A few weeks ago I was on the phone with my best friend and we were making plans for a girls night. You know how that goes, in order to go out the plans need to be made 3-4 weeks in advance, on a night that everyone is free, everyone has a baby sitter, and there isn’t much going on the next day. We both vowed to ourselves that this summer, during the few brief weeks between sports and school starting we would have some more girl time! Then she came up with the term Zombie mom, and I love it!
For the past 5 years our New Year’s resolutions have been, “This year I am going to have more me time” and every year we fail! Truth is I love spending time with the kids and the family, but when I get that night out I realize how much it is needed. AND when I get home I am happy, refreshed and looking forward to hugging the kiddies. BONUS to this is they missed me and they are behaving like angels! My husband and I went out for dinner, just the two of us a few weeks ago….actually a few months ago now and when we were out we were trying to think of the last time we went out sans children…and we couldn’t remember. Granted we just moved a few months ago and have been super busy settling in and with life in general, but why do we always find time for other things and not for ourselves?
I often feel like a version of Bill Murray in the movie “Groundhog Day.” Wake up, get kids ready, buy much needed coffee, drop kids off at school, go to work, pick up kids, drive home, do home work, make dinner (or hopefully reheat leftovers), go to baseball or clean or yard work, come home, showers, pajamas, bed, repeat. Zombie mom. It is our day to day that we LOVE and always wanted, but man does it get tiring! The one piece of advice that the more experienced generation of moms give that is ALWAYS the same is, “Enjoy this time while your kids are young because it goes way to fast.” I couldn’t agree with that more, BUT the problem is, and I think the more experienced generation of moms forget, that this age means our group of friends and family is also this age, also with young children…so that means weekends are filled with celebrations while the week is full of commitments so down time is few and far between.
Nothing puts a bigger smile on my face than when my little 6 year old gets up to bat and hits the ball and runs his little legs to first base! Then he looks over at us on the bleachers and is smiling ear to ear jumping up and down and is so darn proud of himself! THAT moment makes it all worth it! Or when we are at the elementary school at 11:00 pm on a school night because our oldest son’s basketball team just won the playoffs and were the winter league champs but they barely won a game all season – THAT was an awesome thing to witness! These moments make all the running around seem like nothing and “of course we will be back next year!” However, Zombie mom comes out once in a bit. She means well, but she is tired, annoyed with boys peeing on the toilet seat, irritated that people leave dishes in the sink instead of putting them in the dishwasher, and lets please not forget the different sizes of socks that are rolled in balls and left under couches, in between bed sheets and sometimes found in toy bins. Zombie mom definitely needs a break from her routine to recharge and snap out of it.
“Me time” does not always consist of spending money, making a whole day and night out of it or doing chores solo. Yes, once in a while I do love to go out with adults for a nice dinner, or a fun show or whatever is on the agenda, but that isn’t something we can do everyday and let’s face it, we are better to others when we are best to ourselves. Moms and Dads need to put themselves first. I like to compare it to the advice we get from our beautiful flight attendants – if there is an emergency put your oxygen mask on first then assist the children and elderly. This applies to parenting…if we don’t take care of ourselves mentally and physically, how can we be the best parents we want to be? So mom and dad find out what your “me time” is and stick to it as you stick to homework time, or making dinner, or bed time routines.
I have a confession to make…I LOVE watching Days of Our Lives!!! I watched is as a child with my grandmother, and my mom and now I DVR that show everyday and can’t wait to sit down and catch up! Is it because I want to see who Stefano brings back to life? Is it because the story line is like nothing else I have ever seen? OR is it because I live with 3 boys that scatter like ants when I put it on? I sit, I no longer fold laundry while it is on, I just sit and watch and take in the peace and quiet. I also started family walks after dinner. Well, that was more frustrating than anything so I walk with my dog and that is that. We need to recharge, reflect and relax! I enjoy when my cell phone rings and I can go into my room, close the door and swear a little bit, OK like a truck driver about life without feeling like the worst mom because I dropped an F bomb in front of my kids yet again.
I mentioned that we recently moved…we went from small city where I can get to 4 stores and home in 30 minutes (not kidding), to a 10-15 minute drive to get anywhere to get anything. Not a big deal but I have that RI mentality that if it is farther than 5 minutes it is too far to leave the house. Anyway, not living so close to everything has made us slow down a little bit. Instead of being able to run out and grab something (which turns into and all out shopping trip) we say we will get it tomorrow. If I have laundry piling up or a date at the ice cream parlor planned, I no longer cancel my ice cream date because if I stayed home to wash ALL the clothes and get all the laundry done, there will be more clothes in the baskets when we change for bedtime.
I think a lot of parents will say they live for their children and we NEED to live for ourselves. If we don’t listen to the flight attendant and put the mask over our children’s faces before our’s then what if we are not able to get OUR maskt on fast enough? Who will take care of us? Who will now be there for our children? A better me is a happier child. An adult phone call, a 15 minute walk, listening to music, 20 minutes aside every day for reading, writing, taking pictures….whatever it is let’s get in the habit NOW before September and the whole school routine comes back. Make it a habit so you fit it into your daily routines. Zombie mom is almost inevitable…we all have good days and we all have bad days, but stirring the pot with something just for our selves can be the difference between the amount of good and bad days we have.
*Enjoy and skip the spelling errors and grammatical mistakes…this mom is enjoying me time writing and I am not worried about the minor mishaps!