About Chris B.

My husband is my best friend who also happens to be a touring musician. My kids are my motivation as well as a constant challenge. My blog, Road Widows, is a support outlet for wives and others in the music industry.

Five on Friday: Things You MUST Do on a Kids-Free Weekend Getaway

My husband and I are on a much-needed vacation this weekend. And we left the kids at home. That’s right. We are kid-free!! (Don’t worry. There’s someone with them.)

This trip is a VERY exciting thing for this mama who spends every day and night with the kids and is often on her own when the hubs is on the road. Not to mention, with two kiddos running around, it’s really challenging to get one-on-one time with the hubs when he’s home anyway. So, after well over two years of no kid-free vacations, here we sit. In our plush hotel room with absolutely nothing we have to do. Well, except these top five things you MUST do on a kid-free weekend getaway.

  1. Listen to music with cuss words really REALLY loud. I don’t know about you, but the Frozen soundtrack is on repeat at our house. So today we listened to Eminem. Can’t do that with kids around.
  2. Eat junk food whenever you want. I can’t eat anything around my kids without them wanting it too. Not to mention, I try to be a good example for them so they make healthy choices and have a nutritionally-balanced diet and blah blah blah. So I just don’t eat junk food. Which is good for my waistline I suppose. BUT, when you’re away from the kids … anything goes! Cheetohs? Doritos? M&Ms? Yes, please.
  3. Pack a cooler of beer. Not that I don’t have a drink with the kids around, but bringing a cooler of beer is not usually on my to-do list when I’m taking a family vacation. Make it an adults-only weekend though, and suddenly it takes priority over my hair dryer.
  4. Disregard time altogether. When you’re a parent, you live by the clock. What time is it? It’s getting close to lunch. Gotta go before the kids start to lose it. Almost nap time. Quick. Get in the car before the baby starts to fall asleep! Dinner out? Sure, but we need to go for the early bird special so we can get home in time for the 35 minute bedtime ritual. You get my point. This weekend I’m going to eat dinner whenever the heck I want to and not worry a damn about it.
  5. Take a nap. Because you just can.

What about you fellow mamas? What would you add to this list?

Invisible

I’ve considered myself a pretty strong, confident and independent woman, but somewhere along the way I’ve lost some of that. I kind of feel like Julia from the TV show Parenthood. Now I haven’t kissed another man and am not getting divorced or anything quite as dramatic like that, but I relate to her journey. The one where you are a strong, confident career woman, support your husband’s dreams, have kids, try to do it all, get burned out trying to do it all, quit your job in an effort to save yourself, watch your husband succeed and seemingly achieve the elusive “have it all” life, and suddenly realize you’ve become a Stepford wife who stays at home with the kids and feels, well, kinda invisible.

When I first launched Road Widows, my first blog post was “Let’s talk about me for a change.” I wrote about how often people are so enthralled with our husbands’ careers that they forget to ask you about YOU. I am sad to say for all you who have been following my journey that not much has changed.

As long as we allow it to be ALL about our husbands, it will be.

I guess there’s nothing really sexy about cooking three meals a day and preparing two snacks. Or doing mountains of laundry every third day. Or making house cleaning a game for your kids so that you can maybe, just maybe scrub a toilet once a week.  Or running errands in between play dates. Or wiping butts, potty training, changing clothes, giving baths, and the long list of other things I do for the kids that I can’t remember right now because I’m just plain too tired.

Nope.

It’s definitely more interesting to ask about my husband’s journey. It’s also easier because it’s widely known what he does. No one knows what I do other than be a mom and a wife. No one knows that I’m launching my own consulting/freelance business ALL WHILE STILL being a stay at home mom. (Translated: Damn near impossible!) No one knows that I’m learning web development in my spare time. Uh, wait a minute. What spare time?

No one knows because they don’t ask and I don’t tell. I stay invisible in the conversation to let my husband shine.

What’s worse though? I realize I feel invisible because I’ve let myself become invisible. And what a shame that is.

I’m not exactly sure how it happened. Maybe it’s a byproduct of how it feels when society doesn’t seem to respect stay at home moms – in turn making me believe I don’t contribute enough to society. Maybe it’s my own ego making me feel like I have nothing to speak up about, scared of what people think of me and afraid of failure. Or maybe it’s the cumulative effect of being a mom and a wife and feeling like I’ve lost who I am in the process. No matter how it happened, the hard reality is it happened. And I’ve let it.

So I’m challenging myself and all of my fellow Road Widows who might relate to this post to STOP BEING INVISIBLE. Stop shrinking into the background. Stop feeling like you’re not worthy. Stop giving your husband the spotlight all the time. BE VISIBLE. We not only have a light within us worth shining, but we owe it to the world to share it.

“Nashville Wives” Get Real

Let’s talk about this new show “Private Lives of Nashville Wives” for a minute.

Private Lives of Nashville WivesI’ll readily admit when I heard about the show, saw the website and the trailers, I was majorly disappointed. It seemed to be just another version of the “Real Housewives” enterprise. Which, let’s be honest, has absolutely nothing real about it. And now this type of show was going to represent Nashville on a national level. The Nashville music industry. And, to be even more specific, us. Road widows.

BUMMER.

Then the show aired last week. I tried to watch it. Tried to give it a chance before I wrote it off. But I just couldn’t do it. After the first 20 minutes I stopped. I actually think most of the cast is likable, but fundamentally I just can’t support such an enterprise. It saddened me to think this could turn into the new “Real Housewives.”

But you know what the reviews said?  There was not enough drama to make it successful. The women were not exciting enough. They’re too nice. This is what our society has come to. Depressing.

“In other words, all the ingredients of a ‘Real Housewives’ franchise are here, minus anything new to add to the recipe.” – New York Daily News

“Nashville is a fascinating and dynamic city that deserves to be the star of its own show. Sadly though, the same cannot be said for most of the women we met on tonight’s premiere episode.” – The Stir

Then I heard on the radio a casting call for the next season. The requirements? You have to be rich, have a beautiful house, drive expensive cars and have extravagant toys. Oh and of course you have to be outspoken and opinionated. Duh.

I get it. Drama sells. The more the better. But this is just getting plain ridiculous. After all the good press and exposure Nashville has been getting, now we’re going to enter the (contrived) “reality” show market with a complete misrepresentation of how cool and down-to-earth we really are. Shame on you TNT.

Some of you readers may know the women on this show. It is entirely possible given the small town nature of Nashville. I would venture to say, in true reality, they are NOT “Real Housewives” type of people. At least that’s what I like to believe about my Nashville neighbors. Whatever their motives are for doing the show though, the show itself isn’t going to let the cast be representative of what this life is truly like. Because, let’s be honest, there just isn’t enough drama or sensationalism in our real life.

There is a much larger group of “Nashville Wives” in this town. We are ALL supporting this music industry. And we are all different – rich or not, outspoken or not, creative or not. The real story is in the love and sacrifice. The give and take. The ups and downs. The balance of our husband’s careers with our own. That story is what makes us relatable. Not the drama.

So come on Nashville. We’re better than this. We’re more real than this. We’re not wrapped up in our stardom. We’re relatable. We’re likable. We’re nice. And damn it we’re proud of it! Air that.

We Are All Meant To Shine

Quote

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

- Marianne Williamson

letters
I tweeted recently about getting a surprise stack of letters from my husband after he left. One for every day he’s gone on this tour. Card #6 contained this quote. It was personally much needed at the time and I thought I’d share it with my fellow road widows.

May you all find your light and shine like only YOU can.