I haven’t had a night without kids in 3 years. Going to see Harry Styles is the most daring act of self-care I’ve ever allowed myself.

Harry Styles.Brochure/Helene Marie Pambrun via Getty Images

  • Harry Styles is popular with young women, but he also likes people like me – mothers in their 40s.

  • I lost myself in motherhood and Styles’ music helped me find myself again.

  • I went to two of her shows alone and it was the best self-care I could imagine.

Harry Styles is loved by young women who grew up listening to One Direction, but he is also popular with women in their 40s, mothers and even grandmothers. With the release of “Harry’s House” last spring, which recently won the Grammy for album of the year, I’ve joined the legion of women obsessing over the dancing, endlessly charming guy.

I’ve loved One Direction and Styles’ music for years, but before I became a serious fan early last year, I was in a bad place. I had been mentally, professionally, and emotionally crippled since the start of the pandemic when I lost access to daycare and added another child to my household. So I bought “Harry’s House” after enjoying the radio singles, and something in me changed for the better. I became more playful with my kids, started writing more, and started social outings with friends.

My newfound love for Styles led me to impulsively buy tickets to two of his recent shows near Los Angeles — the closest to my home in Portland, Oregon — both times without first consulting my family.

For a housewife who hadn’t had a kid-free night in over three years, it was a long overdue act of self-care, and I credit Styles for encouraging me to do it.

I got lost in maternity

I lost a strong sense of self after having children. I spend my days taking my children to and from autism and speech therapy, and in the car I got to meet Harry. Songs from him brightened up my worst and most stressful days as a mother.

“Music for a Sushi Restaurant” and “As It Was” induce such euphoria that I can’t stay in a bad mood when they’re playing. When traffic jams hit, my kids cry in the backseat before succumbing to naps, or I’m faced with a thunderstorm, Styles puts me at ease. I often take my kids in a severe state of sleep deprivation, and in order not to feel drowsy, I sing along to Styles’ bouncy lyrics.

Portland, Oregon, is known for its somber mood, so the joy of Styles’ songs, including the booming, musically influenced “Treat People With Kindness” and the largely overlooked “Sunflower, Vol. 6” on “Fine Line,” have helped to thwart my seasonal blues.

In an age when everyone seems to be reliving the ’80s in music, Styles’ psychedelic, funky ’70s feel on “Fine Line” and parts of “Harry’s House” are so refreshing.

I bought tickets to see you

In the fall, I casually scouted for seats for Styles’ “Love on Tour” stop near Los Angeles, and within minutes, I had a single ticket for his Nov. 9 performance.

Some people thought it odd that I went to the show without a bunch of friends, but I’m never alone, so it was the best trip I could have asked for. For the first time ever, I had to pack a suitcase all to myself and didn’t have to worry about packing snacks, baby wipes, diapers, garbage bags for wet pants, or extra kid clothes.

I even had lunch with my childhood best friend, who happened to be at Los Angeles International Airport at the same time as me. It was so nice to have a fully engaged conversation with another adult without constantly looking at my kids. I read my book non-stop on the plane, took two showers in one day and ate sushi for the first time in years at the place, Kia Forum, which sold the dish in honor of Styles’ hit.

I jumped into Ubers with no regard for car seat setup and had lengthy conversations with many other show attendees. I’m not used to being free, but it felt so good within the context of my Harry Styles adventures.

I spoke to several women in their 60s who had traveled across the country to see him and one girl who was turning 18 at midnight and had a birthday with Styles. Upon scanning the room, I noticed that there didn’t seem to be many women my age at the show. I thought maybe most of them had kids the same age as me and I opted out, and I felt a twinge of pride that, for the first time, I’d put myself first.

My husband wasn’t exactly thrilled with my spontaneous purchase, but since he knew how much Styles had enriched my life over the past year, he understood that it was important for me to take this solo trip. I joked that it was my version of “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, a memoir about the author’s journey walking alone to deal with her demons and buried grief.

Styles tells people at every show that they can be whoever they want for the night, and I’m so grateful that he’s allowed to do that not just in his presence, but in my everyday life as well. At “Harry’s House” I’m not just a mother of boys.

Read the original article on Insider

I haven’t had a night without kids in 3 years. Going to see Harry Styles is the most daring act of self-care I’ve ever allowed myself.

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