Lately, I feel like I’m walking around with a 5th appendage. No, I didn’t fall into a pool of bio-hazardous waste. I’m not swamp thing, and I didn’t get bitten by a radioactive spider. I have a 7 year old who is going through a stage where he thinks the best place for him is lodged directly up my ass. He’s seriously lodged in there, and most days, I can’t seem to remove him, and when I do, I get the good ol’ guilt trip.
“Why don’t you ever want to play with me?”
“I just want to sleep in your bed!”
“Don’t you want to cuddle?”
“SPEND ALL OF YOUR TIME WITH ME AND LET ME SUFFOCATE YOU!”
I love that he’s not too cool to cuddle with Mommy (though he IS too cool for kisses, since he’s apparently saving those for marriage), but it gets completely overwhelming. Minus a few days I took on a business trip, I have spent every single day of the past seven plus years of his life with him, and nine plus years of his brother’s life. I’ve had a total of three days to myself since they were born. THREE. And that’s more than some parents get.
While chatting with a fellow mom, we basically came to the same conclusion: Any time we want to take even a second for ourselves, it can be seen as a slight against the family. Reading something instead of answering a barrage of pointless questions? Slight against the family. Putting headphones on to watch a show or a movie? Major slight. Bathroom alone? How dare you! Girl’s night out? BUT WHO’S GOING TO FEED US?
There are plenty of people who have supportive families who will take the kids on a moment’s notice to give them a break, and I’m not shitting on that, I think it’s fabulous. I’m also not saying my husband isn’t supportive and wouldn’t allow me to leave the house without the kids to get a break. It’s just not that simple for a lot of people. There aren’t those kinds of opportunities. We don’t always want to have to get dressed and GO somewhere to get a mental break, to get a few moments of peace and quiet, to just have a minute to decompress.
Home is where I’m comfortable. It’s where I like to be. It’s where I can wear no pants without being arrested for indecent exposure. I put a lot of time and effort into making this house a place where I actually WANT to be, so why should I have to leave for “me” time?
I know the kids don’t understand this, at least not yet, so I’ve just grown accustomed to the “take it how I can get it” method of me-time.
Kids in time out? Me time.
Taking a poop? Me time.
In the shower? Take extra long me time.
Making dinner? Pop on the TV for the kids and make it my me-time.
Pretending to play hide and seek and just…. not seeking? Insta- Me time.
I can put something on the TV the kids hate and force them to leave the room, or turn up the volume over their whining for some me-time. I can carry an entire conversation with the kids while browsing the internet or reading a book without hearing a single word they say.
I know NONE OF THIS is as good as getting to curl up in your pajamas and being left the hell alone, or a night out of the house and away from screaming, needy little crotchfruit, BOTH OF WHICH WE ALL DESERVE, but sometimes you just have to make do with what you can get to conserve your sanity and refresh your patience and sense of self until some real, quality alone time.
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I've never had a near death experience, but I DID find 2 spiders in my house this morning, and that's pretty much the same thing.
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