Kim Lemmonds over at Ellicott City Patch wrote recently asking other busy parents how (and if) they manage "me time" because she is struggling with putting this abstract idea into practice. Clearly she is paying too much attention to her kids and under-using the universal babysitter (TV, of course). Okay, joking aside - this is a dilemma we all face.
The other night I was watching that show with what's-her-name from Everybody Loves Raymond and the Janitor from Scrubs (aka The Middle) about a family in Indiana who struggle with all the normal/crazy family stuff. (Slight tangent - I think my husband finds the show distasteful since he's from Indiana and they are often portrayed as a bunch of yokels - that only makes me enjoy the show more. Sorry honey.) The dad and kids forgot to plan for Mother's Day and came up with the idea to just leave the mom alone for the day. She loved the idea, but when the day actually came she wasted it doing a string of chores and as soon as she sat down on the couch with her pile of dentist office People Magazines, the family walked in and her day was over.
I can totally relate to this. Last year for Mother's Day, my husband took the girls to the zoo for a few hours so I could have some "me" time. I have no memory of what I did, but I'll guarantee I wasn't lounging around with my bon bons. It's so hard to turn off that part of my brain that looks around and sees all the toys, dust and piles of laundry so that I can do something fun for a moment. I think, okay, I'll just vacuum really quick - but first all these toys have to be picked up; ug, this is all disorganized, I'll just put all the Little People together and all the My Little Ponies in this bin, etc. Oops, better dust before I vacuum. Ack! All this dust is making me sneeze - a shower will help. Damn, this bathroom is filthy. Okay - showered, dressed, ready for some fun. Aaaaaaannnnd time's up. Oh well, at least some of the chores got done.
Today when Greg offered to take the older girls out for a while this afternoon I accepted and didn't put too much pressure on myself. I didn't want to end up feeling disappointed. Zoey and I went down to Ellicott City's Second Sunday Market for a bit, then it was time for her nap. After I got her down, I looked around and thought about what I was going to do with my free time. I had some DVR'd shows to catch up on, I've got a book, I've got a cross stitch project going, hmmmm. But I also had plenty of chores to do. I split the difference and made the grocery list and week's meal plan first, paid some bills online, then plunked down on the couch to sew and watch TV. I had about an hour of "me" time and it was great.
Happy Mother's Day!