Being a parent is a 24 hour a day, 7-day a week, 365 days a week “job” and if it weren’t for being able to sneak away to Netflix for some “me” time, I’m not sure how I’d survive it. Believe me when I tell you that I am very happy to be a part of Netflix’s stream team. Some people have hobbies or second jobs, I have Netflix to escape reality. As a parent, you are never truly off duty. Never. I feel like my life is a constant game of memory (because I’m always putting things up away from the children then trying to find it when I need it again) and hide-and-go-seek on the world’s longest loop. It is exhausting trying to not mess your kids up, filling childhood with memories and happiness while not being allowed to lose your sh*t (be human).
My girls are 9 and 11-years-old and I feel like the pregnancy brain, morphed into mommy brain and now, I have the worst case of “My kids have got to be at 27 different places at the same time, I can’t even remember where my keys are or why I walked into this room” brain ever. I think I’ll bide my time here until senility sets in.
A couple weeks ago we took our summer vacation to the East Coast and there were two consecutive days when I was confined to a hotel room with my girls. They were bored. I was trying to work and basically, it all ended in a case of too much of a good thing. I really needed a day off when we got back. Honestly, there is nothing quite like being locked in a room with kids to make you painfully aware of how precious “me” time is because when limited to one singular room, any parent will tell you…there is no escape. It’s like prison, only the bars are parenthood and social etiquette.
To get some time alone, I stayed up later than the entire family and binge watched Season 2 of Bloodline on Netflix.
By the way, this season of Bloodline was awesome. I swear, I think Danny was in this episode even more than last season which was ironic since… well, I don’t want to spoil anything but if you watch, you know what I’m talking about!
At home, I can simply saunter off to my office or hide out in my bedroom, closet, back deck, bathroom…you get the point? But when you are trapped in a one room abode, there is no escaping. Heck, the bathroom at our hotel was one of those cool, sliding barn doors made out of green glass. It looked amazing but it had one fatal flaw; no lock.
In case you were wondering, and if you are a parent yourself you aren’t, staying up alone late at night did give me some “me” time but it was a temporary fix because eventually, I needed to sleep later than they did and so by the end of the week, I was exhausted and they were ready to go early in the morning which resulted in the inevitable, “What are we going to do today? I’m bored!” chorus that they chanted incessantly, in their little kitty voices in that ONE room. I don’t know how the pioneers did it with their one room houses.
After our 15-hour drive home from Boston, I was feeling kind of burnt out. Like our 9-day vacation was too much. Moms you know what I mean. I was on constantly. Suddenly, I felt like I had newborns again because of all the time and attention they were requiring, only they are 9 and 11 and almost as tall as me and I haven’t been in newborn/toddler mode in years. It was hard. It was like I was looking at young adults but they were usurping every ounce of energy out of me because I was their entertainment, all the time.
We got home and the exhaustion was compounding with no end in sight. Then my Mother-in-Law (God bless her) called and offered to take the girls for not one but two days. (Is it just me or did you just hear choirs of angels singing too when you read that last sentence?) I gladly obliged, I mean who am I to keep a Grandma from her granddaughters?
The first night they left just happened to coincide with the release of the new season of Orange is the New Black (OITNB) on Netflix. I am a super fan so I was super excited. I was able to indulge in an interrupted binge watch of the first few episodes. Good thing because this season is really engaging. It had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone but expect the unexpected and there will be tears of laughter and sadness.
The first day, the Big Guy took a vacation day so we slept in and had a day date. We went out for lunch to Cheddars, then we went to see The Conjuring (which is creepy and fantastically scary in the best possible way) followed by getting ourselves one of those new Caramel Espresso Granitas from Starbucks because we never get to just walk around the mall like teenagers or cool couples without children sipping on the latest Starbucks concoctions ( I really wanted to order the Pink Drink off the secret menu but I was afraid the pimply faced barista behind the counter would give me the stink eye because I’m over 22) and then, shopped in peace and silence at Von Maur
After spending a sufficient amount of time and money on ourselves, we headed home, picked up take away for dinner and just were. Remember what it feels like to just exist without it being for the soul purpose of serving little people? It was absolutely amazing.
The second day, we slept in again and after slowly sipping hot coffee got dressed and ran a few errands. Thought we were cool because we even managed to fit in grocery shopping for the week and then we got into a fender bender in the parking lot. That kind of ruined the mojo of the day but we were so well rested and happy, we just smiled like fools and handed the kid we crashed with our insurance card. It’s amazing how your perspective changes when you get to sleep.
That evening, before the girls came home, the Big Guy played Call of Duty and I watched a few more episodes of OITNB. Turns out, we both needed “me” time, “us” time and lots of sleep. By the end of the 48 hours, we both actually really missed our girls and I think they missed us too. It was good for everyone.
The thing is when you go on vacation, you usually come home needing a break from your life because vacation usually means running all over like a chicken with your head cut off, just in a different location. We all needed some time apart, we all needed sleep and now we are all much happier especially since last night, I finished the last episode of season 4 of OITNB but of course, that makes me sad too because no I have to wait a year for the next season. I have no self-control. I’m like a kid left alone in a room full of candy. Don’t ever ask the kid why he ate all the candy, ask yourself, why did you leave a kid alone in a room full of candy. OITNB is my candy.
What do you do during your “me” time to relax? Let me know in the comments below. Do you shop until you drop? Do you sleep in until you wake up on your own? Do you have a hobby?