We’ve always had a special place in our home devoted to my husband’s “stuff.” Sometimes it’s been a room, the better part of a basement, or even a corner of our living room (much to my chagrin); but it’s always been a staple of our marriage.
My husband is a passionate fly-fisher and he has all the gear to prove it: rods, reels, special vices for tying his own intricate flies to lure the fish, and stacks upon stacks of plastic bins filled with feathers, hooks, and everything to make them. Currently, he has what I can only refer to as a Man Cave — a small room in which a giant disorganized fly-tying desk is the central focus and “trout art” covers the walls.
I must admit, sometimes it’s difficult not to feel a little jealous about this “space” that’s devoted to just him. As our family grows, space becomes more limited, and privacy becomes a commodity. I’m an introvert, and have always valued my alone time; which is why I think it’s about time I create my own space. But since I’m pretty sure my children will not be able to resist constantly interrupting me (because not being able to find the goldfish crackers is apparently a state of emergency), I’m thinking that I need to invest in something a little more secluded than just one corner in a room.
Call it a “mother bunker,” if you will.
I first got the idea when I came across the growing trend of “She Sheds.” If you haven’t yet stumbled upon these on Pinterest, She Sheds have been described as “the female answer to the Man Cave.” They are, in a word, stunning — all you have to do is search the images online, and let the drooling commence.
Whereas Man Caves are usually a part of the house, She Sheds are generally located in a garden area. They can be used as reading areas (yes, please), crafting rooms, or even yoga studios. I wish a She Shed were an option for me, but honestly, even if it was I don’t think it would be too difficult for my kids to invade and turn into a play fort; complete with a booby-trapped, LEGO-covered floor.
That’s why I’m beginning to think an underground bunker may be my best bet. Some place not easily visible to the naked eye; a quiet retreat where I can set up some simple shelving for books; a comfy chair and a place to write without constant distractions and interruptions.
Now, it’s not like I’m trying to hide from my family forever. It’s something that I would escape to for brief increments of time, the way my husband does when he visits the john and is out of order for 30 minutes or more at a time. It’s about having a mini-break while he cares for the kids, the way I have done for him over the years. He is wonderful about giving me breaks away from the house, but that’s not always convenient. Sometimes, I simply crave a moment to reset, to quiet the noise around me and in my head. Women, and mothers, deserve this time just as much as a man.
Why is it perfectly acceptable for men to disappear out into the garage or basement to have time to themselves but when a mother asks for time away from her kids, she is labeled as selfish? Some of us can’t be “on” at all times. Having a moment to reset can make all the difference in the world when it comes to mental health.
So, dear neighbors, if you happen to spot a crazy woman digging a hole in her backyard — don’t be alarmed. It’s just me; a desperate, introverted mother attempting to create an underground library and writing nook where she can be alone with her thoughts for a few minutes. After all, everyone deserves their own private space in this world, however big or small (or underground) it may be.