Let me set the scene for you:
My 2 month old (Mister Man) is napping. My 2 older children are playing happily, creating havoc in the living room. I’m trying to tidy in their wake, as they leave a trail of dominoes, counting bears, markers, watercolor paints (which I asked politely for them to use at the dining room table), and paper off the floor. Cue Sweetpea (2.5) who decides to climb on my back, and slide over my head, as if I’m a newly discovered piece of playground equipment. And that, my friends, was my limit.
I grab my phone and text my mom, to see if she might be available in the next couple of days to watch our little angels for an afternoon, so that I can go out for a couple of hours and read a book, while sipping on expensive coffee (*cough* Starbucks *cough*). Hurrah! She says yes, and I can mentally relax as I look forward to a little bit of “me time”. Thank you, Grandma!
Me Time. The chance to “fill my cup”, as it were. The coveted break that so many moms can only dream of. I know I am incredibly blessed to be able to call on my mom, who lives only 15 minutes away, who will almost always oblige, and help out however she can. #blessed However, here’s how my “me time” played out today.
As I was about to leave, on this fateful Saturday afternoon, Mister Man woke up from his nap. No problem. I should probably take him with me anyway (we’re breastfeeding), and he’ll likely sleep the whole time (she thought optimistically).
“Where you going?” Sweetpea asks curiously. Did I mention that she almost always naps at this time, but today, of all days, decided that she just wasn’t interested? #foreshadowing
“I’m just going to have coffee. I’ll be back soon,” I reply, with the most compassionate smile I can muster.
“I go, too!” she decides, while trying to find her shoes. I don’t think I need to recount her reaction when I told her that she wasn’t coming with me. Tired tears and crying ensued, as Grandma held her and gave me a sympathetic smile that said “she’ll be OK. You go.” And so, I went.
I had a quick errand I had to run before my “me time” destination of Starbucks, and I gave my husband a quick call to see how he was doing. While on the phone, I realized that I forgot my book at home, and that Mister Man wasn’t settling the way he normally does, 99% of the time. Sigh. Plan B.
I text my mom that I have forgotten my book, and so I’m coming back. I’ll just stay home instead. She offers to continue watching the little people, while I read in my daughter’s room. Great! Things are back on track. I pick up a Starbucks (and one for our Superstar Grandma, of course) and head home.
After making a quick lunch for myself (perogies, yum!), I head into Sweetpea’s room, and settle into my chair in the sun. Bliss! Two seconds later, “what you eating?”
Me: “Perogies. Do you want some?”
Sweetpea tries them, and decides that she does, indeed, like them. Mister Man starts stirring, so Grandma brings him over for a snack, and takes Sweetpea, who has now confiscated my lunch, into the living room. Number of pages read so far: 0. Time elapsed since “me time” started: 1 hour.
Mister Man has some mommy milk, and drifts sweetly off to sleep, while I scroll through Facebook on my phone. Why I didn’t read at this point, I don’t know, but I should have. Time well wasted, I suppose. With the baby asleep, I pass him back to Grandma, and Sweetpea brings back the leftover perogies. I’m back on track. Excellent!
I suppose trying to read in a room full of toys wasn’t the best plan. Little Miss (nearly 6) and Sweetpea decide to play doctor while I finish my lunch. Do you know how difficult it is to eat while being asked repeatedly to “open wide!!!” Although, if either of them become doctors in the future (or both!), it will be well worth it. Sweetpea also wanted to pinch my Mommy Milk (nipple) with one of the doctor tools. Umm… no.
With lunch (finally) finished, and my coffee beside me, I crack open my book (elapsed time: 1.5 hours). Little Miss comes over, upset about something Sweetpea has done (remember, Grandma has a sleeping baby on her chest, so she’s nearly out of commission at this point). Quickly remedied, she eyes my coffee and has a sip. Because I like sickeningly sweet lattes (the Caramel Brule, if you’re wondering), she stole a few more sips, and leaves me with a thimble full (note to self: don’t ask for whip cream on your drink. Apparently that indicates that you only want 2/3 of a cup of coffee…). Fine. I finish my last swig of coffee and get a glass of water. Pages read: 1. Elapsed time: 2 hours.
Yes, I did get to finish a chapter, which I think was about 7 pages long (it isn’t a long book). But, only after Sweetpea spilled my full glass of water on the floor, and countless other interruptions. Did I mention we’re potty training? Yup, add in accident clean up as well.
But that’s alright. Although my “me time” didn’t turn out the way I thought it would, the afternoon after I sent my initial text/plea to my mom, I felt much better. I think the idea that I would have a break in the near future was enough to lift my spirits. I know that we all need time to ourselves to recuperate from the busyness of motherhood, but it may not always look like we think it will (ahhhh… spa). Especially with a new baby at home, where you need to plan your life in short bursts (or else you will burst – hello engorgement!). And sometimes it helps just to have another set of hands to help hold the baby, do the dishes, or make a cup of tea (or all 3!).
The days are long, but the years are short.