I’d like to talk more about the balance we moms are supposed to achieve. Over the years many well-meaning folks and health professionals have advised me to decrease the stress of mommyhood by taking more time for myself. My response to this advice has always been the same: smile and nod on the outside; inside I scream “ARE YOU GOING TO BABYSIT MY FREAKING KIDS WHILE I TAKE THIS ME TIME??!!”
For the first 6 years of mommyhood I lived in a small town with no immediate family nearby. Babysitters were limited. Husband worked A LOT. When he was home we danced to the tune of “I’m tired from working all day” meets “I’m tired from taking care of these kids all day!” Thus I got creative in my efforts to eek out a little time for mommy so she doesn’t start putting weed-killer in daddy’s morning coffee. While I don’t endorse dishonesty in general, desperate times call for desperate measures.
Here is a short list of my ways to get some You Time:
1. Poop: While your baby-daddy may not want to entertain junior so you can take a short break, few men will begrudge you a poo. To this day, my husband believes I need music, a lit candle and 30 minutes of total privacy to have a bowel movement.
2. Distraught friends: Excusing yourself to take a call from a girlfriend who is having relationship trouble is a great way to get a little You Time. No real conversation needs to take place; you can simply set up a phone tree with a few girlfriends so your phone will ring at a desired time. Plus, most men have such a strong aversion to drama that they will never ask for the details of your “conversation.”
3. Bill error resolution: Who doesn’t like to save money? Tell your man (yes, I keep using “man” because in my fantasies lesbians don’t have these problems) that you were over charged on a bill and need to resolve it with the customer service department in Bangladesh. Obviously a call like that requires total seclusion. For maximum believability, walk past him once or twice with the phone to your ear and a look of exasperation on your face.
If you are not comfortable deceiving your partner in this way, well then I hope you have one of Hillary Clinton’s villages standing by to pitch-in.