I live in a world of boys. I have 2 sons, a step-son, my husband, my ex-husband,and a male dog. My days are filled with fighting, flatulence, food preparation and looking for my glasses. Being a blogger, I am constantly online reading, finding the hot topics of the day, new research that shows WHY wine and chocolate lead to longer lives (that would be the longer lives of the men in my life, because those 2 things keep me sane) and those studies that tell me how I’m doing everything wrong.
By the end of the day, I’m beat; my hair is a mess, I’ve lost my cool more than once and I have dinner remnants on my finding pants*. I decided all those articles about how moms need to find time for themselves, so they can be the BEST for their children had some merit. And so I spent serious time, figuring out ways to carve out ME time and relax. I’m nothing if not diligent and determined, so I was going to find ways to relax if it killed me!
Here are my top 4 sneaky ways to relax:
Mommy’s Naked Time: My boys know if my door is closed, they have to knock and wait for me to say it’s ok to come in, just in case I’m naked. They’re both at an age where they do NOT want to see Mommy naked, so I decided to start closing my door on the weekend for 30 mins or so. When they knock (which they do, oh how they knock) I tell them I’m naked. I read my book and eat the good chocolate that I hide in my bra drawer (they’ll never look in there!) and enjoy my naked time.
Laundry Watch: I’ve done a disservice to my future daughter in laws but in my defense, this NEEDED to be done. I plan to reveal the truth when they are 15 and 10 but not before then. I’ve told my boys that our washer and dryer are top-of-the-line energy savers, that require someone physically there during the washing and drying process to “push the energy saving buttons.” They both think this is the worst possible torture – having to sit in the laundry room – so they leave me alone. This avoids me possibly asking them to, “cover my watch.” I have a stash of cookies, a nice bottle of red and my fancy wine glass, magazines and a folding chair. I keep the door closed (not for naked time) and relish in my hidey hole. Then I make them fold the laundry because I’m really tired from being on watch.
SPIDERS!: My boys are typical boys; farting, burping, fighting, eating and they stink a little (no matter how often they shower). But when it comes to spiders, my boys will scream and run, flail their arms and sometimes, if it’s big enough, cry. We have a deck out back with a great view. I like to sit out there in the sun and I don’t want to hear ALL ABOUT HALO and POKEMON the whole time. Solution: spiders! I came running in screaming one day (because there really was a spider and hey, where do think my boys learned it) and told them there was the biggest spider ever out there on the deck. My husband killed it (I love him so much) and since then, my boys will not step foot on our deck. I spend a LOT of time out there because, I told them, I have outgrown my fear of spiders. God forbid I ever see one out there again but so far, safe.
Foot Rubs: I love nothing more than a good foot rub. Since I haven’t won the lottery and can’t hire a full-time foot rubber, I devised a sneaky way to get my boys to do it. They love their video games. So, I instituted, “Hands-on Gaming.” They earn gaming time for hands-on time – on my feet! I’m not mean, so I make it worthwhile. For every 5 minutes of foot rubbing, they get 15 minutes of gaming time. The first time my teen rubbed my feet, it was the best 2.34 seconds ever. He’s gotten better, has more stamina and I find it’s a great way to bond. Plus, creating good foot rubbers, might make up for the laundry issue with my future daughter in laws.
I’m sure I could just yell at my boys to go away, or be the good mother who sits them down and explains that Mommy time is vital and could they please respect my time and occupy themselves (ok, that one made me choke on my coffee a little) but I choose this way. I’m sneaky and sure I’m doing it all wrong but hey, I’m relaxed in my wrongness and therefor, delivering the best possible ME to my children.
Someday, when they have kids and are pushing the laundry buttons or hanging out with spiders, they WILL thank me. I’ll take my thanks in the form of a foot rub please.
*Finding pants look very much like yoga pants but c’mon, yoga? Ha! I do spend all my time in them “finding” things; my glasses, my son’s “thing,” the dog’s toy, my coffee cup. Finding pants.