The Fallacy of “Me” Time

Lately I’ve been on a cooking kick. Last week I made bow tie pasta and fish tacos. This week it was salmon patties and shredded chicken wraps. (Most of the time I’m treading water, but sometimes, sometimes this Supermom delivers.) I never liked to cook until I had kids. Now that I have someone to cook for, I enjoy it – in a messy, yes-the-meatloaf-tastes-like-chalk-but-you’ll-get-over-it kind of way.

And now that I’ve got you thinking this post is about food, I’m going to go ahead and tell you that it’s actually about my husband. (Or maybe husbands in general.) As many of you know, it’s easy for mamas to lose themselves once they have kids, and I have an amazing guy who is always encouraging me to take time for myself. “You deserve it,” he tells me often. “Do something for you.”

I know. I sort of hit the husband jackpot.

I was reminded of this last Thursday when I mentioned that I wanted to try out a new spinach lasagna recipe and Geoff – bless his heart – told me that he would watch the girls while I cooked. Crank the Pandora and enjoy a peaceful kitchen without a baby whining for my attention and a toddler clinging to my leg? Um, yes please.

So while he coaxed the little ladies out of the kitchen, I began setting out ingredients and rummaging for pans. I filled a pot with water. I turned Pandora to “90’s Pop.” I opened a Summer Shandy. I cracked some eggs. I grooved to Ace of Base.

And then … this:

“Kara, where is Molly’s pacifier?”

(Insert screeching record.)

Are you freaking kidding me?

I don’t know. In the microwave? On the roof? Inside the DVD player? Under the washing machine? In Savannah’s piggy bank? In the shed next to the lawn mower? Did you really just ask me that question? Because I’m pretty sure – in fact, I’m nearly positive – that a few seconds ago you told me to relax and take some time for myself.

“No clue, dear.”

Molly cries, Daddy panics.

“What do I do?” he replies anxiously.

Well, when I can’t find it, I usually just sit on the floor and scream with her until we’re both too exhausted to remember what we’re screaming about in the first place.

Biting tongue, suppressing fumes: “Look for it.”

And although I know I should leave it at that (because this is, after all, “my” time and I’m responsible for no one but myself), I add, “Check the swing.”

Pause. Sheepish chuckle.

“Found it.”

Of course you did. Because I’m Mom and I’m awesome and the last time I experienced real “me” time was back in 2012 when I thought a shower was nothing more than a hygienic necessity.

And also? Geoff, I so totally love you.


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