A recent post on my own blog got me thinking about happiness. There are many situations and activities in life that provide me with joy, but I’ve got a Top Ten list of the very best happiness inducers. I’m going to confess to you now that none of those Top Ten elements has anything to do with being a parent. Are you judging? Judge if you must, but while there are countless aspects of parenting that bring me great happiness, I’ve got a lot of plans for the day our little darlings leave the nest.
No, I don’t regret having children. Yes, they are little miracles of life whose every achievement and milestone opens my heart a little wider. Of course, I’d throw myself in front of a bus for them, but only to save their lives as opposed to entertain them. More likely it would be a mini-van than a bus around here, but the reference is more identifiable with the bus. I’m only stating that there are sacrifices and life changes we made for kids that I wouldn’t mind revisiting and reviving some day… because I really miss them!
This some day, however, may be further away than I would like. It could be that the boys will pack their bags and set out on their own to establish independent lives at the age of 18, or it could be that they choose never to leave and continue to live in our house long after they’ve put us both into homes. I don’t want to believe the latter is feasible, but I do like to prepare myself for all scenarios. If they do squat in our house for the rest of our lives, I’d blame Gabriella. She’s far too nurturing for their own good.
While they stay in my house, I do try to focus on all the happy and not try to count down the days until I can change the locks without getting arrested for neglect. I find small ways of connecting to my non-parent self. The following activities sustain a certain amount of sanity and momentarily liberate me from the smiling, selfless, wholesome, do-good mom I am from 6AM to 8PM.
- Play music loud enough to hear in every room of my house and pretend that the moves I’m making are cool and hip, as opposed to epileptic and uncomfortable… only after I make sure that all the blinds are shut
- Play music at a mini-van-shaking volume pretending that I am, in fact, not driving a mini-van
- Wear jeans that hang low and thong underwear that rides high. I never said I was classy.
- Go out with friends… during the week!
- Go out with friends during the week wearing lipstick AND heels that are far from sensible
- Go out with friends during the week wearing lipstick AND heels that are far from sensible and drink more than the lady-like limit of one drink per hour.
- Go out with friends during the week wearing lipstick AND heels that are far from sensible and drink more than the lady-like limit of one glass per hour and the next day, banish the children to the family room where they watch an unlimited amount of television if they promise not to bother me.
- Curse and make rude and wrong comments as soon as I am out of earshot of the small ones
- Curse and make rude and wrong comments in the presence of my children in an inaudible mumble. This is most likely the tactic that I implement most often and with the most amount of satisfaction.
- Blog about life without children
I’m thinking I’m not the only one who takes pleasure in behaviors unbefitting a parent. Don’t we all savor a bit of childless fun every now and then? Am I wrong?