Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ve Vant to Be Alone!

What do women secretly crave?

Correction: What do wives and mothers secretly crave? It's not chocolate or great sex. (OK-yes, we crave chocolate and great sex, but that's no secret). It's Alone Time. Single women can find a moment's solitude whenever they like, but wives and mothers pine for just a morsel of it now and then.

What would we do with it if we got it? Maybe enjoy a long, hot soak in the tub without hearing "Hurry up, Mommy! I have to pee!" ... Maybe finish the chapter in the book that we've started and stopped five times because the kids keep squabbling...Maybe catch up with a friend on the telephone without having to fix a snack, wipe up a spill or kiss a boo-boo at the same time (Why does a ringing telephone always seem to provoke a sudden, Pavlovian need for attention in kids, BTW? As soon as they see you're on the phone, they "REALLY NEED YOU!" Haven't wanted you for an hour, but pick up the receiver and BAM!)

I have a friend with 2-year-old twins. She doesn't crave a trip to the salon or even a disturbance-free movie. She would just like to take a shower without having the curtian flung open by a moppet yelling "Hi, Mommy!" Locking the door doesn't even help in her case, the duo has actually learned to pick the lock to get to her! Another friend has been eagerly awaiting her husband and children's camping trip so she could get a mani/pedi/facial and spend some quality time with her friends. (I'll be over at 6). And a mother of four I know just longs for an hour without having to wipe a nose.

Why do we wives and moms long for moments of temporary solitude in such secrecy? Because we feel guilty. We're supposed to love our husbands and kids 24/7. Which we do! (OK, we love you 21/5.8 ...but that's pretty damned good!) But we, and sometimes they, make ourselves feel as though we're leaving our families derelict if we desire even an hour of time to ourselves.

I'm lucky. I've got a wonderful husband and two great kids. In addition to enjoying time spent together as a family, they love their time doing "man stuff" without me. This is a "man stuff" afternoon. I'll be alone for at least five hours. I'm doing laundry. But I'm also doing all the little things I love that I rarely get to do undisturbed. I "Twittered" for an hour without Ben begging to play Webkinz. I made a girls' date for an Indian supper downtown. And I wrote an entire blog entry without once being asked to check the status of Evan's Ebay bid.

Come to think of it, I wonder when they'll all be coming home? I'm starting to miss them.

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