Sunday, March 25, 2012

Me Time

Today was one of those days when "Elizabeth the Person" was at odds with "Elizabeth the Mama". Some of you may completely understand what I mean by that. One of the most difficult adjustments for me to motherhood has been the fact that I am no longer in charge of what I do with the bulk of my time. That sounds very selfish, doesn't it? But, if I am being honest, there are days when I struggle with this. Today was one of them.

I think she only actually ate two bites
of that donut - there was just too much
fun to be had!
Of all the days though, this was probably one that I have the least to complain about in that regard. We got up early, with Abby looking forward to Sunday school, where she would see her friends, and sing and dance. We got ready in plenty of time and even left home in enough time to pick up a yummy donut for her and a extra large coffee for me. Abby had a blast playing hide-and-go-seek with some of her buddies, and painting a pot at Sunday school. From there, Abby continued playing in the nursery while I went to church and enjoyed a wonderful service. The sermon was beautifully presented - about finding peace of all things. Abby didn't even give me any trouble when it came time to leave, she happily said thank you and good-bye to Mrs. D in the nursery and bopped out to the car.

We hit a snag when we realized that the pizza place we were going to for lunch wasn't open yet, but I remembered we had everything at the house, so Abby and I came home to make our own pizza. Sure, she only wanted the pepperoni, but luckily we had extra, so there were no issues there. I think my rumblings started when I sat down to do some knitting. It seemed I would just get into the pattern and Abby would need something, more pepperoni, different clothes, something else on TV, no more TV, play with the iPad, draw a picture, more milk, and on and on it seemed to go. I'm not proud of the fact that my patience had run out. It didn't help that the last few days I've been fighting a cold, and a morning filled with a hacking cough just compounded the headache that was brewing. By the time poor Jason got in from mowing the lawn it just took one look at me for him to suggest I go take a nap - he didn't have to tell me twice.

After a good two hours, I was doing better, but then I heard "Elizabeth the Person" whisper, You know, there was a time when you didn't have to schedule a nap, and not feeling satisfied she pushed further, a time when you actually got to finish a hot meal, when you didn't have to get up once to get something for someone. There was a time when you were able to watch whatever you wanted - whenever you wanted, a time when you could do whatever you wanted, a time when your time was your own

I'm sorry to say that today I bought it, hook, line, and sinker. My poor attitude fed my irritation with the fact that Abby wanted a bath, when I needed to get some laundry done. It shortened my patience when I discovered that Abby thought the new roll of toilet paper I'd just gotten for her would be a great bath toy. I found that I was even irritated when I had to sit quietly and wait while she finished playing in the tub (sans t.p.).

Yummy tea!
Now, "Elizabeth the Mama" is one sharp cookie. She didn't lay on the guilt trip for all my crabbiness, no, she knew that Abby would steer me right, and sure enough, she did. It was after her bath, while she was wearing her Christmas dress from two years ago, that she began to so sweetly sing Winnie the Pooh songs - and I melted. Abby then invited me to a charming tea party, followed by the chance to help Pocoyo and her pirate puppet have a sword fight. Abby had so effortlessly charmed the selfishness right out of me.

I certainly think it is important for every mother to have time to themselves, time when they can be pampered and when the only one they need to take care of is them, but sometimes I fixate on the hard parts of being a mom. I forget how much emptier my life was before we had Abby. Yes, my house was cleaner - yes, I was more rested - yes, my time was my own, but I can't for the life of me remember what I did with that time - it wasn't memorable. 

True to form, as I sit writing, all I can remember is Abby's sweetness as she asked me to dance, or her soft warmth as she cuddled with me on the couch this morning, and although I'm looking forward to a quiet evening and I know my time to myself will be nice - it will never be as precious as those moments with Abby.

Abby was being Mulan here. Yes, that is a pair
of tights around her head, and she is
practicing her moves with a "staff". Pretty
fierce, huh?

She never lets the cups get empty - what a
good hostess!

We were working on getting that pinkie up -
like a proper little miss.


  1. I battled that a little today. I did even make the kids all go upstairs today while I was working out...I needed 20 minutes to myself. My mood was erased by cuddles, giggles, and dimples from Hailey and kisses and hugs from her big brothers. My "me time" doesn't compare to my mommy-time!

  2. I too wonder what I did with all that extra time before 4 kids! I guess graded papers and made lesson plans?? Much more memorable now! Thanks for pointing it out Elizabeth:)