I posted a picture similar to this on Instagram last night, just before turning on my Ray LaMontagne Pandora station and getting into a bubble bath – something I haven’t done in a year.
The kids were staying overnight at my parents’ house because of the weather, I got home early from work and got all of my freelance work done by 6:00, and we just finished watching the rest of the new episodes of New Girl on Netflix. I was so looking forward to a relaxing hour of “me time.”
Just me… Ray… a glass of moscato… and a good book.
…And the kids’ toys.
…And water so hot I could only stay in for 36 minutes. Add in a Dave & Buster’s “hair rinsing cup” for good measure.
All of this made me laugh to myself and related so well to the chapter I had just finished in “The Fringe Hours” about comparison. I wondered how many people saw the photo of my “relaxing” bubble bath set-up and figured I was having a perfectly enjoyable evening. Meanwhile, I was trying to force myself to stay in scalding hot water – focused more about the bubbles covering my not-so-flat stomach just in case Luke happened to come in the bathroom (not that he would care anyway). The blue whale faucet cover stared at me the entire time, reminding me of how much I was missing Marleigh and Huck. A whopping 36 minutes later, I emerged from the water with beads of sweat dripping down my forehead and had to sit on the edge of the tub after I grabbed my towel because I literally felt like I was going to pass out.
Far from ideal.
If nothing else, my “me time gone awry” made me realize that this whole parenting gig has taught me a lot about not setting my expectations so high. The silver lining? I still got a few minutes to sit quietly and enjoy my book with a glass of wine… something I don’t get to do very often. My bubble bath fail also made me come to terms with the fact that although I love looking at lovely staged photos and picture-perfect families on social media, everyone experiences moments that don’t add up to what comes across on our tiny phone screens.
Hopefully I’ll have better luck with the “me time” next time!