2012 was the year of Moi Loves Moi. We celebrated the fact that we are all perfectly imperfect. We threw guilt to the wind and we praised ourselves for all that we do right in the day instead of wallowing in all that we do wrong.
So as we start another fresh year, I’ve given a lot of thought to 2013 and our theme. I was afforded the chance to really get out and meet with lots of different moms over the past year in a variety of settings and I noticed one common thread. One thing that we all shared whether we have 5 children or one child, whether we have just a baby or we have a teen, whether we work full-time or not – there is one scarce resource out there and that is our time.
We spend so much time fretting about whether or not we are giving our children enough of our time, fretting about managing work and home, managing kids activities, keeping the clothes clean and dinner on the table. We spend and spend and spend time but what we don’t do is give ourselves any of it. We are all guilty of this and that is a CHOICE we are making. It is not something that makes us martyrs, it is something we do to ourselves.
In December I found myself at a lovely holiday open house on a Saturday afternoon. I almost didn’t go. Wanna know why? I didn’t have TIME. I had SO MUCH TO DO. How could I justify ditching Mr WM and the kids and all my other long, really important, list of things to do, to go have a few sweet treats and some drinks with a bunch of ladies at 3pm on a Saturday? How DARE I?
But I went. Naturally I stayed longer than I thought I would and mid-way through, I realized something, I could feel myself decompressing, I could feel myself relaxing, I was enjoying myself so very much. Doing nothing but gossiping and eating and drinking on a Saturday afternoon. It was delightful. And I was maybe there 90 minutes.
While I was there, I was talking with a few friends and I started telling them how a few days before I did something radical. I was out alone and I sat down on a bench in Bethesda. By myself. And I just looked around for a few minutes, peacefully just enjoying the warm December afternoon and the peace that comes with being out without your children. I looked around at what OTHER PEOPLE do on a random Monday afternoon and remembered that other people do things for themselves. I just sat in the moment. It was a novelty and it was so refreshing. And so completely absurd that this was so foreign to me. Isn’t this why the streets of Paris are lined with cafes? So you sit there and just relax and enjoy your afternoon?
I mean really.
I asked my friends at this open house when the last time they did something similar, like just sitting down on a bench, and none of them could think of any examples. Not one could really even come up with any time they give themselves and then one of them said this: “It’s a disease people. It is a disease.”
We all suffer from this disease and it is stupid. Where along the way did anyone say that motherhood meant you can’t have a moment? OR that you don’t deserve it? OR that your only moment should be crammed in at 2pm on a Saturday when the kids are napping and that is when you should run out like a crazy person and cram in a week’s worth of errands?
That’s not a moment people, that’s frantic.
A moment is sitting down by yourself on a park bench and just looking around.
A moment is going to a party on Saturday afternoon and staying too long.
A moment is taking a long walk when the children are up – WITHOUT THE CHILDREN.
And so this is my new years wish for myself and for you, it is what I hope we all will make our resolution – moi time. And catching yourself in the disease. The symptoms are as follows: thinking you don’t deserve time, only leaving the house alone when the children are napping, turning down invitations from friends for things like book club or meeting up at yoga because you “don’t have time” and hearing these words come out of your mouth: “I just don’t know how she has time for X (whatever it is: making photo albums, going to the gym, reading a book.”)
Allow me to be frank: It’s bullshit people. And it’s a disease we all inflict on ourselves.
Husbands don’t do this and they are smarter for it. And probably more relaxed. There’s no reason why everyone doesn’t deserve moi-time. Moi-time without justifications or explanations. Just do it.
Happy New Year! I hope that on December 31, 2013, we can all proudly reflect on how we gave ourselves the gift of moi-time and recharged throughout the year. We rid ourselves of this self-inflicted disease and enjoyed our rejuvenating moments. Don’t forget to give moi the gift of hitting “Like” on the Wired Momma Facebook page to keep up with the fun and some occasional reminders on the importance of moi-time.