Me Time, Tea Time

My Facebook feed the other day contained two articles about the disenchantment of parenthood: one analyzed how little “me-time” the average parent gets in a 24-hour period (90 minutes), and the other discussed the cognitive dissonance of parenthood, i.e. that we delude ourselves into thinking that this whole enterprise is rewarding in order to cope with the stress.

Hmmm.  I can’t help but wonder what purpose is served by these types of studies.  Is the human race to stop reproducing?  Should we be focused on the endless pursuit of personal pleasure and ignore an innate instinct to propagate the species?

I’ll admit it’s true: your life ceases to be your own when you become a parent.  And I’ll admit from time to time I miss those days when I could come home after a long day at work and collapse on the couch with a glass of chardonnay and Friends re-runs on TBS…but those days are over.  And isn’t that point?  Call it cognitive dissonance, but I prefer to think of myself as evolving in some way (in many ways!) than giving up my freedom.

Okay, but for the sake of argument, what would I do with myself if I had a little more me-time?  Go shopping alone (ah, bliss).  Sleep in.  Go to happy hour…and maybe stay out for dinner on the town.  Blow-dry my hair.  Then go get a coffee.  And a manicure.  Alone.

But even if I had this time and could do these things, I’d still be someone’s mom.  I can imagine free time, but I simply can’t imagine my kid away.  Somewhere, in the back of mind, I’d still be figuring out what time I should head to daycare for pick-up, wondering if there is enough milk in the fridge to get through tomorrow (answer: there isn’t), contemplating the rate at which Babyman seems to tear through shoes, and pondering if I could have handled this morning’s discipline a little differently/better.

My husband is out of town this week, which means, ironically, that I have a little more me-time on my hands than usual.  Mornings and evenings are a challenge without his help, but once Babyman goes to bed at 7:30 it’s just me, myself and I until I decide to go to bed.  I can’t go out, of course, but even so…the apartment is my oyster for a few evenings.

So am I doing with these extra hours?  Well, I’ll tell you: I’m stocking the freezer.  It’s been a long time since I went on a cooking blitz and we are woefully short on tea-time snacks (muffins, pancakes, scones) and frozen purees (veggies!), which has been posing a lunchbox and quick-weeknight-dinner challenge for several days now.  I’m relying far too heavily on tortillas, toast, and cheese.

I’m no martyr: Kendra marathons are rolling on the kitchen TV and I updated my iPod with the new Taylor Swift album while the muffins are baking.  But so far me time has been primarily about tea time.  Because that’s what it’s like being someone’s mommy.  And that’s okay.

What’s cooking?

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