I have a deep dark secret fantasy. I’ve had this deep dark fantasy for just about 10 years now. The idea came to me late one night as I was nursing and changing our then new born daughter. Just the very thought of going through with this fantasy brought an immediate smile to my face. Then the idea just started to grow and develop over the years.
Now, three kids later, on those days where I can’t get more than three minutes and twenty four seconds to cohesively put a thought together. Between the constant discussions of what is available for snack, negotiating screen time, or refereeing the 119th fight of the day my fantasy carries me through.
I have, on occassion, shared this fantasy over the years. Carefully. I didn’t want to be judged or shamed for these feelings. But what I started to realize is, this fantasy of mine, this fantasy that has blossomed and carried me through some pretty dark days of parenting, is not only mine. The mom friends I have shared it with have always looked back at me with enthusiastic approval and have even brought fresh ideas to make the fantasy, better.
So what is this super secret 10 year in development fantasy? It starts with a holiday, whether it be my birthday, anniversary, christmas, or especially Mother’s Day- my husband, who completely on his own has noticed how hard I have been working to take care of the kids and the house, gives me a card. Now this isn’t any card. This card holds a hotel room key. This hotel room key is not to the local Holiday inn. No sir. I am talking about the Four Seasons, or The Ritz Carlton room key. Stay with me.
This hotel room key isn’t for us to share the weekend together. No. This super secret fantasy does not actually include another living soul. This room key is just for me. To go alone. By myself. To this beautiful, cleaned by someone else room.
Picture it. I am in a car. Listening to the music I want to listen to when I pull up. The valet will say “welcome” and I will respond “indeed”. I go straight up to my room, immediately undress, put on the plush fresh white robe and just throw myself on the bed. Sometimes in the fantasy I do a snow angel move on the bed, sometimes I fall directly asleep. Eventually, I pick up the remote, turn on the TV, and browse the “in theatre” movie options and then make my way to the room service menu.
I pick the movie. It’s not a cartoon, or an action drama. It’s just a cheesy RomCom and there is no one around to offer commentary on how dumb it is. I order myself a cheeseburger with french fries and a bottle of wine. None of which can make me fat (this is a fantasy). It arrives. I watch the movie with a burger in one hand, sauce is probably on my face- I don’t care. I’m alone. I wipe the sauce with the french fry and eat it- because I can.
I miss my husband and kids for a second because I have a heart. So I send a little I love you text and smile. Because when I look up, I’m still alone. In a huge king bed. I fall asleep. In silence. Alone. I wake up in the morning, on my own. No alarms. There’s no one jumping on me, or yelling, or asking if they can use an Ipad. It’s just me. I hear the birds chirping and I imagine some Frou Frou song playing the background. Alone.
I think what my subconcious is trying to tell us, is that as moms, it’s easy to fill the day meeting the needs of the kids, husbands, other family members and dogs, but what we have to remember is that we are here too. No we can’t escape to a hotel and make snow angels on the bed in a robe, but we can find a little time in the day that’s just for us. We may have to lock a door or two to find it, but it’s essential.
This year has been especially challenging and overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to say, I need 15 minutes, alone, to just be me. Taking off the “mom” hat and allowing yourself some time to meet your own needs, whatever that may be. It will make you that much better when you return.