Friday, April 2, 2010

Is "Me Time" Really Worth It?

So last night, I finally made it out of the house and to my first Zumba class. I loved it! It was so much fun and when I left, I couldn't wait to go again. Unfortunately, time does not stand still while I am not home. Me time is a strange thing. Everyone talks about how, as busy mothers who do for everyone else first, we need to take care of ourselves. But at what cost?

First let me say that I had planned to go to Zumba last week, but unfortunately that did not happen. So this week I was very excited to finally go. Our three older boys were all home sick and I had worked from home all afternoon – or tried to. But if you remember how annoying 12 year old boys were when you were 12 (sorry guys), then you will know what I was dealing with. There comes a point in a sick day when you still don’t feel well but you are TV and video gamed out. Unfortunately that time hit around 2:30 for all three boys at once. From there it went downhill. They were not being bad, but let’s just say that I did not find their antics as funny as they did. My darling husband had offered to pick up the baby from daycare and I had started making dinner. The plan was to eat by 5:45 and I would be out the door for Zumba by 6:30. You know what they say about the best laid plans…apparently one cannot plan for the surprise visit of the President of the United States to your town. Not only was he in Marlboro, but he had to land his helicopter at our local airport which was with-in walking distance from the daycare. It all started with a phone call from my husband at 5:30 (when he should have already been at the daycare) that he was stuck in such bad traffic he might not make it in time to get the two year old before the 6 pm pick up time deadline. F**k! Okay, dinner was all prepared and just about to be put in the oven. Some of the pre-cooking cooking had already been done so I couldn’t let it sit until I got home and it only needed to be in the oven for 15 minutes, I would be gone for longer than that. So I decided to put it in the oven, set a timer on my phone and have the twelve year old carefully take it out when I called. Next I proceeded to hurry out the door only to sit in my own traffic trying to make my way through the hopefuls trying to catch a glimpse of our Commander in Chief. An 8 minute trip took me 25 minutes and I got to the school with 2 minutes to spare. I grabbed the baby, called home to have dinner taken out of the oven and rushed home. Of course, my husband made it home before I did…

I ate dinner, rushed to change, grabbed a bottle of water and headed for some “me time.” I must admit, I loved it! It was so much fun and challenging; I couldn’t think about what might be going on at home, I just had to dance. It was an hour all about me, which is very rare. The class ran over a little but I still had time to make it home by 8:30 which is what I told my husband. I was looking forward to a nice shower and some down time and of course was assuming that the baby would be asleep. Hah! You know what they say about assuming…

As I hop in my car, I see a text from my husband asking me if I know where a binky is. “No,” I reply. He asks if there is one in the car. I find one at the bottom of the emergency diaper bag in the back seat after searching every stupid pocket. “Yup,” I reply, knowing that he will now be awake when I get home and my off-night is now on again. I slowly start to feel the tension coming back, but I am still optimistic. He will be tired; I will get him down quick. Six minutes from home and the phone rings, the baby is not only awake still, but he has thrown up all over crib (because my husband thought that if he just let him cry he would finally fall asleep, but alas he threw up instead)…hurry home! Seriously?! As you can imagine, by the time I cleaned up the puke, changed the crib, dressed the baby, got him to sleep, and took a shower we were now looking at 9:30 before I sat down. And did I mention that the dinner dishes never got cleaned up. In fact, it is almost 24 hours later and I am pretty sure they are still in the sink.

Needless to say, my evening has me re-thinking “me time.” I wonder if it is even worth it in the end. Had I chosen not to go to Zumba, I would have been sitting down by 8:30 at the latest, no puke and a clean kitchen. And regretting that I didn’t go…can’t win. Then I start to think that guys don’t have this problem. No one worries that husbands and fathers won’t get enough me time. Guys get plenty of alone time playing golf, hockey, softball, fantasy football…you name it, they do it. And rest assured that while they are gone, we are watching the kids, putting them to bed, cleaning the house and doing the laundry. When they finally come home they can just sit down and relax. Cause, let’s not forget, they are tired from playing. God I wish I had a wife…

I have always wanted to go away for a girl’s weekend too, but am frightful at the prospect of what I might come home to. So again I ask, is it even worth it? I love spending time doing things for me and time hanging out with my friends but at what point does the therapeutic benefits of that time get overshadowed by the stress of what happens in my absence. I have noticed that on the nights I have a couple glasses of wine I am less likely to care about the fallout, maybe that is the secret….all I know is that I need a little me time to recover from my me time last night…ugh

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