Not just pizza buffets and Amy Adams movie marathons. It’s easy to do with parenthood. It’s good to jump in emphatically when you become a parent, but you have to find a way to do so with two feet – and your identity intact.
A young mom to a boy named Reiko – whose name means love and gratitude – balanced motherhood and self-preservation, even tossing in photography and her blog. She shares with me an appreciation of all things Jennifer Lawrence.
She’s highly-recommended reading, amigos. Add her to Google reader before time runs out. On Google reader, that is.
I have a confession to make. Attachment parenting was never my “thing.” There are times I felt a bit criminal over this, coming of age as a mother during the era of Dr. Sears sensibility.
“Breastfeed on demand and let the baby take the lead on weaning!”
“Keep your baby close at all times by wearing her in a sling!”
“Never deny a child the chance to co-sleep if they ask.”
Fail, fail, and fail.
But there were more failures on top of these. My kids went to day care, which made me a pariah in some circles. They didn’t always get that requisite hour of floor time with me at night when I got home, and the dirtiest confession of all:
When I’m not working and have the opportunity to spend time with my kids, there are still times that I prefer to leave the house alone.
Let’s face it, even if you are the most hands-on, attached parent in the world, there are situations where children don’t belong. For me, these are five instances where I’d prefer to leave my kids behind.
Living in New Jersey comes with its own brand of crazy. We’re the most densely populated state in the union, which is never more apparent than when I try to navigate a New Jersey wholesale club on a Saturday with three children. In a store like Costco, we literally have to elbow our way through Snookis and Pauly D.’s to get to the produce aisle or the bakery.
Want to score some cheesecake or pizza from a sample cart? Fuggedaboutit! The certainty of your getting to the front of that line safely is about as certain as my fellow New Jerseyan Tony’s fate in that final episode of “The Sopraonos.”
Keeping my kids out of Costco is simply being protective of their well-being. Back in the day, I walked out of mosh pits with fewer injuries.
2. Yoga Class
If I get stuck without a babysitter on a night I teach yoga, I plunk my kids down in the back room of the studio while I help you get your zen on. Honestly, you’ll have a better chance of finding your zen in Costco than performing sun salutations with my unruly brood raising hell down the hallway.
My kids will find anything to fight about, and they fight loud. While I want you to get in touch with your enlightened side in my class, enlightenment can easily be upstaged by three boisterous children.
I know this one sounds counterintuitive, but I should never have to take my children to school, since they are supposed to ride the bus…unless of course they miss it, which is often. The problem is that any minor attachment parenting skill I have is at its worst in the a.m.
I wish I could tell you that I spend my mornings cooking my kids organic spelt waffles from scratch for breakfast followed by a group meditation session to set good intentions for the day, but you’re more likely to find me screaming at them from the shower to brush their teeth and my running around in circles trying to find clean clothing to wear to work.
4. The Nail Salon
A few months ago, I decided to “squeeze in a pedicure” between Saturday afternoon errands with my youngest daughter in tow. Except, the experience wasn’t the same while trying to entertain a 4-year-old. When it comes down to it, a pedicure is about more than maintaining your feet.
It’s time to catch up on People Magazine and US Weekly or have uninterrupted texting chats with your best friend. Is it not?
5. Dora Live
I’m not here to knock Dora. She’s an excellent role model for young girls. She’s a great problem solver. She’s clean cut. She’s clearly the product of good attachment parenting. Yet, after nine years of having Dora in our lives, I’ve given her enough money.
There have been the DVD’s, the backpacks, the action figures, beach towels, sippy cups, puzzles, coloring books, the tent and lawn chair set, and the Dora themed birthday parties. In my rough calculation, I have spent almost eight hundred dollars on Dora merchandise, so purchasing Dora Live tickets at upwards of $40 each for three kids plus myself is not high on my priority list.
Don’t get me wrong. I love live concerts. But the $120 price tag is beyond what I’m willing to spend for just about anyone. Not even the Black Keys for that matter, or Jack White, or Justin Timberlake. OK, maybe for my beloved JT…
I’m not a perfect mother. I’m nowhere close. But for all of the places that I’d rather not take my kids, there are many places where we’ve gone. There’s bowling and the movies, and mini golf, and the self-serve frozen yogurt shop.
There have been the flights to California to visit family, the trip to cheer nationals with my oldest daughter, the warm winter days that we steal away to the beach as soon as they get home from school, and the lazy summer afternoons at the town pool.
There are many more places I wish to take them. Disney World, New Zealand, Tampa for spring training games, surf vacations, cruises, tropical islands, and the list goes on.
If I can get in a pedicure first – alone? I’ll be good to go anywhere.
Ilene Evans, the Creator of The Fierce Diva Guide to Life, is a writer, yoga teacher, soccer mom, foster parent to over a dozen rescue dogs, and a believer in tough love advice as much as she believes in love for all mankind. Transparent, perhaps, to a fault, there is practically nothing Ilene does not blog about.