It’s a little after eight and the kids are finally in bed. Well, if you’re in my house, it’s probably after nine before all three are finally tucked away. You make sure the garbage is taken out, the dishes are done, the lunches are packed, and alarms are set. You sit down and finally you breathe. Oh wait, you get back up and let the dog out. You sit down again. A huge “Ahhh!” leaves your mouth and you smile. It’s finally mommy’s time.
Now, you’ve been here before. It’s now close to ten and you know you should go to bed. You’re well- aware of how every article and Instagram meme advise on getting enough rest and anything under six hours a night isn’t going to cut it. You are reminded how under eye circles and bloating can pop up without warning if you’re over 35 and without a good night’s rest. But you haven’t had a moment to yourself all day! You deserve some quality me time. You know there are a million things you can do. You can catch up on laundry, finish that novel you were reading, start grading those papers you’ve had for a week, but girl this is your time! You forgo all of the smart advice, grab your granny sweater, change into your frumpy sweats, and grab a glass of wine and some snacks. And honestly, who are you kidding? You have been in your frumpy sweats since you got home. You decide it’s Netflix for the win. Now to find a show… oh wait, you’re up again…you almost forgot to let the dog back in.
Back to a show, the possibilities are endless! Should you catch up with your guilty pleasure of reality tv? Maybe a little Bachelor in Paradise to remind yourself that your day was hard but at least you’re not on an island trying to find someone to marry you. However, maybe after a glass of wine that island isn’t looking too bad. Or maybe you had a rough day and are looking for some kind of romcom that’s easy and light. You know you’re going to have one hand on your phone scrolling while the other is elbow deep in a bag of chips. You suddenly feel judged. And you should. Netflix is in fact judging you. You scoff at the tv and choose something cheesy, but in a good way. You’ve chosen…Outlander. Hey, it’s historical fiction! You’re being educated about the history of Scotland all the while enjoying some eye candy. This was the perfect choice…as if you haven’t watched the series three times already. The thing about Outlander is it will pull at your heart strings. You fall in love with Jamie and Claire’s love. You start getting mad at your husband because he isn’t a big Scottish man in a kilt who lives his life to serve you. And anyone who says they haven’t watched Outlander is lying to you. Find friends who aren’t embarrassed to admit they watch this show and then giggle and smack each other when dying over Jamie Fraser. Your husband walks into the room and asks you why Black Jack Randall is trying to kill your precious Jamie. You shush him and tell him that it will take too long to explain. He shrugs and leaves the room. Ah, peace. He comes back in five minutes later to ask where his good gray t-shirt is. You grit your teeth and tell him that it’s clean and folded in his drawer. He shrugs and leaves again. You take a sip of wine. Back to Jamie. Oh, and Claire, too. He returns. “Yessssss?” (a hissing sound escapes) “Would you mind…” he begins innocently before the words come flying out of your mouth, “What?! What do you neeeeed?! This is mommy’s time! Me! I’m the mommy!”
It happens all too often. There’s no down time for moms. And not having down time leads to the inevitable breakdown. Self care is not a trip to the grocery store or showering by yourself. That is not enough! Self-care should be doing something for yourself that you love. That you deserve. That you need. And it should be uninterrupted! Yoga, meditation, shopping, reading, whatever you want! My kids know that when mommy is on the Peloton, she’s unreachable. When mommy is singing her heart out in the basement riding away on her bike, they just know to leave the poor woman alone. They know I’m available 24/7 day and night. And in reality, that’s the only time I get to myself where they get to “figure it out” or ask daddy. Imagine telling a dad that he couldn’t use the bathroom without an audience, couldn’t go to the doctor without bringing all his kids (with entertainment and snacks), or lugging all the groceries inside with the kids in tow. So forgive me if I need at least a half hour at the end of the day to look like a train wreck while shoving my face and watching nonsense on tv. Don’t. Bother. Mommy.
I refuse to feel guilty over this. I am entitled to decompress in whatever way I see fit. Now, could my delivery to those who interrupt me be a bit sweeter? Yes, 100%! But it’s now 11:30 pm and I should have been in bed an hour ago. I’m cranky and tired and I promise myself tomorrow I’ll get some yoga in and have some time to myself. As for my husband, he knows Jamie would never tell Claire that she was being unreasonable. He gives me a hug, takes my chips and tells me to make sure I don’t fall asleep on the couch again and to get some rest. He reminds me that my neck can’t handle the wrong pillow and that tomorrow he’ll try to be home early so I can try and have some time to myself. One of these days I’ll get more than a moment to myself. For now, I’ll do my best and remember to be more patient at the end of the night. After all, there’s always tomorrow for another episode and maybe if there’s time, I’ll give my husband the recap on how Jamie and Claire met so he can watch, too.
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