The word ‘luxury’ conjures up different images for different people. Personally, I used to think of luxury as going to a day spa, travelling, spending copious amounts of money on delicious and expensive foods, going to Gold Class cinema (still on my bucket list), laying on a beach in a hammock reading a book and drinking a fresh coconut… Wahhh take me back to my honeymoon!
You could say my concept of the word ‘luxury’ has taken a bit of a beating since becoming a mama. No, I’m not doing the old “woe is me” and trying to induce sympathy. I’m not having a whinge about how hard it is to be a mother. I am genuinely gob smacked by just how exponentially my idea of ‘luxury’ has changed.
So, here’s a little insight into the things I now find luxuuurious.
– Drinking a cup of tea. There are moments of madness when I think “ooh.. I might have a cup of tea!” Stupidly I forget. I make it and set it down, then wait for it to cool a bit. Big mistake. I’ve actually contemplated whether it would be worth enduring the third degree burns to drink it straight away. A few sips would be nice. Occasionally I stare at it longingly from a distance, knowing it’s at the perfect temperature to enjoy but that I won’t be able to do so with my koala baby attached to me. More often than not I forget about it the moment I put it down to cool and find it a few days later. Sometimes I suffer a mouthful before coming to my senses and pouring it regretfully down the sink. Please see my previous blog How To Save Money for why this would be particularly hard for me! https://littlemamateepee.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/how-to-save-money/
– Washing my hair. That once a week activity where I madly rush to get my hair wet before hearing a phantom baby cry, turning off the taps, jumping out of the shower, checking on her and finding her fast asleep. The rest of the in-shower process is taken up with an acute case of paranoia and regret. Why did I waste such time checking on her when she hadn’t even moved? I now have approximately 38 seconds to get the rest of the job done. Crap! Is that a baby cry I hear?
I should mention that merely having a shower is counted as a luxury to me now. I would find it luxurious to just have 5 minutes to myself if someone didn’t turn on the bloody taps the moment I step into the shower!
Honestly, I think there’s a system in the house where everyone waits for me to get into the shower before going into ‘Destroy Leah’s Shower’ mode. Quick, you blast the kitchen taps at full throttle while I get the dishwasher going! Ok, turn them off again… Wait 30 seconds. Aha! She’s been lulled into a false sense of security! On with the washing machine!
The other night when I tried to wash my hair, the water turned cold and I started stamping my feet and yelling out “turn the bloody taps off!” This went on for a period until I realised the hot water actually wasn’t working. I stood shivering, mid-winter, and finished washing my hair with cold water running all over me. Why fight it.
Ok, I have to digress for a second here and just mention that I tried to find a funny photo to accompany this point. Probably not such a good idea to Google “standing in the shower”. I assumed there would be censoring on such a search. I assumed wrong and now will take a moment to BLEACH MY RETINAS!.. Ok, I’m back.
– Folding washing. Desperate housewife. Apparently no task is too menial to be interrupted by a baby. I fold one item. I turn to get the next item. I turn back and my baby is excitedly waving the first item in the air. Why bother. I have theorised in the past that living out of a clothes basket would be easier. Not literally. I don’t think even I would fit in there. I mean just washing and drying and no folding or putting away. Don’t even bother talking to me about ironing. Ahh what a ghastly behaviour. To think I used to have a fake mini iron and look up lovingly at my ma while we “ironed” together. I should have been yelling “don’t bother! Buy clothes that don’t require ironing! Trust me, laziness pays dividends!”
I pray my own child doesn’t have a school uniform that needs to be ironed in future. I don’t know what I’d do. I mean really, how much steam does each garment require? What are the different settings for? It’s a shirt, for goodness’ sake. The only settings I pay close attention to are on the toaster. That thing is temperamental. Which brings me to my next point…
– Eating. One of my greatest joys in life. Tsk tsk tsk. Taken for granted all of my life until now. These days I shovel food in when I get the opportunity. I’ve forgotten what some things taste like. I am that mother who hides in the pantry to eat. Then my baby finds me and I pick her up, trying to imitate words with my mouth full of almonds (Ok, chocolate). “Mm! M-m-mm hmm?” (Hi! What are youuu doing?)
Clearly she doesn’t buy it. She stares at me with a wounded look and tries to pry my mouth open with her fingers. Does nothing get past this kid?
Recently my husband and I went out for dinner for a friend’s birthday, sans baby. I don’t recall much other than using my spoon as a makeshift shovel and coming up on the odd occasion to breathe. After a while I realised I was being pretty uncivilised. I straightened up and tried to slow down the eating, watching each dish in the banquet like a hawk, lest anyone should try to pull a shifty and get more than their share. Not on my watch kids. Not on my watch.
And last but not least (because of course having time to indulge in writing a blog is one of the biggest luxuries of all time so I have to make it snappy)…
– Going to the toilet. Yes, dear friends. The act of, well, you know, is hard to find dignity in doing at the best of times. And I’ve had some undignified experiences including squatting while holding a torch in one hand and my pants in the other in pitch darkness in the middle of the night in Perú. That got interesting when I realised I didn’t have any hands left to wipe with.
I know, it’s very “unladylike” to speak about, but those of you who know me know I’m not really the ladylike type in the first place.
So, when you’re at home by yourself with a baby who can crawl and is going through a period of separation anxiety, what are you left with?
I’ll tell you what. You’re left with a crying baby crawling up your legs and consequently sitting on your lap as you go to the toilet. Nice. I went so far one day as to set up a towel outside the bathroom floor for her to sit on while I left the bathroom door open. “Mama’s still here! It’s alright”. No, apparently it wasn’t alright. She still found it necessary to be on my person. Serious space invaders.
So, there you have it! A few things I now count as luxuries.
What springs to mind when you think of ‘luxuries’?