Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Just a Few Hours



I experienced Mummy Nirvana on Saturday. 

At 8am, I jumped out of bed, did my makeup, got dressed, jumped in the car….and left my kids and husband at home. For 5 hours.

It….was…BLISS!

As mums, I know we’re not really meant to admit that running away is our fantasy, but be honest, occasionally we all have that dream of being single and kid-free. Saturday was the closest I’ll ever come to living that dream, and I’m not ashamed to say that I loved every second of it. 

Here’s the honest to goodness truth: I went out to do the groceries. A few months ago, Husbeast and I did the sums and worked out that if we go to the nearest major shopping town 45 minutes away and make use of Aldi, the green grocers and she bulk butchery, it’s cheaper even with the travel costs than doing our grocery shopping at the local Woolworths, so these days we head there a minimum of once a fortnight. Normally, we all go together on a Sunday, but after two weeks of school holidays I’d had about enough. I needed a few hours on my own, and so Husbeast was on parenting details with no choice.

For those curious, I wrapped it up in the big pretty bow of ‘the Easter Bunny needs to finish shopping and he can’t do it with Boo watching’. Why yes, I am a genius.

I wanted to play my music loud in the car and sing at the top of my lungs. I wanted to buy clothes, and browse Priceline for a few choice makeup items. I wanted to be the one picking Boo’s clothes without her arguing and wanting trashy crap I wasn’t willing to pay for. I wanted so badly not to change a nappy, make a bottle, have an argument or say ‘No, I’ve already said no to that!’ for just a few hours! Is that so wrong?

Apparently so.

I got Mummy shamed for my time away. The disgruntled Aldi guy (why are they so damn sour? The get it better than a LOT of other supermarket workers!) asked why I looked so happy to be grocery shopping. I told him that I was relaxing and having some kid-free time and got told (by the lady behind me) that ‘your children are a blessing, be thankful for them and not for being without them’. It took all my strength to reply with a reserved ‘they’re spending time with their Daddy so Mummy can relax.’

How very dare she? When did being a mother mean I ceased being a person with needs? Why can’t I have, and relish, a few hours away without being made to feel guilty? My kids were safe and looked after, Husbeast was happy to be with them and I needed that time out. It recharged my batteries so I can be a good mother for another few weeks.

What I wanted to say to the lady and her opinion was ‘Go fuck yourself. Until you live my life don’t you judge my choices, how dare you?’ I wanted to detail the assorted school holiday tantrums, the teething, crawling, standing and falling dramas, the ins and outs of separated parenting and my manipulative, slightly unpleasant stepson and make her understand that my job is hard as fuck and I deserve a rest. But I didn’t. Four years ago, as a very young, very single mother, I would have. But now, I know that her archaic opinion doesn’t matter. She’s from a different time, and it’s possibly a very, very long time since she was a stay at home mother. Likely she never had step-drama or chronic illness and me unloading on her isn’t going to open her eyes or mind, it’d just waste my breath and upset me. 

Instead, I took a deep breath, said ‘thankyou’, paid for my groceries and came home to love on my kids and husband. And as I drove home, singing at the top of my lungs, I reminded myself of one thing:

It’s not selfish to take a few hours for yourself. It’s necessary.
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5 comments:

  1. You are damn right Tara. I savour brief child free times and don't give a crap what anyone thinks. I am slightly over the world thinking they can comment on every part of how I live my life.
    Just today an old lady thought she would tell me how cyte my kids are and how tough it is with 3 etc she then asked if my baby was a girl.
    Enjoy your time when you get it, screw ell the haters!!

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  2. We all deserve some "mummy time". Glad you enjoyed it and savoured every moment. And don't listen to busybodies at the shops who take pleasure in bringing people down - you know you are a great and loving mother, you don't need to prove it to anyone else!

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  3. *Sigh* There will always be people out there who can't wait to tell us what we are doing wrong, or what we should be doing. I'm glad you were able to have a little me time over the weekend, after all it helps to make us happy mummies! xx

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  4. Well said, that lady doesn't know your circumstances and it is nice to have some time to unwind to yourself.. I can totally relate to the singing in the car part! I sometimes duck to the shops when the kids are asleep and let Hubby take over for an hour or two.. its nice to clear the mind.. glad you enjoyed it and didn't let the lady get you down!

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  5. Very well said! Mum's definitely deserve time out and it certainly doesn't mean we love our kids any less for admitting that. What use will we be to our kids when we are burnt out, snappy, with no energy to interact with them. It's also not like you left them at home to fend for themselves, I'm sure the kids loved having their Daddy to themselves. I know my 4 year old loves it because they get up to all kinds of mischief that mummy doesn't normally allow like chocolate for dinner lol!

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