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I'll Take What I Can Get -- Me Time

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LORI FERRARO
Lori Ferraro
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Parents of the world -- could you use a little time to yourself?

We run ourselves ragged, we try so hard. We wake up in the middle of night to feed or soothe. We are taxi cabs, volunteers, chefs and tutors. We are party planners extraordinaire.

We give and give and give until we slump onto the couch at 10:30 at night feeling guilty about the crumbs and popcorn under the cushions that we lay on top of. Sometimes it's hard to relax, even a little.

I went to sleep with my husband last night and woke up half off the bed with a 6- and 8-year-old crammed up against me breathing hot 6- and 8-year-old air onto my face.

It's a sad fact that I now consider a trip to the dentist as "me" time. I pray I don't get the chatty hygienist and that I can just close my eyes and have 30 minutes of quiet.

I'm supposed to take a 15 minute break at work everyday. Instead I usually go to the bathroom, have a seat and put my head in my hands for a few minutes. I'm resting my eyes...it's quiet.

Here's the deal -- any lovely, brief moments where we do get time (outside the dentist and the toilet) we need to soak it up for all it's worth.

Here are some of my favorite moments of the day. They are little moments. And they involve one person. ME.

  • The drive from work to pick up my boys from school. Pretty much the only truly quiet part of my day. Usually, I pull up 15 minutes early. I turn off the car, put the seat back a little bit and listen to "Q" with foxy Jian Ghomeshi on NPR. Heaven.
  • It's the end of the day, the boys are in bed. Time to dive into a good novel, throw in another load of laundry or catch up on my work emails? NOPE. Time for crappy reality television; any of the Real Housewives franchise will do. Or anything on the Food Network involving a competition, food carts or where I should fly off to get the best burger/pizza/ice cream. Oh, and Hoarders makes me feel pretty good about my housekeeping skills.
  • The thrill of the drop off birthday party... especially when you didn't know it was a drop off party. NOW I HAVE 2 HOURS TO KILL? Not a problem! I'll go for a walk, sit in a coffee shop, get a cheapie manicure or get back into my car and see if Jian Ghomeshi is still talking.
  • The thrill of a really good piece of cake/chocolate/pie/candy/ice cream knowing I don't have to give anybody a bite/taste/lick.

I know these are the smallest things ever. But each time I encounter them I think how fantastic they are in their own way.

I love my children. I do. They are my world.

But I also love myself, my thoughts, my sleep, my sanity, my quiet and my public radio programming.

Lori's website, Drawn to the 80s, is where her 6-year-old draws the music hits of the 1980's. Her blog, Once Upon a Product, is where she obsesses about important things like beauty products, food and Mick Jagger.