It’s not exactly a news flash that when we become mothers, our standards change. Like do you remember what we use to consider a “clean” house? With all the dusting and the mopping and seeing of the floors? Amateurs. If I manage to get Eddaline to eat up the Cheerios she threw all over the floor, I consider my house tidy.
Or high fashion? Remember that? Back in the day people use to tell me I had the cutest fashion sense. Now, high fashion is anything where the elastic band in my high-waisted pants is camouflaged.
And don’t get me started on date night. What was once reserved for “going out” and getting all dressed up in that high fashion I mentioned, well now it’s regulated to the couch, with a couple of bowls of his and hers ice cream, watching the Duck Dynasty we DVR’d in our finest sweat pants after the kids have gone to bed.
My standards for “Me Time” have also changed since becoming a mom. Pre-motherhood I use to take “Me Time” and go see a movie, get my nails done or eat a meal out at a restaurant alone.
Post-motherhood? Well let’s just say my children have taken a definite stance against Momma’s “Me Time.” I’ve had to be pretty creative in my definition of “Me Time” since the girls have come along. That’s why it’s been awesome having the girls in daycare once a week. It is this six-hour period of time where I can catch up on my Bible study, run errands alone and, once in a blissful while, get a nap.
Today while the girls were at daycare I had several errands to run and Freddy’s was one of them. Really? A trip to the grocery store (where you practically live) is “Me Time”? You ask. Oh, let me explain, Grasshopper.
For one thing, I got to park wherever I wanted. I didn’t have to get the spot closest to the cart slot because I didn’t have to try and corral any kids into a buggy. So, I parked near the back of the lot.
Secondly, I purposefully grabbed the little mini cart usually reserved for singles or those people for whom a daily run to the grocery store isn’t a production of bags and bottles and snacks and lists. It says right in the buggy: “Do Not Put Kids In Cart.” It gave me a little thrill to know I had no children to put in said cart, even if I wanted to.
When I got in the store I made the impromptu decision to go check out curtains for the girls’ room. Did you see what I did there? I made a decision, on the fly! No considering nap times or if someone was going to get hungry or yank the sample curtains off the shelf. I even perused the wall art aisle and took time to smell the candles!
I had only four things on my list and it took me about 20-minutes to grab them because besides casually browsing the aisles, I was also checking my e-mail and Facebook. I feel guilty doing that when the girls are around, but I decided since I was having “Me Time,” I could pull over to the side of the condiment aisle and answer a couple of e-mails.
I then managed to get to the checkout without buying a single piece of candy or a cheap impulse toy which they stock just so every mother on the planet will have to spend $5 on 30-cents worth of plastic, just to keep her kid from screaming the entire time it takes to bag the groceries.
I was even able to make it all the way to my car without anything being tossed out of the buggy, and I loaded up my car in less than five minutes. Yea, I’d say this little foray into the store was some quality “Me Time.”
So, if you get nothing else out of this column (besides an idea for where to spend the next five minutes you don’t have a child clinging to you), I hope you take away this: We don’t have to sacrifice the things we enjoyed before we had children (like a clean house, date night, fashion or even “Me Time”)…we just have to lower our standards. Then lower them again. And… again.
Robbin Carollo, kid-corraller, reluctant housekeeper and sometimes blogger can be seen at nrtoday.com/moms on Wednesdays.