Yup, yesterday was one of those days. You working moms out there know what I’m talking about.
I finished work at 4:30, and with my husband out of town for business and our family arriving in town from Alabama for the weekend (with a whole house to clean, plus dinner to cook, and a toddler to entertain), I felt the pitter-patter of fear beginning in my heart as our nanny, Brittany, pulled out of the driveway. It was that deep, gut-wrenching fear—kinda like the first day of college, when you wave good-bye to your parents as they leave you in a panic with your new weirdo roommate.
Not only did I need to finish 27 things at the office, but I also had to take care of my 3-year-old, Zack, clean the house, buy the groceries, bake a cake, fix a healthy dinner…and so on. By the end of a full evening spent teaching Zack not-so-fun games like “Mopping the Bathroom for Grandma” and “Vacuuming Spider Webs Out of Corners,” I was barking orders at him left and right, like a drill sergeant. He started crying. By that point, I just gave up and turned on “Dora the Explorer,” which made us both happy.
After a good night’s sleep, I realized that my stress did not really come from work, or Zack, or the family arriving this weekend. The reality is it came from me not taking care of me. What happened? Well, for two weeks in a row, I missed my “mommy time.”
If there is one thing that is absolutely critical to maintaining my sanity as a working mom, it’s my mommy time. How does it work? I take 2 hours each week—usually on the weekend, or in the evening after Zack goes to bed—to do whatever I want. Period. Whether that’s a hot bubble bath, reading a book, watching a movie, taking a walk, or going out to the movies, I make sure to find someone to watch Zack—then indulge myself. For two whole hours. It’s wonderful.
The rest of the week flows smoothly after that. But this week? It didn’t happen. And as a result, I’m pretty crotchety.
To my working moms out there, don’t forget your mommy time—no matter what anyone says, we can’t live without it. (For more ideas about mommy time, check out Chapter 15 of The Working Mom’s Survival Guide.)