A date with your family yourself*


Do any of you take yourselves on dates or set aside a “me” day every once in a while? (Loaded question: I know for a fact one of you does!) I’m thinking of doing the same thing.

I know, I know: You’re a housewife. You could sit on your ass all day watching TV and eating bonbons. (Weird thing is that Matt says that, too. Like it’s a viable option and he really doesn’t care. He’d better watch out or I might take him up on it.) But seriously, I can’t – and not just because we don’t have TV and I fear bonbons (for what they might do to my ass) like they are the devil’s own – but because I seem to be psychologically incapable of sitting on my ass all day. In the three years I have been an official hausfrau I’ve probably watched three movies while Matt was at work. And I don’t think I actually sat still through one of them. I’m usually jumping up every fifteen minutes to take cookies out of the oven or switch laundry. (Even when I’m blogging or doing Nanowrimo. Johnny leveled the gun at his sister’s face and watched her eyes widen. Slowly, painfully, he squeezed the trigger. Suddenly – BEEP BEEP BEEP “Oh, shit, the brownies are done!”)

It would be nice to be able to sit still. To devote five minutes straight to thinking about something totally egocentric and not housework-related. I have no idea why I’m so obsessed, anyway. This place doesn’t take that much work to run – there’s only the two of us, less than 1,000 square feet, and two bathrooms – and it’s not like Martha Stewart is coming by to grade me anytime soon.

Yesterday ended up being a total rollercoaster ride (culminating with Matt parked on the side of the highway in the dark with his flashers on and his driveline on his tailgate while I zipped hither and yon to fetch parts) but the mellow morning and afternoon hills were quite nice: I went for a walk for the first time in months, I ran into my folks at the thrift store, and while the cookies baked I watched a movie Matt would have hated.** I was feeling pretty good about life even though the weather was dismal.

So I’m thinking of taking a day (or, more realistically, a half-day) to indulge myself once a week or once every other week. (Ideally, the day after bathroom cleaning day so I can have a super-hot soak with something fragrant – hey: a whole new impetus not to skip bathroom cleaning day!) I can get an artsy-fartsy movie from the library and paint my nails (thereby rendering myself absolutely useless for about an hour) or put my feet up on the back of the couch and drink cocoa and read. The earth will not tilt off its axis and I will be a happier person. (With much lovelier nails.)

What do you do for yourself and how often? How do you fit it into schedules and budgets and foodplans?

— Amanda

*Google “A date with your family” if you don’t get this joke. There are two versions of the film: one with the MST3K boys and one without. They are both an educational laugh riot.

**Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Matt doesn’t like Woody Allen movies and I’m sure he wouldn’t have cared to hear me ooh and ahh endlessly over Javier Bardem.


2 thoughts on “A date with your family yourself*

  1. It'd taken nearly a decade and a half of being married and being a mother to finally follow through on the “date for me” thing. I'll forewarn you, it can become addictive!! Being a “hausfrau” is hard work, whether your family is many or few, whether your home is large or small. There is *always* work to be done.That written, being a housewife is equivalent to the “bread winner” staying at work ALL THE TIME, and only taking smoke breaks, or maybe a lunch break now and then. Thus, I find it very important when I take the “date with myself,” to LEAVE THE HOUSE. Admittedly, it's difficult. I had started weekly “date with myself,” (as I called it), and it included: showering, make up, dressing up, going to dinner somewhere, taking my journal and 'thinking' in it. I feel those “dates with myself” were much needed, and provided or sort of break from the “daily grind” (which, of course, is roughly 18 hours or so long).I think I answered your first two questions. How to fit it in in schedule and budget? Same way as anything else: set aside a day/date and time; figure out what you might want to do (or schedule “whimsical time,” where you have an allotted time to do whatever pleases you at the moment), with any budget constraints in mind. Perhaps an easy way to 'budget' it is to have an envelop with a title on it (e.g. “Date With Myself”) and add cash/change to it. When it comes to the event, take the money out and that is what you get to play with for that event.Food plans? Uh. . . splurge? Indulge, but not overly so otherwise you'll feel guilty. For example, I rarely drink soda. A “splurge” for me means ordering a soda, or buying a bottle of Mexican Coke (made w/ sugar cane, not corn syrup). This needn't be done at each “event,” but perhaps every so often just to do something different.I had tried the “stay at home for me” thing, and that just doesn't work for me, because I cannot NOT do something. Even when I used to paint my nails, I could barely sit long enough for them to dry! The exception to this is if I can kick out my family for the day, then I can usually manage to go back to bed and sleep (fatigue enables this ability), or at least “rest” w/ an eye mask on and ear plugs in my ears. Why the ear plugs when living on 5 acres? The fridge is loud, and I live in surround sound. I turn off every electronic device, but the fridge needs to stay running, so . . . .I really need to get back to the “Date With Myself,” though, because I do miss it. See, I swapped that time to do the social time of Yarn Yoga. While the latter has been beneficial, I do miss the former. I've been given “permission” (so to speak) to do both!There's my two dollar's worth (inflation 🙂 ).~Cedeham~


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