The idea of "me time" is somewhat of a fictional concept for most moms. Not that we don't need some time to ourselves, because we absolutely positively do, it's just that raising humans requires the majority of our time and energy and effort and commitment and, well, you get the idea. When we actually do find the time to spend on ourselves, it feels fantastic but confusing but freakin' awesome and, well, sometimes there are weird things moms do when they're finally alone.
I'm one of those moms who constantly complains about my state of eternal exhaustion, yet when I get my kids to bed early, I'm determined to stay up late and revel in the tranquility of my temporary independence. I love my boys so much that it hurts, but sometimes I just need some alone time to wrangle my thoughts and feelings into a somewhat sane submission. I need time to unwind and to clear my head of the clutter that was acquired throughout the, always chaotic, day. I need to just sit and not be needed and to think about myself, and only myself, if only for a moment.
Every mom needs time for herself, no matter how selfless she is. We all need a break, but sometimes, when we get that coveted alone time, we freeze. We're not used to not having a toddler hanging on our legs or a baby sitting on our hip or cereal in our hair. Hell, we aren't even accustomed to being able to pee by ourselves, so when alone time is finally accomplished, we realize that our habits have gotten a little, um, strange. In other words, let's get weird, my friends.
Watch Trashy Television We'd Normally Bash
I'm not someone who keeps up with the Kardashians. Well, at least, not until I'm alone. When I'm alone I'll watch an entire marathon and not feel an ounce of shame. I'm not a huge reality TV fan, but when I don't want to have to think, it's my go-to guiltless escape.
For some reason, when I'm alone, I want to rearrange all of the furniture in our house. Not that moving things around will make a huge difference, but for, like, five minutes, a newly rearranged room sort of feels like being in a hotel while on vacation.
Clean Things "Just Because"
I'm not a clean freak by any stretch of the imagination. I mean, I like to keep our living quarters clutter-free when it's reasonable, but I've got two toddler boys. Toddlers are gross, and they can turn a room into a disaster zone in a matter of minutes, so stressing out over keeping my floors shining is a complete waste of my time. However, when I get some time alone, I love making the house smell like it's covered in lemons and bleach. It's weird, yes, but so satisfying.
Live In The Biggest Shirt We Can Find
When I get time completely to myself, at home, I find the biggest shirt in our house to put on. I forego pants, or anything that doesn't involve a high elasticity content, and opt for the most supreme form of comfort available.
Suddenly Feel Like Putting On Makeup
I rarely wear makeup, and even when I do, it's minimal. It's not because I don't like makeup, but rather that I just don't know how to properly use it, nor do I have the time to learn. For some reason though, a night alone makes me want to contour my face, or at least try. I might be rocking that oversized shirt, but my face will be damn near flawless. I don't get it either.
Pin A Bunch Of Recipes That We Will Never Actually Cook
I'm not an inept cook, but I'm also not a next level chef either. However, when I am on Pinterest looking up new recipes that my boys definitely won't even try, I feel a sense of culinary optimism that overtakes my usually very realistic expectations. I can baste a turkey in only 32 easy steps? Sure, Pinterest, let's inflate my ego and kill a bird, all for the sake of domestic dominance.
Load An Online Shopping Cart Full Of Things We Won't Actually Buy
Am I the only one who has, like, 12 online shopping carts fully loaded? Filling those imaginary baskets full of imaginary items that I can't afford to spend real money on, gives me the sort of high that I imagine hard drugs would. It might only last for a few minutes, but when I imagine my closet filled with new clothes and 14 pairs of boots, I feel at ease.
Organize Everything In Sight
Too much clutter gives me major anxiety, so when I get time to myself, I like to organize everything around me. The bathroom closet, my desk, the kitchen cabinets, the toy box, even the junk drawer gets a face lift when I'm alone.
Stare At Pictures Of Our Kids
I swear kids get cuter once they're asleep or no longer in the immediate vicinity. My boys will sometimes drive me absolutely insane, finding my very last nerve and relentlessly jumping on it until I end up seeking refuge in the bathroom. However, when they go to sleep, I stare at the video monitor and watch them. Or I look at my phone and talk to their pictures in a baby voice and get sad about how fast they're growing up.
Shamelessly Snack On Guilty Pleasures
I'll eat macaroni straight from the pot, ice cream straight from the bucket, drink wine straight from the bottle, or finish off an entire pizza (by myself) without a moment's hesitation, if I'm alone. Oh, who am I kidding? I'll do that if I'm not alone, too, but I feel a lot less guilty about it when I'm by myself.
Consider Doing Yoga...
Yes, yoga sounds like a great idea! So relaxing and tranquil and spiritual...
...But Never Get Around To Actually Doing Yoga
(Insert hysterical laughter here)
Working when I'm actually alone sort of feels like a vacation. Being a mom is a full time job, and it pretty much always takes priority over whatever I've got going on with work, so when I actually get to focus 100 percent of my time and energy on what I'm doing, for a change, I feel like a major #momboss.
Happily Go To Bed Before It's Dark Outside
Sometimes, getting 12 hours of sleep sounds more exciting than going out or staying up late or finding $20 in your pocket while folding laundry. Moms don't get enough sleep, not by any stretch of the imagination, so the thought of going to bed before the sun has even gone down sort of feels like the equivalent of a day at the spa.
Get Anxious Because We Aren't Sure What To Do With Alone Time
Sometimes, when my kids are in bed, and I manage to get my husband out of the house to hang out with his friends, I feel this wave of adrenaline wash over me. I get unnecessarily pumped about having some time to myself, and I'm so overwhelmed by even the idea of unabashed freedom, that I don't even know how to spend it.
So, I sit on the couch, confused, and wonder how exactly I should take advantage of my alone time. I don't get nearly enough of it, so I put way too much pressure on what little freedom I get, and it inevitably makes me an anxious mess, sometimes. It makes me feel like a fish out of water. It's like, "Hey, I've always wondered what this was like, but now I'm here and I have absolutely no idea what I'm supposed to do, so I think I'll just sit here frozen instead of actually doing anything."
Miss Our Kids
My kids might drive me crazy and leave me in an exhausted, anxious wad on the couch after they go to bed, but they are my life. Everything I do is for them, and though I should definitely do more for myself, I'd happily give up all of my freedom if it meant that their lives would be benefit from it. I don't think that's the answer, though. I'm positive that I'm not the only mom who needs more time to herself. I think it's something most of us don't prioritize nearly enough. If we did, our kids would probably actually benefit more, and maybe we'd be slightly less weird when left by ourselves.