Yoga on the Toilet: Finding Balance in Places You’d Least Expect

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.



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8 responses to “Yoga on the Toilet: Finding Balance in Places You’d Least Expect

  1. Wayne W.

    The guys in this men’s group I was part of asked me once about this “me time” concept. (None of them had kids and only one was married.) I said: me time?
    wtf is me time? Upon further discussion, once they got me out of my hyperbolic state, I understood that they meant: what do I do to take care of myself. I asked if any child of mine was currently in the room.
    Being in the room was about one of the only breaks I ever took from parenting.
    (I could have been a parent to a couple of the guys in the group though.)

  2. Sarah

    Ha ha. I’ve done all these things for me time!

  3. My dad found a big-old typo I’d missed! I’ve fixed it now but the first person (besides you, dad) to tell me what I fixed wins a really big prize.

  4. nancy

    I wasn’t sure if pointing out typos was appreciated or not… I will from now on. 😉

  5. Drea

    Ahhhh…the luxurious life of a co-parent. For the single mom these suggestions just don’t fly.

    Suggestion 1: poop – my daughter finds my bathroom time fascinating, you never know what mom is getting up to on the toilet…

    Suggestion 2: Distraught friends – Not on the phone (unless you enjoy spending as much time yelling at the kids to leave you alone as spent ‘talking’ on the phone). However, it does work if you can create a ‘play date’ with another mommy allowing both parents to relatively ignore the kids while some tete-a-tete couch time ensues. Maybe we can resolve the ‘me-time’ dilemma into these get-togethers by allowing each other a really long ‘poop’?

    Suggestion 3: As a single mom, all I can say is trying this one with kids sounds like a nightmare, and an evil foreshadowing of life with a teenager.

    Allow me a Single Parent Suggestion 4 : Netflix on-demand. For $9.99/month (cheaper than a babysitter), the little buggers will quickly develop an addiction to the computer. Take advantage of this by setting them up for ‘whatever their heart-desires’ within the G to PG realm and go take a bath. Believe me, the kids will be begging you for more “Mommy-Me Time.”

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