Saturday, October 20, 2012

Time Off for Good Behavior

Don't get me wrong.  I love my girls and I am THRILLED I get to stay home with them.  We have a nice routine going where the house stays (relatively) clean, we can get MOST of the errands done, the girls get to do activities out of the house, and we get to play at home.  I figured out a schedule for the upkeep of the house and have it posted on the fridge with our weekly meal plan and family calendar.  By doing a little every day, I'm typically not overwhelmed with the demands of motherhood.  We have a good thing going for SURE.


Sometimes it's nice to get out WITHOUT the girls, and even (sorry) without Adam.  Adam and I really aren't "going out" people, and going down to one income forced us to cut our budget where dinners out aren't something we can do very often.  Yes, we make the effort to spend time together after the girls go to bed, but usually it's eating dessert and watching the Big Bang Theory.  Going OUT (even when we're leaving the girls with their grandparents) can be a huge effort at this stage. 

But going out for a few hours by myself while Adam is home...that's just wonderful.  Adam and I made a deal, after a couple of weeks of only leaving the house alone to grocery shop on Friday nights (yup, I'm THAT cool now), that I would get a break at least once a weekend, no matter what.  I don't mind that he golfs, and he doesn't mind that I need time too.  Most of the time I run errands (the kind that are really difficult to do with two kids and one mommy), sometimes I do something for myself, but either way, it's relaxing to be out solo.

Sometimes my good friend and I try to coordinate our "time off for good behavior".  We call it our "nap date" because we head out as soon as she puts her son and I put the girls down for their naps (no, the dads don't get a pass.  Naptime is usually LONG over by the time we get back.)  Last week we met up to do some scouting for Christmas at Toys R Us, and then we enjoyed Pumpkin Spice lattes at Starbucks.  Delightful!

Side note: both our husbands think it's hilarious that we call it our "nap date" because it sounds like we're getting together to take a nap - kind of like Ross and Joey on Friends.  Definitely not true, but sometimes that sounds tempting too!

Today was an EXCEPTIONALLY relaxing time.  When Madison was born, my parents gave me a gift certificate to a local spa.  It was a GREAT gift for a new mom.  But somehow, I never got around to using it (which is probably why I didn't get another when Reagan was born!).  This morning I was feeling a little frazzled.  I'd had trouble sleeping last night, the kitchen was a mess, all those little things.  So on a whim, I grabbed the certificate, grabbed my phone and made myself an appointment for a pedicure this afternoon.

After a fun morning with the girls picking pumpkins and apples (or rather, picking OUT pumpkins and apples from crates and pallets), we fed them lunch, put them in their cribs, and headed off on my own.  I stopped and got gas (I had to be a LITTLE bit practical) and then picked up a chai from Starbucks on my way to the spa.

Back when we were a two income family, I treated myself to pedicures about once a month.  The local little places were always perfect for me.  My favorite one even puts out coupons and a punch card, which is right up my alley! Lately though, it's a luxury along with eating out that I've been putting aside.  The gift card ended up being perfectly timed for my use after all, because I could pamper myself guilt free.  I could still get my time off without feeling like I was wasting $30 that could be used on a snowsuit for Reagan or pair of shoes for the ever growing Madison.  I know I shouldn't feel guilty, but when the family needs so much, a pedicure seems a little...frivolous.  And that makes it hard to really enjoy.

But oh, what a pedicure it was.  I know I didn't officially pay for it (and good thing, because it was NOT a $30 pedicure), but it would have been SO worth it.  It was the kind of place where they greet you by name in reception and usher you in.  They sat me in a beautiful little room and brought me a snack of fruit and crackers with an icy glass of cucumber water, and then offered a glass of wine, a spritzer, or some sparkling water.  I enjoyed my 90 minute pedicure sipping and nibbling, while they replenished my stack of magazines and refilled my water whenever they saw I had under a half a glass left or had finished one of the magazines in my stack.  My feet were pampered to the fullest extent and painted with absolute precision in a color the nail technician helped me select based on "my skin tone, the season, and the preferences I showed".  Yes, really.  

Afterward, I came home to the normal chaos of late afternoon.  Everyone was happy and playing, but I wouldn't say the atmosphere was one of serenity.  I went right back into Mommy mode...nursing Reagan, playing with Madison, cooking dinner, participating in the endless cycle that is cleaning the kitchen. 

About an hour ago, when both girls were tucked in for the night, I flopped down with the usual exhaustion of a long day.

But my toes sure are happy...AND, there is enough left on my gift card for two more luxurious visits!

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