Have you seen that e-card picture where the mom is in the bathroom and the kid’s hand is sliding under the door? Yeah well that happened to me a few weeks ago. I’m sitting on the toilet with the door open so I can listen for the baby who is sleeping upstairs when my son walks up to the door and stands there. “Hey mom, are you pooping?”
“Yes Henry, I am pooping,” I reply and give him a look that suggests perhaps he should move along.
Silence. He stares at me blankly. You see, he thinks there is nothing weird about pooping with the door open. After all he does this all the time. In fact he did it a few weeks ago while my husband’s boss was over for dinner. Totally. Normal.
“Henry, could you please go find something to do and give me a little privacy?”
The kid steps out of my view but is still standing right next to the door. I can hear him breathing.
“Henry, seriously can you please leave me alone so mommy can have some privacy?” the tone in my voice getting angrier.
Finally I just shut the door, and am relishing the moment of being alone for a few quiet moments. So what if the baby wakes up from her nap and I can’t hear her, she’s in her crib and she is safe.” As I’m sitting there dozing off to sleep…that’s right…dozing off to sleep while on the toilet, a little hand reaches under the door and all 5 fingers wiggle.
“Hey mom, can you see my hand?” says Henry. “I can see your feet!” “Are you still pooping in there?”
Folks, this is my day. A constant flow of interruptions, needs, butts needing to be wiped (including my own) and there is not One. Single. Moment. Of. Peace. Now look, I willingly took this job of being a stay at home mom so I shouldn’t complain. True, I get to see my children grow before my eyes, I experience first smiles, first roll-overs, get to wear pajamas all day if I want…it’s not all bad. But dang, can a girl get a moment to herself sometimes?
I have a friend in Chicago who, when asked how it was having two kids, replied that she took really long showers. I didn’t understand it at first. Then I had my second child and realized there is even less time to myself these days. I too stand in the shower for minutes. I literally stand there staring at the shower wall. Sometimes the morning sun peeks thru the window and shines on my face…those days I get all blissed-out and Zen-like. We got our water bill last week and I nearly keeled over…guess my time alone is expensive…and valuable.
When I had my paying job back in Chicago, I would drive to work every morning. After finding a parking spot, I would sit in my car for at least 15 minutes before going in to work. You know that scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, where Cameron is sitting in his car…just sitting there? Yeah that was me. I realized that between working 40+ hours a week, being a mom, and a wife, I had no time to myself. Those 15 minutes in my car was my time to myself. Complete silence.
I was going bat-shit crazy. After weeks of feeling antsy and dissatisfied, I started to pick up running again. I had run all thru high school, college, and my single NYC life, but let it go to the wayside after getting married. I decided to really just go for the gusto and register for the Chicago marathon. The time I spent running/training for the marathon was my time. And it was magical. I didn’t even listen to music on my run…even the 18 mile runs. Just the sound of my breath, my feet hitting the pavement, and the city were my soundtrack. And it was all mine.
I’m convinced that with a break from my children every once in awhile I am a better parent. And lately I haven’t had much of a break from my kiddos. And thus, am feeling a little empty, and often at my wits end with the kids. The cold winter and short days don’t help much either. I have a dear friend in Portland who made it her goal to run a ½ marathon each month this past year. I’d like to make such a proclamation and goal. Now that the babe is finally taking a bottle, I need to start making time for myself each day to get out and run. The logistics of this will be tough. Are the bike paths plowed? Do I need snow “tires” for my running shoes?
Stay tuned and check back with me in a few weeks to see how my “me” time is going. In the meantime, take some time for yourself. Even it means standing in the shower for a few extra minutes…or pooping with the door closed.