If I squint really hard I can ALMOST make out today's silver lining: when neither kid naps, no one feels guilty putting them to bed at six-thirty. (OR FIVE.) Man, today kicked my butt all over the place. A certain three-year-old was so willful, defiant and (worst of all) downright BLASE in the face of his mother's shouty demands to "COME INSIDE THIS MINUTE!" and "I TOLD YOU TO PICK THOSE UP!" and "LOOK AT ME WHEN I'M TALKING TO YOU!" that I had to turn on the television and retreat to a far dark corner of the house to practice my Relaxation Visualization. And because I love you, I will refrain from going into [minute and wretched] detail about my day and instead share my Top Five Mom Survival Visualizations. Ready?
1. I Have A Full Time Job And (this is the important part!) A Full Time Live-In Never Takes A Vacation Nanny
In this fantasy I work in some sky high office building, I wear power suits and fabulous shoes and lipstick, I have a whole staff of minions to boss around and I am always going out to fancy lunches with important people like senators and rock stars. And yes, I'm in high demand and needed for absolutely everything, just like I am in my real life, but in my fake working life I am 1) PAID and 2) ACKNOWLEDGED. Also I look hot. All the time. Oh! And then when I come home? I have some sort of gorgeous yet demure, obedient, and multilingual live-in nanny who not only watches the children, but cooks dinner and cleans the bathrooms because she knows how important and busy I am. "Oh!" I am always saying to my lovely nanny, "My life is SO! HARD!" and she pats me on the shoulder and brings me another Hershey bar.
2. The Husband And I Are On Our Ten-Year Anniversary Trip (Three Years Early)
I really like this one. In this one I visualize Hawaii. Really, any tropical beachy place will do. It's the middle of the day, we're on a deserted beach, the husband is on the trillionth level of Angry Birds, I am only halfway through an enormous stack of library books, and it is Utter Wedded Bliss. When we feel like looking up we are treated to an infinite view of sparkling turquoise ocean, the sun never disappears behind a cloud, and the grandparents have promised to watch the kids until we feel like coming home. And we feel like coming home sometime, you know, next month.
3. SuperNanny Comes To My House (And Affirms What I Already Know)
This one's a little different, because I'm the same me and I'm in the same house, it's just that one day SuperNanny drops by and says she's here to help me out. But when her common sense and firm demeanor and famed time out method doesn't work with my three-year-old, even SuperNanny goes a little bit wacko and finally we just plop the kids in front of the television and go into the kitchen and share a bottle of wine. Then SuperNanny asks me how in the world I am even SURVIVING and I get to complain a whole lot and it's just AWESOME.
4. My Mom Lives Next Door
This one could actually happen. I love my mom and I would TOTALLY live next door - if it weren't for the fact that she lives nearly an hour away and I'm sort of attached to my city and the little SAHM world I've carved out within it. But dude, if my mom lived next door? I could just punt the kids over the fence! "SEE YA!" I'd shriek, gleefully rubbing my hands together as I dash into the basement for a Real Housewives marathon. The kids love my mom! My mom loves them! Perhaps I should work on getting her to live next door to ME. I mean, what else does she have to do?
5. I Go On An All Expenses Paid Super Luxurious All Inclusive Trip To Somewhere Fabulous (BY MYSELF)
I used to travel before I had kids. Before I had kids I thought I didn't WANT kids because I wouldn't get to TRAVEL. Harrumph. So in this one I am singing ABBA songs in Santorini, or eating myself sick in Hong Kong or visiting every museum in Paris and I am on no one's schedule but my own. I wake up when I want, I eat when I want, I use the bathroom whenever I feel like it! It is a marvelous life, let me tell you. Although, honestly? You could boil this fantasy down to an hour in bed with a good book and that would be enough. THAT WOULD BE ENOUGH!
Oh great, the kids are demanding dinner, I better go. Won't you share YOUR favorite Zone Out?