Saturday, July 17, 2010

Investment in joy ...

Reaching the end of this two weeks' school holidays, far too much of which have been spent in various levels of illness - my own, DH's, and both kids.  And not enough in fun and excitement for anybody.
  • DS has just been rushed to the last opening moments of the local White Cross to confirm an ear infection.  Oh joy - antibiotics!  I suppose, at least, this should mark an improvement.

 We all deserve sparks in our lives - in face we all need these sparks, these little moments that quite frankly make it worth getting up in the morning...or in the night.

It can be extremely hard for mums to find these - we spend so much of ourselves in service to the family that often there's nothing left for treating ourselves well.  And as a minimalist mum, I may fall even deeper into this trap:
  1. Attachment parenting philosophy certainly includes the mother taking care of herself, but with needy immature loudlings on tap all day and every day, it's not obvious how this blossoms from theory to reality
  2. My frugal side doesn't turn on and off like a switch - it's hard not to see extras as just that: extras and therefore unnecessary and therefore foregone!  Many of my compatriots speak of budgets containing "play money" for them, but I don't have a primping account, just our usual scrimping one.  
  3. So not for me the casual trip to the cafe for that pricey steaming scented cardboard cup or the hairdressers for a cut and colour of my coif, or to the jewelers to add to my bling.  And I don't actually want it - I'm not forcing myself to be minimalist by denial. 
But if I skip the usual suburban housewife's fare, I still have my own tastes and pleasures to indulge - and I neglect them to the whole family's peril.   When I watch myself (like in the past few days) becoming inappropriately and uncontrollably resentful, I know I've been missing out on my sparks.  And at a pity party, you don't have to share the hors d'oeuvres, but...

My treats
  1. Off-duty time.  I'm tempted to put this at numbers one and two!  I'm reaching the end of the years when Nadia is with me basically always.  From next week, she starts two mornings a week (and they can't call in sick).  When I don't get a consecutive hour or two actually off duty, the tension mounts....
  2. Reading.  My tastes have devolved away from anything serious and I devour chick-lit.
  3. Writing - this helps get bubbling ideas out of my head.  Bubbling ideas are very uncomfortable
  4. Anything tasty that I can prepare with some care.  Hot cocoa in a special cup with sprinkles, yum!  Special note - in the pursuit of gratification, stuffing of food in mouth without care and preparation happens.  It never works.  It's totally unsatisfying.
  5. Bathing or grooming (thankfully hasn't included any nitpicking for some years) - sometimes as basic as trimming toenails or as fancy as painting them.  Moisturising my feet.  A bath or shower with time to dream....
Now it's your turn - treat me to your nicest treat ideas!


  1. Just alone-time is definitely great, and needed. For the first six months Indiana was literally attached to me at all times LOL. I got away once a month for a massage because my back was busted after giving birth. We have been doing the attachment parenting, letting her be as clingy as she needs to be, so that she can start exploring the world on her own when she is good and ready! And she has. But she hasn't yet been in anyone's care besides mommy and daddy.

    I'm low maintenance, but I do like sometimes to do a hair conditioning mask and I'd love a soak in the bath if we had one :) Sauna is a treat at other family members' homes.

    I do like my computer time, so when Indiana is napping or playing with my husband, like right now, that's what I usually do!

    Work requires half a day preferably at least two days in a row, but I do enjoy it so much when I get to painting. Even if it is work.

    One treat that I REALLY miss is watching movies. Though we don't have a TV, we DO have a data projector, and we used to watch movies and select tv shows pretty much every night. Now, NEVER. So I really miss that, and think we should try to do it once a week. Heck, I'll take just once a month!!! It's just that she goes to bed so late, and then we just don't get around to doing it... I haven't been to a movie theater in all the time she has been with us, either.

    Having time alone at home to really clean and cook or bake is so nice too.- Who woulda thought.

    So as much as I love spending time with her, the times to recharge alone are so important! I really don't need anything fancy, just time to be by myself and do whatever.

  2. Hi Cat!

    Movies were once my favourite too. Our 13th anniversary passed this week and due to illness, it was marked only by us firing up "The Princess Bride" and ignoring Alex's repeated requests for it to be over.

    As I remember, my birthday was spent as a holder for a girl with a tummy bug but when she perked up at the end of the day I watched Mamma Mia, which is a cool old-fashioned/modern mum fantasy!

    Our kids are late to bed as well, and at least this prevents me from even being tempted to the TV. In the theatres, I've seen the Proposal (with DH) and the Devil Wears Prada by myself. That might be it...

    Almost any time I can not be hopping up and down every two minutes is a treat.

  3. Oh, I totally hear you! Since becoming a mom I have learned the fine art of enjoying very simple things. Making time for a cup of tea in quiet, reading a book next to the window with a cool breeze. And alone time is most certainly necessary.

    Love it!