Morning Me Time
If you could travel back in time, what era would you live in? I like where I am now. Facebook. iPhones. Movies on Demand.
How do you unwind after a long day? DVR'd TV with my husband, who always makes me laugh.
Three things you cannot live without…My family, my iPhone, my coffee.
I am a member of the Coffee-mate Brew Crew.
If you had told me five years ago, when we first moved to the suburbs, that my favorite place would be the car, I would have laughed—but not nearly as loudly as my friends and family, who watched my driving skills get so out of practice while I lived in the city that I once reached for the gearshift instead of the turn signal.
These days I long for moments behind the wheel, not so much because I adore the open road, but because I love knowing that for a decent stretch of time, my bouncing-all-over-the-place boys will be, well…shackled. Nowhere to go. Nothing to break. Add in the DVD player, and they’re relatively quiet, too.
This strategy certainly won’t be winning me any mother-of-the-year awards anytime soon, but it does offer me a tiny sliver of peace, which goes a long way towards maintaining my sanity. It’s also the backdrop for my heavenly new morning ritual, which has allowed me a precious 10 minutes to read with a cup of coffee each day—something I haven’t been able to do regularly in five years.
Here’s how it works. I get the kids out of the house roughly a half an hour before the oldest needs to be at school. (This is also a great way to beat the morning minivan traffic that backs up for several blocks).
After we pull into the best parking space in the empty school lot (who else is there so early?), I bring out a “special” car-only DVD—something the kids love but love even more because it’s off-limits any other time of the day. Entranced, quiet, and belted securely into place, they give me the blessed opportunity to lean back in my heated seat, leisurely sip my coffee, and peruse my reading material of choice, whether it’s the newspaper or the latest literary fiction.
It’s only for a matter of minutes, until cars start pulling in and my son can’t wait to get out and talk to so-and-so, but it’s just what I need before continuing on with the endless cycle of drop-offs, errands, writing deadlines, pick-ups, homework, and so on.
I had to laugh when another mom stopped me at the playground this week. “Tess,” she said. “How is it that you are reading in the car when I pull in every morning? I wish my kids would let me do that!”
“It’s the DVD player,” I said, feeling a little guilty.
But from the understanding, even appreciative, looks on the other moms’ faces, there wasn’t any reason to be. We all need to score a bit of “me time” somewhere—it makes us better parents. It’s funny, though—who ever would have thought a portable DVD player would be as essential to my morning coffee as my beloved Coffee-Mate?
Do you love reading with a cup of coffee in the morning? Do your children let you do it? Which “I-never-thought-I’d-do-that” strategies do you practice in exchange for a little quiet time?