Me Time: What We Wish For And What Really Happens
As a parent, the idea of “me time” becomes mythical. Being a loving mother/father/spouse are in fact the most fulfilling jobs on earth… but, there isn’t much time to catch a breather and do the things you’d like to do to make yourself happy. You wake up early, get children ready for school, commute to work, work, come home, check homework, prepare/eat dinner, raise your children somewhere in that time, and then you’re ready to pass out just to do it all again the next day (Notice how I didn’t include chores or spousal time in there?).
It can get hectic and one can easily feel that with no balance they are losing one’s self in their lives being about everyone else. But we make due. The funny thing is when I do get a moment to myself, I never know what to do. So here’s what we’d love to do with “me time” and what ends up happening.
Keep dreaming of that magical couple of hours/day/weekend and it’ll come true.
What You’d Like to Do : Go to the Movies
The last time I went to the movies to see something that wasn’t animated and full of music? Memorial Day Weekend 2013. The funny thing is I live walking distance from a theater. It just doesn’t happen. Sometimes I’ve thought of catching one when my daughter is asleep or visiting the grandparents; but I wind up doing something else.
What You Wind Up Doing: Laundry While Binge Watching on Netflix
Folding laundry is the most avoided event of all time. When doing laundry for the family that means doing a bunch of clothes. My child is a toddler, so when I try to do laundry while she’s awake she wants to “help” which means she throws around everything I’ve just folded. Laundry is best done at night when kids are asleep. Then you can catch up on what everyone was talking about last season on (insert show _____).
Let’s be real. The clothes are going to get washed and sit in a pile. You’ll pick out what you need until the pile is empty and its time to wash again.
What You’d Like To Do: Go Out With You Friends
Everyone needs this. You need to be able to talk with no filter. You can’t really vent about your spouse/children in the next room over the phone because they may be able to hear you. You can’t really text it because someone may read it (Hint: Get it out through the chat feature on Words With Friends). Plus, they don’t get to see you and you don’t see them.
What You Wind Up Doing: Living Vicariously Through Social Media
Girls’ weekend in Vegas? You’re home. Everyone hitting the town tagging their whereabouts on Foursquare, pictures on Instagram and Facebook with multiple hashtags and inside jokes you’re in on, tweets about the great time they’re having while you put your phone on the charger getting ready for the next day. Just remember, everyone exaggerates on social media and NO ONE is having as much fun as they make it seem.
What You’d Like to Do: Have a Quiet House To Yourself
The possibilities are endless when the house is empty! You can do some of everything on this list. You can yell, scream, do all of the things you’re still shy to do around your kids or spouse. I get some great writing done when no one is home and I blast my biggest inspiration to write these wonderful posts about parenting: music that my neighbors can hear (They’re currently enjoying Tela, and 8Ball). Go for yours and enjoy it!
What You Wind Up Doing: Cleaning Up
No one is home. But there is a sink full of dishes, I’ve already mentioned that mountain of laundry, there may be horticulture outside that needs to be tended to so your house doesn’t look scary, that stain on the wall from the kids, and all of that needs to be taken care of. I actually find cleaning up the house to be very cathartic. It’s as if what I’m physically doing is a manifestation of what I am doing in my mind and life: cleaning up clutter. By the time you get done and want to do what you want to do, everyone comes running in the house and someone is sick…
What You’d Like to Do: Hit the Gym
Summer bodies are made in the winter. Plus it feels good to blow off steam by putting stress on your body. We all want to get back to that look we had which was the catalyst to the conception of said children or improve on the physique we were then. You only need forty-five minutes tops because by then you’ve burned out all of what will actually cause muscles to develop and you’re virtually wasting your time after that…No really.
What You Wind Up Doing: Wasting $35 a Month
While summer bodies are made in the winter, so is Christmas, two birthdays, Valentine’s Day, dance class, karate, basketball, and all the above. You keep paying the gym fee as incentive to not waste your money; but it winds up not happening. It would be nice to wake up early and do it before everyone wakes up. However, your day already starts at 6 a.m. to have everyone ready for school by 7:30 a.m. and you get to work by 9. To get to and from the gym, put in that 45 minutes, then shower means waking up at about 4:30 a.m. (Like I do). The gym is closed by the time everyone goes to bed so night time isn’t an option. Try sneaking in a home video instead!
What You’d Like to Do: Happy Hour
Cavorting with your at-work constituents can be good. You all can talk about what happened at work freely and not in code on gchat. You need to fraternize in a semi-nonprofessional work environment with the people you wind up spending the most time with during the day who isn’t yourself.
What You Wind Up Doing: Drinking by Yourself at Home
There’s nothing wrong with this at all. That moment when the kids are asleep and you can pour yourself a glass of wine (I’m kinda of a manly man, so I opt for something strong and dark brown with no ice) and just relax. If you’re married, co-parenting in the same house, or your significant other came by you can have a good hour or so with the company you really enjoy it with…it could even turn into something else.
What You’d Like to Do: Have A Weekend Getaway
I’m a New Yorker who was born and raised here. I think there is nothing more beautiful than this man made metropolis and to us natives who remember what Manhattan and Brooklyn used to look like we believe this place is paradise. However trading the hectic commute for sandy beaches, and palm trees, or even somewhere that’s a short drive away is a breath of fresh air. Something always comes up, though. Just recently my savings for a weekend got depleted to score Beyonce tickets because the lady friend wants to go. The sacrifices you make…
What You Wind Up Doing: Every Weekend There’s an Activity
Soccer. Little League. Dance Recital. Getting hair done/haircuts which is an all afternoon event. It’s your daughter’s best friend’s birthday party. It’s your child’s birthday. It’s always something you have to do or it sucks up the travel savings. However you know that as much as you’d love to be a beach bum in the day and turn up at night somewhere not in your hometown with something alcoholic in your hand the whole time you know that birthday party means the world to your little one and they have to be there so that they are in on the conversation come Monday at school.
What You’d Like to Do: Sleep
It’s the one thing we daydream about. Uninterrupted rest where you’re in REM is everything. It’s what you want to do when no one is home. Hell, it’s what you want to do when everyone is home. The kind of sleep where you don’t have to wake up from an alarm clock and don’t know what day it is because you feel like you’ve been knocked out for a week? Amazing. The funny thing is that sleep happens almost everyday because your body is just used to waking up at that time of day and sleeping 5.5 hours instead of 5 feels like you’ve been comatose for a week.
What You Wind Up Doing: Sleep
‘Nuff said. Everything else can wait. What’s in the theaters will be on Netflix soon, your friends understand, when you’re asleep the house is quiet, there’s always next summer to get right, Happy Hour is every Friday, you’ll get out of town one day soon… Catch them z’s for all of us.