By Momstown Editor – Alison Martin
I’ve never been big on chocolates. Flowers are too cliche, and really just trigger my allergies. The jewelry I like is far too expensive and too lavish for my lifestyle. And, I work in a scent-free office place, so bottles of perfume just get stashed and forgotten in the bathroom cabinet. So what do I really want for Mother’s Day? It’s going to sound selfish and abhorrent to many, but I’m just going to say it, even if it means I’m going to be judged:
I want to be left alone!
Five years ago, before I became a mom, I watched the movie Date Night, a crazy comedy about married/family life starring Tina Fey and Steve Carrell. At the time, I never realized how truly on the mark one particular quote by Tina Fey’s character was or that one day I’d also yearn for this elusive dream:
“There are times when I’ve just thought about, on my worst day, just, you know, leaving our house and going some place. Like checking into a hotel and just being in a quiet room by myself. Just sitting in a quiet air-conditioned room, sitting down, eating my lunch with no one touching me, drinking a Diet Sprite, by myself.”
I remember my friend (already a mother of two at the time we watched the movie), burst into an uncontrollable fit of laughter. And while I found the quote funny, I had no clue just how these words would resonate with “future me,” and many other mothers throughout the ages.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate my family. On the contrary, I couldn’t imagine life without them. I just seem to be losing myself in our regular day-to-day routine. I’ve cut my fitness regime to make time for trips to the grocery store and swimming lessons. I’ve traded in girls’ nights for play dates. And because I want to make sure my family is not alone, I’m never alone.
I had a brief taste of solitude a few weeks ago. In a rare instance, my daughter agreed to accompany my husband on a walk to a local restaurant to collect our take-out order. The experience lasted just 15 minutes, but it was long enough to whet my appetite. So before this mommy reaches her breaking point and my behaviour merits a “time out,” I’m asking my family to reconsider their Mother’s Day gift choices, and to just give me a couple of hours alone. I won’t even ask for a day, just a few glorious hours of “me time” in which to curl up on the couch with a glass of wine and watch anything but Treehouse or a couple of hours to shop leisurely in a store that doesn’t also sell toilet paper and produce.
I think it’s a small request but it’ll be far more meaningful than any tissue paper flowers or store-bought card. I’ll emerge refreshed and I will welcome the opportunity to spend more time with the whole family. I’ll be eager to pull the wagon to the park, to partake in a game of animal bingo or just go out as a family for dinner.
I know I’ll change my tune in a few years when my daughter is in her teens, and I will hope that she, and the rest of the family can make some time for me (just as my mom probably did many years ago).
But for now, when Mother’s Day rolls around this year, please just leave me alone.