By Kari of My Questionable Life
“I can’t take it anymore!” I screamed while cutting the crust off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
My startled husband looked up from reading the newspaper to suspiciously inquire about what day of the month it was and, in a fit of rage, I hurled his PB&J at him with the crust still on. Then I stormed off to rage cry into my pillow and change my tampon.
I’m just so tired. During my waking hours I’m always being hunted like a gazelle by my children. They want me to fill up their juice cups, put Barbie’s clothes back on, or listen to them talk about Minecraft. Usually I’m mid pee stream when they finally locate me and bang on the bathroom door until I surrender.
During my non-waking hours, I’m being kicked in the kidneys by one or both children who magically appear in my bed at some point during the night. They’re just always there. I never have a chance to miss them because they are always clinging to me like little life-sucking leeches.
After composing myself from my unusual outburst, I realized I was in desperate need of a break. But how would I make that happen? I’m a mom, and leisurely solo breaks to use the bathroom, have coffee or engage in “me time” of any kind is frowned upon by society. Then it hit me.
The place I can always go to be completely ignored while waiting for an unreasonable length of time. The doctor’s office. A visit to the doctor would give me ample time to rest and read a few chapters from the book I’d started when my oldest was born seven years ago. Why had this never occurred to me before? I wouldn’t have to worry about any of that stupid mom guilt hanging over my head because nobody would ever consider a doctor’s appointment to be me time. It was the perfect plan.
So, I did it. I scheduled an appointment to be seen for chronic exhaustion. Not a complete lie. Luckily they could fit me in at 10:00 the next morning. I felt a rush of excitement jolt through me as I hung up the phone. Soon I’d be waiting in the confines of the sterile and eerily quiet office with nothing to do but rest, read, and scroll through every social media channel that exists.
The next morning I hurriedly dropped my kids off at school, feeling giddy with excitement and anticipation. After fighting my way through the school drop off line, I headed back home to clean up the kitchen from that morning’s stampede. Dishes and crumbs were strewn everywhere. “Fuck it!” I said as I walked out and headed to buy myself a venti latte instead.
As I strolled into my appointment, armed with my cup of caffeinated bliss in one hand and a trashy novel in the other, I noticed a crowded sea of people and I smiled as I thought about how long it was going to take for my name to be called. After 45 minutes in the waiting room, I had ample time to finish the book that had taken me nearly seven years to read. I instantly felt a huge sense of accomplishment wash over me.
Suddenly, the nurse was calling my name and leading me to an exam room filled with the sound of utter and complete silence. It was a foreign sound to me, but I adjusted. As the kid-free exam table beckoned for me to come lay down, I could hear the nurse saying, “The doctor will be in as soon as he can; he’s backed up with patients.” Words that usually would have irritated the shit out of me now brought with them the promise of even more rest and relaxation.
“Tell him to take his time. I’m in no rush,” I said, as a calm and almost tranquil look appeared on my usually stressed-out face. The nurse looked at me like I was crazy and obviously in need of this appointment and some form of medication, too. I didn’t care, though. I slung my too-heavy purse on to the chair and climbed up on the exam table. I shut my tired eyes for what felt like three episodes of Daniel Tiger, more time than I’d had to myself since actually becoming a mom.
As I awoke from my solo slumber, the door was swinging open and I felt refreshed and invigorated. The frazzled doctor gave me a puzzled look as he reviewed my chart and asked what brought me in for today’s visit. I smiled the most relaxed smile and said, “I’m good. Cured even. It’s amazing what a little ‘me time’ can do for the soul.”
The doctor gave me a perplexed look as I happily strode passed him. On my way out I stopped by reception to schedule my next therapy session. That’s what I’m calling my “me time” at the doctor’s office now, and I never miss an appointment.
About the Author
Kari is a stay-at-home mom to two kids, ages 6 and 3. She started writing as a way to capture the insanity that comes with being a wife and mother. You can find her at My Questionable Life and on Twitter and Facebook.