Knowing When to Say When

Sometimes, I get a glimpse of how good I have it. This weekend was one of those. Due to the unavoidable fact of my being a female, like many women I have some 'not so pleasant' times in my life when hormones plummet and cramps descend upon me like the scourge they are.  No, this is not the good part--I'm not a sadist. The good part is that I have a husband who makes himself useful in those moments. On Saturday night, when my "keeping it together and being nice" tank ran empty, I suggested that it might be wise for me to excuse myself for the evening for a restorative treatment of a Perry Mason episode and some jigsaw puzzle work upstairs. Lovely husband concurred and gave me an hour and a half free pass to go zone out, which I so appreciated.

Sunday was much the same; I was a good mom and kept things going during the daytime. Joe and I worked on our taxes, I kept the house up, we took a walk up around the top reservoir at Mt Tabor...but by the time six o'clock rolled around, I was ready to disappear again, and again Joe kept Kiddo busy and happy until bedtime, when I returned. It was my night to read stories and sing bedtime songs. Having that break was so important to my having a good attitude. Even today, I feel better than I would have if I hadn't had the culmulative 2.5 hours alone.

I did have to make some hard choices and cancel a couple social activities with friends. Like another dear friend of mine, when we feel all crampy and grumpy, we try to keep our charming personalities to ourselves. I believe there was some wisdom involved way back when, when the women spent 'their time' in the red tent, letting others take care of them and getting to be gripey, grumpy and uncomfortable without being chastened by some lunkheaded guy about "why are you being such a bitch?", a question which--at this point--only makes a woman want to punch that man in the head. 

Yes, I plan on keeping my winning attitude to myself and trying to take things slow today, now that Joe's back at work. This means employing the spectacle of morning tv (SuperWhy and Dinosaur Train) to buy me a bit of time. Because I've bailed out on a playdate, this does mean I'll have to work a little harder to keep us more entertained. Yesterday, Playdoh bought us about 3 hours of entertainment, with a break for lunch. Pretty good return for a $3 pack of the stuff--that's a $1 an hour babysitter, if you didn't do the math. Scissors have already been brought out today, along with the basket of scrap paper and a wee plastic wheelie-bin toy garbage can from one of hubby's vendors. Kiddo spent some quality time practicing his cutting and putting the scraps in the tiny trash bin; he also gave me a picture of the zoo's bobcats he cut out from their quarterly mailer. I like putting the quasi-junk mail in his paper basket-- I never know what he'll bring to me to talk about. 

While PBS has my son enthralled, I get to write. This is good. It's like a runner starting their day with an easy two mile jaunt. Writing gives purpose and focus to my day...I figure out a lot as I type. Plans begin to take shape: Kiddo wants to make a paper chain today, so that we have a way of counting down until our beach trip near his birthday in April. We'll use a calendar and paper chain to do this. I'm wanting to find some more in-depth books regarding tide pool and coastal marine life too.  Maybe a library trip? hmmm... For now, the sun shines, and a walk is certainly in the cards for us today. We have pea seeds to plant, a suet cake to put out for the birdies, and I've got a old type tray I want to play with today, displaying bits of nature, seashore treasures as well as little bits of tchotke I can't seem to part with or place elsewhere. 

Taking a few quiet days does wonders for my soul. So does breakfast, so best get to that. My apologies if this is a bit 'journally' instead of more edifying, but here's a question back to you, Mamas: how do you take care of yourself on these sorts of days, when you are dragging or tired or hormonal? Do you go hide with a blanket over your head? Send the kids on endless games of Hide-and-Seek where you count to one hundred before searching for them? (Sure, you're teaching them numbers...) Hire a babysitter so you can curl up with the heating pad and watch some good trash on tv? (That'll be me--The Bachelor's on tonight, and that's one narcissistic relationship meltdown/mash-up I won't miss. It used to be that we'd sit at the coffee shop, speculating about people's real lives and relationships: now, thanks to Facebook and reality tv, there's no guessing involved, it's all out there for the world to place their bets on.) Let me know your favorite remedy for the "Lady-Time Blues" (yes, even if it involved alcohol, I won't judge you on that!) and I encourage us all in the Mama World to take those breaks when we need them. Quiet Play Time for forty minutes won't kill the kiddos, no matter how much they whine about it, but it's so much better than the alternative....


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