Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Coffee Shop of One's Own

I type this to you from temporary Pretty HQ at my local coffee shop, enjoying week 2 of that part-time nanny helping me out two mornings each week. I despise how Oprah this sounds, but - in skimming that post again, I can see how much I needed permission to take a few hours for myself each week; sometimes it's just the knowing you can do something even more than the doing itself that brings peace.

On top of that I had the guilt that came with admitting I needed a few hours away from my darling tot each week & having the luxury to do that. Pre-child me - the one who knew absolutely everything there was to know about parenting - would have been horrified by my eagerness to enlist childcare help.

I'm happy to report that the part of me not feeling Bad Mommy-ish about taking these two mornings is enjoying the (not Missoni) pants off of them. I confess that in the weeks prior to starting the sitter, I'd find myself sneaking off to check email or diddle around on posts here when I should have been 100% devoted to playing with Master P; my Invisible Internet Friend Meg spoke eloquently about this feeling a while back. I couldn't jam in all the cleaning house and showering and personal time and whatever else I needed to do during his daily naptime, so it had started leaking into my time with him.

Most importantly, Master P, my formerly independent tot who has recently been besieged by stranger & separation anxiety, adores his new sitter. When she arrives, he flaps his arms in the universal "WANT HUG NOW!" gesture at her & toddles off to play, barely concerned with my departure. It is simultaneously a relief & a miniature heartbreak, surely a sign of school drop-offs to come.

I won't say that I never take a phone call or check email now when I'm home with my boy, but in the weeks I've had some designated alone time I feel more able to devote my attention to him. I can close my laptop & more fully enjoy this nevermind that I was snapping photos while doing it:

I'm grateful to have these few hours to do not only the Smug Mummy necessities (gym, doctor, dry cleaning - like "Jersey Shore" minus the booze, sadly) but also to carve out a few minutes to waste in a coffee shop. Waste isn't the right word, really - just to be, rather. I imagine one day the right part-time job or other volunteering may take the place of this, but for now, it is just right.

For anyone else feeling guilt about needing a bit of your own Smug Mummy space, I hereby wave my magic wand - is Hermes making those yet? - and give you my SM seal of approval.


Danielle said...

So true! We do need our "me" time but like you, I feel guilty when I do it. Afterward, I always feel so refreshed and feel like I can love my boys even more (because I can somehow tolerate their incessant whining after having a break from it for a couple of hours!). So I say, good for you!

Legally Fabulous said...

Noooo, you should never feel guilty for taking some time for yourself! 
It'll make you a better mom because of it.  And Master P will be a better kid for it... seriously the worst kids ever are the ones who never get left with anyone and it totally weirds me out to read about a blogger who has an 18 month old who has never had a babysitter.
Hope Master P is enjoying his time, and don't feel guilty if you just spend those few hours getting a pedicure or doing absolutely nothing productive. Or seriously even if you need to go upstairs and take a nap while the sitter entertains in the next room - do it! 

petunia paradise said...

Good for you! I did the same...a nanny for 4 hours about 2 or 3 days a week helped me keep my sanity. It was great for running errands or having lunch with a friend. I later went back to work part-time and on those days put Little P in the daycare at the hospital where I worked. I am convinced that is why she has such a strong immune system because this child is never sick! 

Amid Privilege said...

And I, the Queen of Bonded Parenting, she who nursed them past all cultural norms and lived for their every breath, I concur. I took my daughter to daycare two afternoons a week, from about 11 months on. Critically important - and she loved it. Now, if Master P. didn't like this, you would need to find a different mode to get your time alone. But this sounds perfect for everyone.

Mrs. R said...

Yayyy!! Good for you darling! It is amazing how much more energy you seem to have when you take a quick "all about me" break. Everyone needs one. Those who have something to say about it, please send them my way! I have no problem telling them off southern style with a smile.

kelly said...

Nevah feel guilty about having time to yourself to do whatever. You have to still be YOU under all that high glam mommy facade. My version of the Jersey Shore "GTL" is shopping, fan fic, and twitter. SFT. lol

Nauticalbynature said...

I will never judge any parent for having a sitter or nanny (ok maybe the crazy LA families with multiple nannies deserve judgment). So important to have a break and some me time. Happy parents (and nannies)=happy kids

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