Me vs. Mom-Me

I'm not saying I didn't have obligations before I had kids - but back then, when I wanted some "me time," I pretty much just ... took some. Simple. Now, though, it's a whole different ballgame. Let's look at a few scenarios and compare the reactions of the "old me" and the "Mom-me."

I want to read a new book I've been hearing a lot about.
The old me ... buys it from the bookstore and settles onto the couch with a bottle glass of wine, and devours it in one sitting (the book, I mean).

(... And, okay, the wine).

The Mom-me ... checks it out from the library because I feel guilty spending ten bucks at the bookstore when the kids need (new shoes, braces, college educations). Thinks maybe I'll read it during the kids' nap time or after they go to bed. Ends up reading the first few chapters one paragraph at a time, then letting it sit until I have to pay an effin' overdue book fee. When the book is made into a movie - years down the road - orders it from Netflix when it comes out on DVD. Because going to the movies to see it would require another supreme effort.

My nails are looking like crap.
The old me ... goes to get a manicure. Duh.

The Mom-me ... can't bring myself to fork over the cash, nor do I have the time (or the babysitter) to get a salon manicure. Waits until the kids are in bed and spends an hour doing it myself. Sits up half the night, losing valuable sleep while waiting for nails to dry. Is woken up at the crack of dawn, and nails have sheet-prints anyway. To add insult to injury, they're chipped all to hell by that evening, because of Mom-ing all day.

I need to hit the gym.
The old me ... goes to the gym. Duh.

... Then maybe stops off at the mall to browse cute new outfits for my trim and smokin' bod.

The Mom-me ... waits until my husband's day off because a.) it costs $2 to take the kids to the gym's daycare (on top of my gym fees - WTF, you meatheads?) and b.) they hate it anyway. Leaves husband with a long list of "what to do if ..." solutions to avoid "hurry up and come home" calls and texts. Gets them anyway. Reflects gloomily on the hurried drive home that exercise does not remedy extra skin and stretch marks. Damn kids.

I want to watch a TV show that I've been dying to see.
The old me ... makes sure my evening schedule is clear so I can plop my ass down on my cushy couch with the remote and a box of cookies while wearing comfy pajamas. Turns off my phone for maximum uninterrupted watching.

The Mom-me ... strategically plans the kids' nap times so that they're tired earlier in the evening, which may or may not work. Hurries through dinner, so that I can hurry through bedtime, pajamas, tooth brushing, and stories. Usually hits a variety of time-consuming snags (such as a rare evening poop in what was to be the last clean diaper of the day). Ends up missing the first fifteen minutes of the show, or watching from a standing "I'm-about-to-do-something" position while the kids take advantage and run amok because I haven't gotten them into bed yet.

It's crazy how my kids have changed "me time." Not only have they made it more difficult to come by, but even the very definition has been altered. Before, it was doing something strictly selfish. Now "me time" is defined by taking a dump by myself with the door closed (bonus if there's no one banging on it or trying to look underneath), or unloading the dishwasher without constant interference help. The old me would have seen these things as everyday occurrences, and balked at the idea of them even remotely counting as luxuries. But the Mom-me realizes that, when there are other human beings relying on you for nearly everything, you've got to shift your priorities - and you can't take anything for granted.

Still, although there are times when I would kill to have an afternoon at a spa/a long, uninterrupted nap/the option to go to the bathroom alone, the Mom-me has a clear advantage.
The old me ... undergoes painful and intrusive fertility treatments, then returns to an empty house with an empty room that's supposed to be a nursery. Enviously watches moms interacting with their kids and cries until there are no tears left, wondering if I'll ever get that chance.
The Mom-me ... Looks at my kids, these bright, beautiful, miraculous human beings, and enjoys the way my heart swells with love and pride. And gratefully realizes that, though I bitch incessantly complain sometimes, I wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. Oh have such a way with words! That's why you get paid to write and I don't!! LOL
    They do grow up though! I'm getting "Me-time" back! You think it will never happen but before you know it, they are grown, graduated and engaged....

  2. Oh that was SO good. My 26 yr old is out mowing my lawn for me today and that "heart swelling" never goes away (much to his disgust). Now I have all the ME time I want (again) but sometimes I miss those Mom-Me frazzles... a little bit. Not a lot... just a little. Like him finding and spilling my brand new first time ever owned perfume (! as opposed to eau de toilet) and spilled drinks on new car carpets.

    Thanx for sharing this - it was a great memory lane trip!

  3. all I can say is DVR. as a complete tv addict i cannot live without seeing my favorite shows, and the DVR cable box is the best thing I ever spent money on ($10/mo over regular cable fees). I can just set it to record my show whenever it comes on, even if the time or day changes, and watch them whenever I get the chance. Perfection. Now th eonly issue is finding the time to watch what I've taped! May I suggest getting one, and then right after you put the kids to bed, give yourself a manicure while catching up on the shows you are dying to see (i try to do this once a week). laundry or wahtever can wait until tomorrow and you will get some much needed self pampering. btw- that last paragraph? *tear*

  4. Wow, I've really got it in for myself...I already check books out from the library and often don't get them finished, mess up my self-manicure during sleep, don't find time for the gym, and have to DVR any shows I want to watch.

  5. You're so right! By the time you, my youngest, went off to college, I'd had kids at home for 33 years! It seemed really odd to go to the bathroom alone, without at least answering questions from outside the door. I actually heard (for the first time)the refrigerator self-defrosting and couldn't figure out where the noise was coming from!
    And that love and pride you're feeling never go away, even after the mommy duties do. It's the best!

  6. Stopping in from SITS! Happy Saturday Sharefest!!!


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