Being a mom can be all consuming. A couple of weeks after my first son was born I said to my husband, “I ruined our lives! We had such a nice life!” I just wasn’t prepared for the 24/7 nature of being a mommy. So as they grew, I had to find creative ways to find a moment for myself.
When they were toddlers I had a friend who had 2 girls and her favorite game to play was Sleeping Beauty. Can you guess what that involved? She lay on the couch as sleeping beauty–for as long as possible. Brilliant right? I adapted this idea to hide and go seek. I would tell the kids to hide and then go about what I was doing every once in awhile saying, “Hmmm, I wonder where those boys are?”
My boys are teens now and pretty independent. They often don’t even notice if I’m home or not. Now I have to make them do things with me. It usually involves a bribe of some sort to get them out of their smelly boy caves. “Do you want to go grocery shopping with me? You can pick out dinner–burgers! Do you want to go out to eat? You can get a cheeseburger!” Yes, food in general, and burgers in particular are usually involved in the bribery. They are teen boys after all. We buy milk and cereal by the ton.
Sometimes I can also get them to hang out and watch a movie with me. My visions of ever having a “Sound of Music” family night died long ago. I think we have watched every Romero movie made—Dawn Of the Dead, Night Of the Living Dead, Day Of the Dead and Land Of the Dead among them. Oh yeah, you better believe we have a zombie survival plan. You’re welcome to come to our house when the zombies take over the world. Please bring water.
In most areas, I figure if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em but I have refused to do any video game playing yet. It just doesn’t interest me one iota. I did recently tell my son that if he gets his grades up on his next report card I would play a computer or Xbox game with him though. Crap! Did I really did say that? Maybe he’ll get a D. One can only hope.
Mommy me-time is still important though. It’s just changed from being able to go to the bathroom by myself (I can consistently do that now), to finding fun and adventurous things for myself outside of my family. Taking a writing class or taking a trip by myself is an awesome way to connect with my pre-mommy self. And when I am having fun, so is my family. You know the saying, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”