All I want for Mother’s Day is to ditch my kids

I want the homemade cards, and the morning kisses, too. But mostly, I want some time alone.

Photo: iStockphoto

Every year around this time, my husband asks what I might like for Mother’s Day. Which is awesome, because I don’t love surprises. I’m way too practical. I like to be in control of what I get. To make sure I’ll like it, obvi.

On top of that, I’m pretty low-maintenance and kind of cheap, so I don’t want him to spend too much (we have a shared bank account, after all).  That’s why my annual request usually looks a bit like this: Let me sleep in, and organize some sort of outdoor family outing.

After all, what kind of mom wouldn’t want to spend quality time with her kids on Mother’s Day, making memories that will last a lifetime?

Turns out, my kind.

I’ve given it some extra thought this year, and if I’m being completely honest with myself, what I really want for Mother’s Day is time alone. And I’m not talking an hour or two. I’m thinking three, maybe four hours solo, sans kiddos or husband.

Time alone is a rare commodity for a lot of moms. It’s easy for me to go for weeks without having any time for myself.

But I’m completely uninterested in conventional “me time” activities. Soaking in a bubble bath with candles and music playing in the background? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Curling up on the couch with a coffee and a magazine? Not productive enough for this girl.

My alone-time to-do list looks like this:

  1. Clean my almost-two-year-old’s high chair so I can sell it on my neighbourhood swap-and-sell Facebook group. (Then, intend to spend the $60 on myself, but inevitably use it for my almost-seven-year-old’s field trips, book fairs and bake sales.)
  2. Stream some mindless Netflix content while tackling the pile of 82 single, friendless socks in the laundry room. Surely there’s at least ONE pair in there?
  3. Get the first of my twice-a-summer pedicures so I can start wearing sandals to work. Remember to ask the lady to skip the leg massage; there are 47 other things I could do with those three minutes. Invite my mom to come along. Mother’s Day present for my mom? Done!
  4. Maybe, possibly, finally clean out the kitchen junk drawer. (This one’s been on my to-do list for four years. But a girl can dream…)

Is it selfish to want to ditch my kids on Mother’s Day? Is it weird that my kids would be partially without their mom on this special day made specifically to honour moms? These questions nag at me and fill me with guilt. I really do love spending time with my boys. They’re my life. But at almost-two and almost-seven, they’re work. And we spend tons of time together every single weekend. All the things my husband might have planned, had I asked—a trip to the playground, a picnic, a hike in the ravine—we already do those things all the time. And I’d probably end up helping pack snacks for the hike, or cleaning up the picnic supplies.

I still want the cute homemade Mother’s Day card—maybe even a craft, provided it doesn’t involve glitter. I certainly want the morning kisses and cuddles and “Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy!” from my boys. And I definitely want to hang out with the kids on Mother’s Day. Just not the whole day. I can’t be the only one?

The writer of this story requested anonymity. This article was originally published online in May 2015.

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