Coming from a culture that revolves around food and eating, I’m used to associating food and/or drink with a festive atmosphere. Then again, since both my husband and I work full-time jobs outside of the house and we have two small kids, it’s hard to feel festive by the end of the night. Most nights, by the time we finally have the kids down for the night, it’s all I can do just to get through my e-mail and take quick glances at Twitter and Facebook before I face-plant on the bed. So, a while back, I instituted the daily tradition of 9pm “ice cream o’clock”.
Why on earth would somebody want to have ice cream at 9pm?
Well, for starters: why not?
OK, ignoring all of the negative health implications, every parent really NEEDS to have some time when they’re allowed to be adults – free and clear of the yoke of parenthood. Sometimes, you just want to be left alone.
It’s like those old ads for Calgon (“Calgon! Take me away!!!”), where you just want to soak in a sudsy bath and be left all by yourself for long enough to forget all of your responsibilities for a while.
Observing this type of daily holiday doesn’t have to be stressful.
Firstly, if you don’t/can’t eat dairy, come up with some other “o’clock” and celebrate that instead. The joy of making a daily holiday is that you pick how to celebrate.
Second, don’t think of it as something that has to be right at the stroke of a particular hour. I have several friends who will randomly declare it “wine:30”. Then again, the one who does this most frequently works out of her house and has no children, so she can do such things whenever she wants; the rest of us need to wait until we get home and the kids are a little less active (or out cold).
Third, make it daily. Whether it’s something big – like an “ice cream o’clock” – or small – like a mid-day “choc’o’clock” (a Hershey’s miniature or similar), make sure you have it. Have a fruit:30. Make it smoothie:45. Just make sure that you take the time out for yourself, because no one else can really do that for you.
My point is this: as parents (or adults that don’t have kids), we spend so much of our day taking time for others and even if it’s only 30 seconds, it’s worth taking the time for ourselves. Make the time, and make it your own, tailored to whatever you want. And enjoy.
Above all else, just enjoy.
Jude is the author of the CrunchyMetroMom blog (http://crunchymetromom.wordpress.com), an ongoing discussion about food, exercise, life balance, and other random musings.