I’m going to the BlogHer ’14 conference in San Jose this weekend. I am incredibly grateful to my husband whose sponsorship makes this possible.
My husband is not my financial sponsor. He and I contribute close to the same amount to our household income. We put most of our money in joint accounts to cover household and family expenses, but there is a percentage that we each keep in personal accounts to spend on whatever we want. It is from my personal money that I am paying for BlogHer including airfare, hotel, and the many new clothes I bought while deciding what to wear.
Although he is not paying my way to BlogHer, my husband is helping in a very important way. He is staying home with our children, and for that I am incredibly grateful.
I’m not grateful because the idea of a man caring for his own children is such an extraordinary and heroic act that it is deserving of fanfare and medals. My husband is a good dad who plays a hands on role in caring for our children every day.
I’m incredibly grateful because it is exhausting for one adult to care for two young children (particularly my rambunctious children) for four days. It is exhausting whether that one adult is a mom, a dad, a grandparent, or a professional lion tamer.
I am grateful that my husband is willing to do this just so that I can do something that will make me happy.
Three years ago I was at Lollapalooza checking Twitter for news about what would become a weather evacuation. I was looking at just the right time to get a flurry of posts about different news as well: BlogHer ’13 would be in Chicago.
I knew immediately that I wanted to go. I was less than a month into a new blog (this one) and wasn’t even sure I’d still be blogging a year from then. I was largely excited for the chance to meet some of the people who I only knew from Twitter and their blogs.
Since BlogHer was in Chicago it would keep me from paying for airfare. Plus, I figured I could stay at home both to save money on a hotel and to avoid making my husband do solo parenting for multiple days.
It was my husband who pointed out that if I went to the evening events I wouldn’t get home until after the kids were in bed, then I would have to leave so early the next morning I wouldn’t be much help. It was my husband who suggested I get a hotel room, leave the kids to him, and enjoy myself.
I found BlogHer to be a lot of fun as well as motivational for my writing. (I was inspired to write this post because of discussions about the value of telling old stories.) I probably rambled a lot about how wonderful BlogHer was before my husband said I should go again next year.
I clarified that they change cities each year, so although I didn’t yet know where BlogHer ’14 would be, I knew it would not be in Chicago. Going to BlogHer ’14 would mean I’d have to go away. My husband said he was fine with that.
So here we are. On Thursday I will get on a plane without a child with me for the first time in four years. I am going somewhere not because of work or a family obligation. I am going somewhere simply for the joy and energy that come from being surrounded by people who love to do what you love to do.
My husband thinks that is important. For that I am incredibly grateful.
My husband’s support existed long before BlogHer and before we had kids. Although my husband jokes that I have “too many hobbies,” he is always supportive when I need time to do something I love be it playwriting, blogging, participating in Listen to Your Mother, organizing toy drives, serving on an arts committee, and whatever’s next.
I know that I am lucky to have such a supportive husband, and I try not to abuse the privilege, which is why going away for four days feels like such an indulgence.
Thank you, my love, for everything.
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