Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I watched Date Night last weekend with a couple girl friends. It was funny but not as funny as I thought it would be... I may be picky about my comedies.

The main characters were a maried couple, with kids, who had gotten to a blah point (yes, that is the technical term for it) in their marriage. There was one point where their friends, another married couple, confided in them that they were getting divorced, and the main couple was talking about it one night. The husband admitted to having fantasies about Cindy Lauper, an odd choice, perhaps; the wife said her only fantasy was just to be ALONE.

This may have been the funniest line in the movie. I SO get that!

My husband woke up one morning, hugged me, and told me he had just had the worst dream. He dreamed that I had left him, but that I hadn't left him for another man, I just didn't want to be married anymore.

I told him that, sadly, that is how it would happen.

My fantasies never involve finding someone better, newer, more exciting, more handsome, smarter, kinder, sexier. No, I have it pretty good in all those arenas. My fantasies involve living on a remote island BY MYSELF.

It is absurd, even at my most irritated moments, to think life would really be better with someone else. In fact, when those horrible "what-if" scenarios pass through my mind in which I must face dating again, I shudder with fear and dread (but then, I was never very good at dating.) If anything, it sounds like a lot of effort: trying to figure out what makes him tick, what ticks him off, what pleases him, what baggage he carries, is he trustworthy... moving through all the stages of a relationship, negotiating all the terms... sounds exhausting!

I don't even want a cabana boy on my island. I can make my own mojitos.

A huge part of that desire comes from being constantly "on call" with the kids. The number of times I hear "mommy" every day is mind-boggling. Even when "papi" is home and the kids want little to do with me, I am "the getter-of-things" and "the listener" of all the observations and memories and questions and wishlists.

Fortunately, my husband needs very little coddling and ego-stroking and entertaining and emotional reassuring. Still, I am the house manager: I schedule, remind, find, oversee, organize, prepare, budget, etc. There are moments when I don't want to answer to "mommy" or "babe" one more time; I don't want to help anyone find anything or clean something or pick up after anyone; I don't want anyone to need me for one more thing.

I want to sit by the side of a babbling stream and read all day if I want; go on long hikes and not carry any snacks or diapers or changes of clothes for anyone; sleep uninterupted and wake up late; wash only my clothes and the dishes I dirty; have entire weekends where no one else's "me-time" interferes with my "me-time."

Anyone else have a fantasy? Did I steal yours?


Denise | Chez Danisse said...

I know my own mother has felt this way and I don't mind it at all. Although I am not a mom, I totally get it. Maybe you could start a new tradition and give yourself this time beside the babbling stream once per year. A week? Or even just a few days...

Danielle said...

Sounds like you need a "me vacation"! I'm sure you'd miss your family after a while, but yeah, I bet we all dream about being left alone!

Phoenix said...

As Virgina Woolf once said, it's an imperative to have a room of one's own.

I'm not a mother but I understand the feeling rather well simply being a girlfriend, daughter, sister, and friend. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be everything to everyone else - and I think a lot of people take that for granted. It might sound sexist but I can't imagine a guy blogging that he wants more me-time and feels the burden of it all because that usually falls to mothers.

::Hugs:: and your fantasy is pretty damn close to mine.

KM said...

whenever i have thoughts about "maybe i want to be a young mom" i think about how drastically your life changes and how i'm simply too selfish to make time for kids just yet. this blog really reinforced how not ready i am. i'm sure alk moms (hopefully lots of dads too) feel this way at some point- and rightfully so, being a parent is the most important and complicated job you can have!

anymommy said...

Yes. You absolutely did steal mine. I would sacrifice a limb for a week alone in my own house.

Isabel said...

haha, you really sell the whole parenting thing with, the "getter of things" :)

I can only imagine how valuable alone time is when you have two (beyond adorable, by the way) children.

As someone who will stay in on a Friday night just to watch my movies and drink my wine, I will appreciate my alone time doubly before I have EXTREMELY hypothetical children to take it away.

Once you guys get to Chile, I'll babysit for a bit so you can at least start a book alone :)

Heather said...

Yeah, I kind of suck at dating too, which is probably why I am still single, but after spending hours with friends who have children, it reinforces how lucky I am to have my time for me. It makes a really good "grass is always greener" 50/50 split for me. I want what others have but I love what I have too...

Annje said...

Haha! I think between this one and the last parenting post I have really sold the joys of parenting. It is mostly good, I promise! I just had to write about that line from the movie-all three moms watching laughed out loud.

Phoenix-a room, maybe, as long as it has a sound-proof door-I don't want to hear any whining ;-)

Isabel-I love you already! Perhaps you are just being nice, but I am totally going to take you up on that offer--and I have witnesses!

mosey said...

My daughter said at dinner tonight "mommy is the manager of the house". It's true, but sometimes I wish it were otherwise.

Are you sure you couldn't just fly in for a weekend? We could go be hermits side-by-side somewhere far away from children and houses. :)

And yes yes, we love our kids (and our spouses!), but me time is key.

Isabel said...

haha, feel free, i'm not bluffing!

Bex said...

I completely understand. Sometimes I feel like I will never truly be myself again until I have more time to be alone. It's as if the hourly grind of doing what must be done, the constant feeling that I do not control my own time, erodes me but by bit. I miss myself! So my ultimate fantasy? A nanny.

Margaret said...

I remember when I was little asking throwing out the question, "what's your favorite room in the house" and my mother answered the bathroom. I was somewhere between confused and grossed out when she explained that it was because it had a lock on the door and was the only place she could be alone. Didn't get it at the time. Sure do now though!
Chileans, BTW, don't tend to understand that much though--ohhh, the posts we could write on THAT topic!