Sometimes, more than anything else, moms just need a breather.
This break doesn’t have to be momentous. I’m not talking about a weekend getaway with the hubby, an entire day off from the trials and tribulations of parenthood or even a night out with girlfriends, although those all sound wonderful. I’m just talking about a few blissful moments of silence during which we can sip a glass of wine, catch up on the latest episode of “Law & Order” or relax in a hot bubble bath. This breather needn’t last more than 30 minutes, but the relief it provides can be immeasurable.
I recently was chatting with a co-worker who said she was a little tired but had no one to blame but herself. The previous evening, she explained, after she finally had her children bathed and in bed, her kitchen cleaned up and the next day’s lunches packed, she just sat down for a little while. Even though it was 11 p.m. and she should have gone to bed, my co-worker couldn’t resist popping open an adult beverage and catching up on DVR’d episodes of “Project Runway.” Sure, she shorted herself an hour of sleep, but she said the 60 minutes of “me time” she enjoyed was worth a little exhaustion. I couldn’t agree more.
I love sleep, and now that I have a baby who is partial to 3 a.m. feedings, I value it more than ever. But once in a blue moon, I’ll skimp on rest (even more than I already do) to settle down in my comfortable living-room recliner with my Kindle and a Weight Watchers snack cake. I know I should be in bed, and if not in bed then at least catching up on laundry, paying bills online or cleaning out my refrigerator full of “science projects.” But the 30 minutes I spend immersed in the fictional world of the sequel to “The Devil Wears Prada” while devouring 100 calories of processed, chocolate-frosted goodness are nearly priceless.
I need those minutes, and I don’t regret eschewing my chores and household responsibilities to enjoy them. When my alarm goes off at 5:30 the next morning, I do occasionally second-guess my choices, but that doesn’t stop me from repeating them whenever the opportunity presents itself. Fortunately — or perhaps unfortunately — the chance to take part in self-indulgent activities past my bedtime really doesn’t arise very often. That’s why I have to make the most of it when I can.