I love my little boy. Truly, I do. He’s the world around which the three little moons — myself, The Hubby, and Frankie — all revolve. If another child is in our future (and I hope there is), the world will double in size with the siblings sharing it but the moons will remain the same. I love that Joshua will grow up secure in the knowledge that he has two parents, a possible sibling (or siblings), and a dog who love him with all of our hearts.
That being said, there are times that I just need to step away from him. He’s not a perfect child, I’m not a perfect parent, and our relationship isn’t perfect. We aren’t June and Beaver Cleaver. Both of us experience tantrums from time to time, and once in a while we have to take a little time away from each other. No need to call CPS — like I said, I’m not a perfect parent, but at the same time I’m not a terrible parent either. I would never leave Joshua home alone. I may go crazy sometimes but I’m definitely not certifiable.
That’s where Joshua’s godmother, Diana (or “Nina”, as he pronounces it), comes in. Her son James — my godson — is just three months younger than Joshua, so age-wise they’re kind of a perfect match as far as playmates go. Joshua and James love playing together, and Diana and I enjoy getting to spend time with each other as well. Recently, Diana conceived of the most genius idea I’d heard in a long time: she and I would take turns supervising twice-weekly playdates for the boys, while one of us took a “vacation day”, as Diana called it. Because the boys play so well together, the supervising mom would have an easy time of watching both alone; the free mom could go shopping, take a nap in her newly-quiet home, treat herself to a haircut or a pedicure (or both!)…anything she wanted to do.
For those of you without kids, or for those of you who have kids and haven’t been able or wanted to try this, Zen Mama time feels a little something like this.
The first time I got Zen Mama time, I ran to Barnes and Noble to exchange a book and then took my laptop and NOOK to Panera Bread, bought myself lunch, and worked on blog posts, uninterrupted, for two and a half hours.
Let me repeat that.
Two and a half hours. One hundred and fifty minutes of “me” time. There was no panicking about keeping Joshua from crawling under the table; no having to worry about whether he’d eat his kids’ menu lunch or if he’d go for mine instead; no concerning myself with having to chase him around the crowded dining room. No. It was just me, myself, and I.
And my laptop, NOOK, and cell phone.
It was a glorious lunch break, and I got more work done than I expected to! Last week, I had another Zen Mama break; I used it to attend a doctor’s appointment sans screaming toddler (because who wants to visit their OBGYN with their two-year-old watching everything?), and I was able to actually walk, not run, around Target and make another stop at Panera Bread before heading home. Again, glorious!
As we quickly learned, the time away did wonders for our relationships with our kids. Ever heard the saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”? Well, let me tell you, it’s true! We’ve come back from our Zen Mama time feeling refreshed and happier than ever to see our boys. This leads to calmer waters at home (translation: a whole lot less yelling!) and contentment all around. If you’re a mom (especially a stay-at-home mom like Diana and I are), you really should find a mom buddy and give this a shot. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Now go find your Zen!!