Saturday, October 1, 2011
Me Time: For Moms
There seems to be a bit of a revolution happening around here. All of a sudden, it appears that some moms and going to the local store by themselves. Taking walks in the parks by themselves. Even - gasp! - going to a restaurant or the movies, you guessed it... by themselves! And to that I say, It's about freaking time!"
Maybe I should have prefaced this entry by stating that this message is not for negligent moms - you know, the ones who tell their kids good night on Friday and then don't come back until Sunday morning (trust, I saw this kind of behavior with my own eyes when I was a child - not my mom, but an "aunt" - sorry, I wasn't having anyone think my mom was the one gone all weekend - nope, not her... anyway...).
So, like I was saying, it seems some of us moms out there are starting to realize that we aren't confined to elderly homes just yet, and that we should be able to take just a little time to enjoy doing things for ourselves that don't include making sure someone has their snack, or a change of clothes just in case a little one can't hold it, or going to see boring ass cartoon movies (or what I like to call "paying to take a nap in an uncomfortable chair and cold theater"). Or how about just being able to space out as you walk down the street, with the hope that you don't space out so much that you get hit by a vehicle, or by someone walking and texting! The point is, some of us moms are reclaiming "Me Time!"
Now, there are different types of "me time." There's the kind where you lock yourself in the bathroom and cry like Cochise (Cooley High reference) died all over again because your kid asked you for the 10th time why can't he sleep in your bed anymore (and that broke the camel's back). Then there's that me time that includes locking the kids in their room and doing what we all did before we gave birth to them - vacuum in the nude blasting U2's Greatest Hits while sipping on a glass of something alcoholic. Or, just taking a walk somewhere, with no timetable, no real reason, except to just breath and be.
I decided, now that my son is in middle school and is forced to travel damn near 3 miles home everyday on public transportation, that maybe this was the real beginning of the cutting of the strings just a bit (I stress that because at the end of the day my child is still a child, he just isn't in diapers and doesn't ride his bike with training wheels anymore). So at first I found myself doing things like going to the supermarket around the corner alone. Then it was 'going to the hair supply store just 10 blocks north' alone. Then it was 'I have to run to Riverdale to pick something up' (a 5 minute drive) alone, and just 2 weeks ago it was the "I'm going to see an adult (NOT porn) movie alone!'. F.Y.I., I say Drive, starring Ryan Gosling, Albert Brooks, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, and Ron Perlman, and IT WAS AWESOME! Both the movie, and the overall experience, despite the fact that my son calls me 20 minutes before the film ends to ask me when I'm coming home.
My sister happens to be doing the same thing now too with her kids. Heck, the movie theater in her town is even closer to her than mine is. And a friend of mine recently went to Ireland, leaving her kids with their father/ her husband, for a week and a half (forget the fact that they seemed a bit traumatized by the experience - they'll get over it - she looked great and refreshed!)
The point is, having children or a mate or both does not mean that we give up everything that made us who we were before these new factors came into our lives, because whether it's going to the movies, eating out once a month, taking an art class, window shopping for the hell of it, going to a street fair, going out dancing - all of those things made us who we were (and when we hopefully liked ourselves a lot. If you didn't like yourself then, well, this isn't for you, no harm, no foul). And the people who love us should support mommy "me time" because isn't what informed us of who we were in the early stages of our relationships - didn't that inform our personalities and what attracted them to us in the first place. So moms everywhere, I beg you. When your children are of an appropriate age, and when you are in a situation like me and many others who do not have physical support, when you can, give yourself the gift of "me time." You'll love it. And after your kids and/or man stop being mad at you, they'll love it too!