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Moms: Claim an oasis for yourself every day

A pink bathrobe reminded me to take better care of myself

by Mary O.  |  3739 views  |  1 comment  |        Rate this now! 

For Christmas 2006 I was given possibly the softest, fluffiest, pale-pinkest bathrobe I have ever seen. When I put it on the morning after Christmas and walked out to the living room, my teenaged daughters burst into unison laughter. Never a good sign, having both of them laughing at me at once.

“You look like a pink marshmallow!” said one.

Now I’m not going to tell a lie and say it was entirely the robe that caused my shape to resemble a marshmallow. But since they’d never had one bad thing to say about my blue bathrobe, I chose to assume that at least part of the problem lay with the robe.

I walked back into the bedroom and looked at the box it had come in. Sure enough, there was the receipt. I thought about bringing it back. But somehow I couldn’t.

My mom, you see, had a bathrobe the exact same shade of pink when I was growing up. Hers was quilted and had a silk lining. She’d come out of the bedroom wrapped in its softness in the mornings. And in the afternoon, when religiously she took an hour-long nap, she used its silky softness as a throw so that she would not have to mess up the bed.

Mom is a mother of eight herself, five of whom were born between 1967 and 1973. She must have had years where she never slept a whole night. But each day she wisely decided to go lie down in the afternoon, to refresh and rejuvenate herself, almost always with a baby snuggled in by her side.

Even though there were so many of us, I have a hard time thinking of her being angry very often -- except for the times when I richly deserved it. I wonder if her naps had something to do with her unflappable calm.

I’m terrible napper myself. Naps leave me off balance, yawning till dinner and then owl-eyed at midnight. Besides, the instant my babies nod off, I bolt up and away, book or paintbrush or computer mouse or camera in hand, intent on using that precious hour or two for something not involving a baby.

I’m not as patient as my mom. Maybe if I chose napping over doing, resting over producing, maybe I’d be calmer too. And yet, somehow I think my way works for me. Though she and I choose different ways to use that afternoon time, we both got what we needed from it.

It’s important for a mom to somehow claim a tiny oasis of time each day. Maybe it’s napping under a pink robe with the baby every afternoon. Maybe it’s lying on the living room floor, flipping through a magazine and sharing your chocolate with the nearest kid. Maybe it is untangling yourself from your sleeping baby and running off to tap on a computer keyboard for half an hour. Maybe it’s sticking the baby in the stroller and walking fast enough for 20 minutes that your heart starts thumping.

About the Author

Mary is a mom of 10; she blogs at Owlhaven. Her book, "A Sane Woman’s Guide to Mothering a Large Family," will be available for pre-order on in early 2009.

Read more by Mary O.

1 comment so far...

  • "Whatever you choose to do, as long as it leaves you breathing a little deeper and thinking a little clearer and smiling a little easier, I think it is worth doing." - that's my favorite mommy-quote of the day :)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Stickers on 25th February 2010