It’s been two months already that I’m on my own with the kids in CZ. It’s been definitely an endurance test for me as a mother and as a woman. Two little kids and not a husband or a grandma in sight? If I have a choice, I would never do that again! Thankfully, I have a babysitter here. Sounds great, right? Thing is, she can only come once every one or two weeks for 2-3 hours. Do you feel my pain now?
As I get so little precious kid-free time, I decided that I shouldn’t waste it on chores alone (although, I do get one or two necessary things done along the way). This is ‘me time’ and I fully intend on using it to recuperate my mental stability. My kids are with the babysitter right now and I’m out in a cafe, having coffee & cake and doing what I like to do – write.
So, while casually sipping coffee and not thinking of catching anyone running away from the cafe or stopping another siblings’ war, I thought – how little does it take nowadays to make me, well, if not happy, then at the very least content? I was much harder to please before kids! Here goes a list of little things that really started to count since a few years ago:
Sleeping ALL the way through the night.
My youngest is 2.5 and still I don’t get those full nights of uninterrupted sleep very often. A bad dream, or uncovering and feeling cold and waking up to search for mommy (not duvet), simply crawling around and ending up crawling out of bed or bumping the head – various reasons for having some fun get together time late at night.
Having a lie in.
My kids are early birds. Both of them. I’m a hardcore owl (at least, that’s what I used to be 6 years ago). I’m not even talking about sleeping till 11. Till 9 would do just fine. I get up between 6 and 7. Enough said?
Enjoying a loooong uninterrupted shower.
Just relax and feel the hot water loose your muscles. Ahhhh… Oh, but wait, you’ve got to manage that relaxation between knocks on the door and various questions, needing urgent answers, like: ‘Mom, where’s my tiger?’. And have you ever had this happen to you, when you’re in a shower for quite some time, nobody bothers you, it all seems to be fine, but then you start hearing some kind of cry? You pop out, but all’s good (except that now they’ve noticed you and will come up with some other urgent questions). Is it like some sort of fantom pain? Fantom cry? It’s not there, but your mind just makes it up for you to keep you from relaxing too much? I can add toilet breaks to the same category. Going to the loo without brining half the family with you – my kind of fun.
Taking your time.
Doing things slowly. Walking slowly, without doing some kind of weird walk/jump/half run thing. Reading without keeping an eye on the clock and counting how much more time you’ve got left till the pick up. Napping without keeping one ear trained on that baby monitor. Watching a movie without thinking of a million things you’ve got to do. Just doing NOTHING. Ok, I know, I’m pushing it here. Mom doing nothing? I probably went crazy for a minute there.
Looking like a human being. Better still – a woman.
Just today I was putting mascara on, holding my balance, while the 2 year old was crawling between my legs (she can walk, but that’s not the point), and having an incredibly meaningful conversation with the 6 year old (it’s all about focus here!).
I’m actually doing much better now in this category. Occasionally sneaking out to get something new to wear (and not what I wore before I had kids and what clearly doesn’t look good on me anymore), treating myself to new creams and make up, even (!) managing to get to a hair salon! Sometimes, still, I either don’t have time or energy (or both) to do much with myself, so I look crap. But when I do make an effort, it’s totally worth it. Today, for example, after I managed to wash my hair during a medium length shower (which was pretty much a public affair with guests coming and going) and put some mascara on (without poking my eye out), my 2 year old came up to me and said ‘mommy, you’re very beautiful’. And that’s what counts.