiver to my 88 year old uncle my life is hectic. My day is full of meal prep, medication distribution, cleaning, and daily homesteading chores, so finding time for myself is always difficult. Still, when the family is fed and the kids are in bed, you can likely find me in my reading corner with a cup of tea and my current indie ARC read.
Lockdown was an especially difficult time for my household because in addition to my normal daily routine I was thrown into being a teacher for my then 9 yo daughter. Like everyone else in the world, we made it work, routines were scheduled, chores were assigned and our Alexa's began working overtime with scheduled daily reminders to make sure everything was getting done. But despite all this my anxiety was on a rise and mental health was on the decline until my sister and friends pointed out that I literally had no time for myself. Finding time for me was not a priority I ever thought about. When I became a mom, for me, MY life ended, and everything I did was for my children. When I got married, my happiness was tied to my husband’s happiness. When I began fostering kittens my sleep was forfeit because they needed me to wake up and feed them every 2 hours or they would die. I was satisfied with my life, the happiest I’ve ever been, but that’s not saying much when you’ve been depressed your entire life, and the only reason that you’re happy is because you feel like you’re needed. So Alexa got a few new daily reminders, take a shower, brush your hair, spend an hour browsing social media. And doing just that helped, but I was still in a bad place mentally. My kids would constantly ask if I was ok and my husband started mentioning that I look at him like I hate him.
How do you explain to the love of your life that the faces you're making are aimed at your internal monologue. A constant stream of mental comments about how your husband is going to leave you because the house isn't spotless and the dishes have been in the sink since dinner last night. That you’ve gained weight and there's no way he still finds you attractive. That you're a crap parent because you don’t do enough educational things with your toddler, and he spends most of the time on his iPad. Or how you washed the laundry but forgot to put them away yet again.
Then in March my best friend died. After all, the loss my family experienced during the Covid lockdown and being numb to all of it, this was the straw that broke the camel's back. I spent days depressed, I didn’t get out of bed for nearly a week. I cried more over the loss of a friend, whom I hadn't seen in 5 years, than I did for my favorite uncle. I spent days telling myself if I were a better friend, I could have helped him. I could have stopped it from happening. My husband, like the trooper he is, carried the family on his back. He took the kids to school, made my uncle breakfast, dispensed medication, went to work, made dinner, got the kids to bed, and spent time with me, comforting and reassuring me that there was nothing I could have done. I realized then that I wasn’t NEEDED. I was wanted.
I took steps to improve my mental health. I bought makeup for the first time in 9 years. I started listening to music while I cleaned and found myself happier while cleaning because of it. My son and I would have dance parties and I started losing weight. Meal prep became a family activity. My son started looking forward to his bedtime routine because Mommy enjoyed the quality time that reading had become. Weekends were set aside for family. Daddy and the kids would spend an hour together in the evenings watching his favorite animes and give me time for my self care. I joined TikTok to chase the dopamine I found watching book reviews and trendy dance videos
Since joining TikTok I’ve found a community of like minded people who know exactly how difficult it is to juggle being a wife and mother while still finding time for myself.
The Booktok and Authortok communities are filled with ladies, gentlemen, theys and gays that are supportive and uplifting. One thing I didn't expect to find was the ability to ARC read unpublished Indie books by becoming friends with these micro creators. Since then, I find myself looking forward to my time in the evenings. That few hours after the kids are in bed and before my husband and
I lay down for the night. I created a corner of my house that is dedicated to my passion for books. I found a big comfortable chair, a small bookshelf, a few cute pictures, and a candle that I have yet to light. It’s not much but as soon as I sit down I can feel the stress of the day fade away and my heart starts to race at the idea of losing myself in the story. When I go out I’m constantly on the lookout for things that I can add to make my corner more cozy.
I have always loved to read and it used to be an escape from the reality of my life but now reading is more than that. It is my passion. Where I used to read and wish that this was what my life was like, now
I read just to enjoy the magic of thousands of symbols strung together on a page creating whole new worlds and adventures.
Now that I am in a mental headspace where I feel comfortable sharing my experience with others. I decided to start this blog to share the amazing Indie books and bookish merchandise that I find to help brighten my day and remind others with crazy, hectic lives that it's ok to step back, light that candle, read that spicy book and get lost in a sense of Page A Vu.