There is a Mom Heaven. It exists. I have found it. Okay, maybe not everyone’s “Mom Heaven” but certainly mine. And Heaven is the only way I can explain it.
It happened last Friday. The Hubs was home and I had an errand to run in the city. Boy, if that doesn’t make me sound like I live in the sticks, I don’t know what would.
I wasn’t expecting to have the second hand available. I was expecting to have to tote my two girls with me, make a “quick” trip to the store I needed to pick my forgotten phone card and rush back home to get lunch on the table.
Welcome divine intervention.
Maybe the God’s knew that after a particularly rough week spent in the trenches of tantrums and diet shakes, this mom just needed some time away to recharge. As I walked out the door, the Hubs said “So you’re just stopping at the store?”
To which I hopefully replied, “And a work out?”
I was blessed with a nod and told to take my time. Which is exactly what I did.
I drove slow, the theme to Wild Kratts fading. I listened to my favorite stations without demands for Tangled, Big Hero 6 and Rainbow Rocks. With a blissful sigh, I sipped my coffee as the asphalt passed in a black and yellow blur beneath my tires.
At the store, there was a line at the Customer Service Desk that I didn’t care one iota about. I stood patiently, scrolling through Facebook posts, smiling at the father in front of me with his two year old little girl when they did a fist bump that ended with the classic Baymax maneuver – blalalalala. Look it up. You’ll see why this image is so adorable. Mady does it and it makes me smile every time.
Once my phone card was taken care of and I was out of the store an hour later, I headed for the nearest Anytime Fitness. This was a newly built facility on the southern side of the city and there were maybe ten other people there. Once my tennis shoes were on, I hit the elliptical machine, hooked up my headphones to the attached television and proceeded to work myself into a sweat. And this wasn’t even the best part. Oh no, not by far!
The best part was what came after. I was hopeful that this new facility was equipped with showers and I wasn’t let down. I took my gym bag to the nearest women’s shower and locked the door. It was not one big community bathroom and shower. The room was meant for one person and if they operated one standard size water heater, I would have run the water cold. Thankfully they didn’t because the second that scalding hot water was on and the realization that no one would be interrupting me, barging into the bathroom to ask where a shirt was or when I was going to be done sunk in.
Since moving out to our farmstead I have learned to take quick showers because the water heater isn’t the greatest and the kiddos are demanding. The luxury of a long, hot, uninterrupted shower with water that isn’t straight from a well, is well pressurized and has been run through a water softener is a luxury I flat out miss. I’m not ashamed to admit that.
By the time I was done showering and shaving, was changed and ready to head out to complete my errands, I was completely relaxed and recharged. The stress of the week had melted away, washed down the drain and I felt like I was a better person because of it.
I’ve seen my fair share of “mommy time” articles and know that I’m in good company when I say it is necessary to get out of the house and away from your children sometimes. It doesn’t make you a bad mom or a neglectful mom. It makes you a better mom.
Everyone needs those moments where they can sit back, breathe and recharge. And as a stay-at-home mom with two kiddos constantly pulling me in every direction, I know that mommy time is necessary. My favorite moments of mommy time, aside from those coveted moments when it’s just me and three hours to lazily kill, are when the Hubs and I get out of the house for a date.
We’re not conventional daters by any stretch of the term. We really aren’t. Every once and a while we’ll go out for dinner and a movie. We just recently treated ourselves to an amazing steak dinner followed up by the new Avengers movie.
But more often than not our “dates” consist of driving off to the nearest modular home dealer to entertain the dream we have of someday building our forever home on our farmstead. We walk from house to house, agree and disagree. The Hubs is patiently entertained by the fact that I insist on a soaker tub in the master bath and laundry on the main floor. Who wouldn’t want laundry on the main floor?
Or we go to auctions where I have to keep a very careful eye on Hubs or he ends up bidding on something we don’t need while I walk to the car to drop off a roasting pan he’s instructed me to put there for safe keeping. Yes, that’s happened. Never walk away from your gun enthusiast husband at an action when they’re about to start bids for firearms. You’ll end up with a sawed off shotgun that you have no use for and rolling your eyes every time your husband talks about how “cool” it is.
On rare occasions we go fishing. I wish we did more of this as fishing is now something I very much appreciate and enjoy doing. And when you live in the land of a thousand lakes, it’s not hard to find a place to fish.
But mommy time is essential. It’s something even the most patient of us need. And if you’re not enjoying it, if you think that it’s “required self-maintenance” or finding no peace in it what-so-ever…no offense, but you’re doing it wrong. Find something that you actually enjoy doing – just you, no Hubs, no kids…something just for you.
If not to recharge then to find yourself once more. It’s easy to lose who you are when you’re a mom. It’s easy to forget the person you used to be. But it’s not a bad thing to find them again, to remember what it was like before children were the sole center of your universe. It doesn’t mean you’re going to say “screw the mom thing!” and go back to being that person. But it doesn’t hurt to sit and have a cup of coffee with them while reminiscing over your past. You’re past is part of who made you the mom you are now.
And if anyone is wondering…yes, I do love coffee.