Mama’s time out: A guide to sanity

Working from home and being a full time mom is both a blessing and a curse.

The pros: My office is at the far end of our dining room. The commute is about 10 seconds. I can work in my pj’s…or wear nothing at all depending on my mood. I have a fully stocked pantry and fridge at my disposal. I set my own schedule, working if/when I feel like it any time of the day. I can kiss my kids anytime I want. I don’t have annoying co-workers bugging me and telling me stories about their husband’s erectile dysfunction issues and bore me with details as they rehash last nights “Game of Thrones” episode. I don’t care!

Now the cons: In order to get to my desk, I have to pass through the kitchen, making it way too tempting to shove something in my mouth in-transit. Because I don’t have to dress in business casual anymore, my attire tends start out as casual chic early in the week to trailer park trash by Friday. Somewhere around Thursday I stop caring. Because I set my own schedule, I tend to get lazy and procrastinate. I don’t have the pleasure of having a boss breathing down my neck to finish a project. It would be really hard to fire myself, right? Yes, I can kiss my kids anytime I want, which means that my kids are always there, seeking attention and distracting me any chance they get. And because I don’t have anyone over 5 feet high and a high school diploma to talk with, I sometimes get very lonely and desperate for adult conversation.

Being on-call 24/7 to my kids and clients, I tend to get burned out fairly quickly. So about once a week, I hand the kids over to my loving husband and take a few hours to myself. This time spent in solitude has proven to be successful at refueling my battery and coming back a more calm, peaceful member of society. A postal worker did not invent the term ‘postal’; it was invented by someone like me.

I do have a number of favorite things to do while I recharge. I might grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks, get my nails done, have lunch with good friends at a local pub, peruse a bookstore, partake in a matinee, go window shopping or find an outdoor café to read a book. I am predictable and I guess sometimes boring, but it works for me.

So that got me wondering, what do other SAHM’s do when they need to relax? I decided to conduct an informal survey with my Facebook friends asking “what do you do/where do you go when you need a mama’s time out?” and received a lot of responses. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but was surprised at their answers.

For most, shopping was mentioned, which is the only thing that didn’t surprise me. Hey, we’re girls, it’s in our genes. But most of my friends took the more conservative (inexpensive) approach. Money was a huge factor when deciding what to do. Getting a pedicure was mentioned, going to other SAHM’s houses while enjoying a bottle of wine, working out, watching really bad reality TV, calling a family member just to bullshit, even the mundane acts of showering and grocery shopping without kids is considered a real treat. All simple, easy and very effective at saving our sanity and possibly preventing mass homicide on an unparalleled level. Gone are the days of staying out until 3 in the morning, dancing with random men and seeing if we can drink our weight in alcohol. Perhaps the 22-year-old version of ourselves would consider that a release, but we are much older and wiser (and can’t handle our liquor the same anymore).

So cheers to my fellow stay-at-home mamas out there. Go get your piggies painted! Enjoy that bottle of wine with your BFF! Take that extra 5 minutes in the shower, we deserve it! Life will still be waiting for you on the other side of that door. Literally right at the door, pounding and demanding a grilled cheese sandwich.

A woman’s work is never done.


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