If you’re a mom, then you know finding a moment for some “me time” is about as likely as your cherubic offspring deciding to pick up all of their toys before you’ve nagged them to do it. In other words, it’s a rare occurrence that will most likely only happen after you’ve come to the end of your seriously frayed rope and desperately need to escape before you turn into a frazzled and crazy-eyed caricature of yourself.
Once you’ve successfully negotiated your alone time and you finally get a moment to reflect on the absence of silence in your child-filled and chaotic life, you’ll want to live it up. You’ll want to enjoy, indulge, and celebrate this occasion. Or, sometimes you’ll just want to crawl under the covers and take a nap. Either end of the spectrum is fine because the point is, it’s your time and you should bask in that sweet solitude however you see fit. To help you in this endeavor, I’ve compiled a list of my top four ways to spend the ever-illusive “me time.” With the best pairings for each occasion, of course. Because let’s face it, a tasty libation enhances every experience.
One of my go-to favorite ways to spend time alone is locked in the bathroom, submerged in a bubble bath with a gripping novel and a glass of bubbly. The delicate, effervescent crispness of the Champagne provides a welcome contrast as I sink into a tub of scented hot water, all without a single, squeaky rubber ducky in sight. As I slip deeper into the warmth, I imagine Calgon is taking me far away from the laundry pile that desperately needs to be folded and the dishes that sit piling up in the sink. I am floating in a sea of tranquility for a good 45 minutes and it is restoring what’s left of my sanity. The bonus is, I am actually getting clean, too. I’m multitasking! What woman doesn’t love the sense of accomplishment that comes from multitasking?
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Don’t let this apparent chore fool you. When I escape the confines of my house without my children to go food shopping, I feel like I’ve been let out of prison. I drive slowly to my destination, savoring the peace and quiet, relishing the fact that no one is shouting, “Mom, look at this!” on an endless loop from the backseat. Once I enter the grocery store, I make a beeline for the sample station. That would be the wine sample station. “Yes, I’d love to try three dixie cups of your finest reds that are on a deep discount this week,” I say with an angelic smile. Then, after I’ve been sufficiently plied with alcohol, I go in search of cheese samples. Then I peruse the aisles. ALL OF THE AISLES. Yes, even the ones I don’t need to be in. I enjoy the solitude and not having to repeatedly say, “No! We are not buying six different kinds of sugary, teeth-rotting cereal.” When I approach the checkout line, I don’t have to negotiate with my tiny terrorists over buying whatever items are dangling in front of them. It is a slice of heaven to shop for and purchase food that isn’t shaped like dinosaurs or the color of the rainbow.
So many people complain about the school pickup line and the parents who get into that line 45 minutes before they actually need to be there. Listen, I am one of those people who get into that line way too early and sit there. Why? you ask. Because I am trapped in a silent car without a care in the world. There is no laundry to fold, I can’t clean anything and I am without my children. Sure, I could sit at home and do chores right up until the bell rings, but that sounds awful. Instead, I call the car line “me time” and I read a book (or Twitter). Unfortunately, this is an activity that cannot involve alcohol, but you can stop and treat yourself to a latte, which makes the waiting that much better. The late-afternoon caffeine jolt will be just what you need to get you to 5 o’clock when it’s socially acceptable to break open that bottle of Chardonnay. Trust me.
I know what you’re thinking — this sounds crazy! “Lady, you’ve gone too far this time!” Who would consider this “me time”? But hear me out. It’s quiet there, and they leave you alone in the exam room for hours. You can read, take a nap, or just sit quietly and think some thoughts without someone asking you to wipe their bottom or fill their juice cup. If you’re like me, though, going to the doctor can fill you with anxiety, so a shot of tequila before you leave the house will help to take the edge off.
Yes, these are definitely unconventional and may even sound crazy but so is being a mother. You look for the silver linings where you can and if someone offers you time to be alone, you take it with zero questions asked.