I used to think parents who locked themselves in the bathroom so that they could get a few minutes of alone time were sort of weird. And then I became a mom myself.
“I know it don’t take that long to use the bathroom, when are you coming out?”
I didn’t realize I had been in the bathroom an unusually long amount of time, but apparently I had, according to my five-year old. I admit sometimes I resort to going in the bathroom and locking the door just to get a few minutes of “me” time. Before I became a mother, I never imagined I would look forward to being able to potty alone.
I sort of understand why Tyler has this need to know where I am every minute of the day. After all he’s an only child living with a single parent. In some respects I have been his whole world most of his life. But I need some alone time and getting him to understand that is the hardest thing for me to do.
When he and I lived alone, I never closed the bathroom door. So he would just walk in when he pleased. One day I remarked that I was going to have to start locking the door. So the next time I went in he came in as usual and locked us both in! I told him that I meant I was going to lock him out, not in with me.
So how do I manage to get some alone time? Besides locking myself in the toilet, I have discovered a way to get at least an hour or so of me time. Grocery shopping. Yep, I said grocery shopping.
As a single parent, I have been so accustomed to having Tyler with me the majority of the time. So not taking him to the store with me never once crossed my mind. Until a few months ago. Sometimes we don’t recognize help when it’s staring us right in the face. With our present living situation, I don’t have to take him with me all the time, although I generally do, because he’s a handful you know.
Being at home during the day allows me to shop when most people are working and the stores may not be as crowded but sometimes I really don’t want to shop during the day because I am running around doing other errands. And I really have just one day off and that’s Thursday. The rest of the week I am working on getting more writing assignments, finishing up assignments I have and so on. But on Thursday’s I run errands.
One night I had to run to Winn-Dixie around 8 PM and I discovered that this particular store is virtually deserted at night. Wow! It was like a light bulb went off in my head. I could do my shopping at night and get some alone time. It works out great. I wait until Tyler is asleep so that technically no one has to watch him and then I scoot out. The store’s not crowded which means I can walk up and down the isles and take my time. My head is clear and best of all sometimes they have great sales late at night. Take last night for instance, I picked up this big old bag of bananas for a dollar. They were ripe but we use them to make smoothies so it does not matter. There was a baked chicken from the deli for just over two bucks and many other items with $1 off coupons on them including some yummy cupcakes.
Sometimes I still shop during the day, especially with Tyler being in school now, but when I need some me time, I jump in the car and head for Winn-Dixie. Even if I need just a few items I will walk down each isle. So not only am I de-stressing but I get a hassle-free walking workout to boot!