Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Don't Make Me Give You Up for Lent

I'm not Catholic, even though in the late 90's I worked for nuns and they told me they thought I should be. I think they have to say that to everyone, though. If I'm being accurate, one sister asked me if I was sure I wasn't actually Catholic instead of Presbyterian and I was like "Pretty sure, Sister Agnes, but thanks for asking".

Then I told her my dad had been raised in the church (he went to parochial school and was an alter boy in Trenton, NJ in the 1950's, which according to him means he was beaten regularly by nuns for his bad attitude for about 12 years). I also went to mass with my grandmother fairly often as a small child, where I was fed an unending stream of "mints" to keep me quiet. It wasn't until my first pregnancy that gestational heartburn caused me to realize they were actually Tums. Thanks, grandmom. 


So while I'm not Catholic, every year I debate about giving something up for Lent. This year, I've done some thinking and I've identified the thing I most need to give up. But of course, it's kind of hard to explain. It's not like - I will give up cheese. Get out of here, cheddar. You're not welcome, anymore.

It's slightly more complicated. And maybe it's just me? I have no idea. Here goes.

Every night, I have my happy time. It occurs approximately 2 seconds after my last child has gone to sleep. This is the moment where I exhale and relax, happy in the knowledge that my precious kiddos are warm and safe and snug in their beds. That we're all under one roof. That everyone is OK. While there may be a few dishes to do or emails to return, I know that the hard part of my day is over. That at least for the next few hours, no one will be howl-crying because they got the cup with the blue owl instead of the pink owl. Or using an inside voice that we all know is really an outside voice. Or saying I FORGOT I HAVE A DIORAMA DUE TO TOMORROW WAIT WHY DO YOU LOOK MAD?

Some nights I unintentionally fall asleep while trying to get my kids down for the night. And sometimes I intend to finish the dishes or the laundry, but find myself snuggling up in bed with a book. But some nights, most nights, around 9:30 pm, I plop down on the comfy couch and I chat with my sweet husband and watch some TV. Or I mess around on my phone while also watching TV and chatting with the Cap'n. Candy Crush might possibly make an appearance. Some Facebooking might take place. I see what's on the DVR or if there's anything on HGTV or Bravo that I could persuade my husband to watch without excessive sighing on his part.

It's my downtime and I love it. If you add a nice glass of Pinot Noir, it's even relaxier. Then a moment occurs, usually about an hour later. If I've had a glass of wine - it's gone. If I've been watching a show, it's over. It's at this time, that I should click off the TV and go upstairs. Some of the time I do. But often I don't. Instead I find myself at midnight debating if I should stay up another 20 minutes to see which apartment they choose on House Hunters International and if I should go ahead and open that box of Thin Mints in the freezer.

It's that last hour I need to give up for lent. That last hour that results in the 6:45 am version of myself hating the 1:00 am version of myself who stayed up too late, snacking and sipping and watching Under the Tuscan Sun for the 78th time. There's nothing my body really needs in that last hour. My ass certainly doesn't need any more late night snacks. My already-addled brain is for sure better off without bad reality TV and that last glass of wine. And let's be honest, we all know I can always use more sleep.

So why? WHY DO I DO THIS?

Well, that's easy. Because it's fun. I love snacking and sipping and watching lady movies and bad reality TV. It's awesome, actually. That's why we call it happy time. But it's bad for my ass and it makes the mornings harder. So I guess I have to give it up for a while. Just the last hour, though! Not all of it. Oh who am I kidding?

BE GONE, CHEESE. You have no power here. I'll see you in 40 days, cheddar.

(c) Mommyland Blogs 2013

16 comments:

  1. I went to catholic hs (but I'm not catholic) but every year I give something up for lent. Some years it's something silly but this year it is serious. No candy or pastries for 40 days! I'm 37 weeks pregnant so we will see how long that lasts...

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  2. Are you me? Did I write this? My 6:45 self absolutely hates my 1am self but I'm such a sucker for anything on bravo!

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  3. That is totally me. But I need that time to feel like an independent adult with not a care in the world. But I hate myself as I can't drag myself out of bed in the morning. This is awesome.

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  4. What's killing me now is that once I get to 11pm, I just think to myself, "Fallon is on in 30 minutes, I'll just stay up to watch the first few minutes." because I love his show. And then it's after midnight and I am so, so, so tired. But that time to myself after the kids go to bed - I can't give it up so I gave up swearing instead.

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  5. For me, it's that last hour or so in bed, playing on my iPad. I can check my e-mail or Facebook or read Tumblr or people's blogs ... The kids are in bed, the Hubs is asleep, and I have that time all to myself ... I wake up super grumpy at 5:30 the next morning, but I always convince myself that night that it's totally worth it! I gave up doing the exhausted, coming home from work at 6:30 pm whine of, "Why don't I just pick something up and bring it home?" for Lent. It's so much easier, but we are growing chubbier, and even I am growing sick of my much-beloved French fries!

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  6. I am Catholic and this year I am giving up Candy Crush. AHHHHHH!!

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  7. I could have written this. I'm always kicking myself when the alarm goes off in the morning, and I swear that I won't stay up until 1:00 a.m. again, but there I am again late that night, watching House Hunters International, drinking my glass of wine and eating Trader Joe's white cheddar popcorn. Sigh.

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  8. The trouble is, now that my kids are just a little older, they stay up later, so my independent Mommy - time or "Breaking Bad" on Netflix with my husband time gets pushed back later. I'm exhausted!

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  9. Get out of my brain! And Amen, this is a very good idea/suggestion. I think I'll follow your lead. Thanks.

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  10. This is so true for me too, and I have just one child. I'm trying to make changes to my unwind time but it's tough! Thanks for your honesty!!!

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  11. I am feeling happy that I am not alone. Most days my 5:00 a.m. self wants to kick my midnight self ass. I rationalize by saying that watching t.v. is my only chance to relax after to working all day and taking care of the kids (my hubby like yours travels a lot). My brain is engaged constantly during the day. Mindless t.v. is just what it needs to reset for the next day.

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  12. I'm not Catholic either (although I feel guilt like one lol) and I give something up for Lent almost every year. I think I do it just because I like to punish myself... Hahahaha, make myself suffer. ...I'm so twisted...

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  13. SO TRUE! I do the exact same thing. And every morning I say, "Tonight I am going to be earlier." It never happens. Which explains why I am on the computer at 10:11 pm reading blogs. I am sure after this I will be finishing that last piece of lonely dessert in the fridge.

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  14. You had me at Pinot Noir. Cradle Catholic here, and I gave up Facebook. I have worked out, cleaned my house, and interacted with my kids more in the last three days than I have in a month. Add in the fact that I have not gotten into any stupid arguments online with strangers, and I think I have found nirvana (oh wait, that's like Hindu or Buddhist or something...am I allowed to do that as a Catholic?) Anyway, I'm loving it. Now the year I gave up coffee...well, we won't go there...

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  15. Omg, my husband and I both do the exact same thing! I could have written this post! We really need to work on going to bed earlier, especially since I'm pregnant with our second child and we will be sleep-deprived soon enough when the baby is born in June!

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  16. This is SO ME. (It's 2:20 a.m. as I write this. Ahem.) My excuse is that I'm an introvert, blessed with two LOUD, darling, constantly touching-grabbing-hugging seven -year-olds. My brain feels like it's quivering in abject submission every night when we finally hustle them into bed. So I spend my "me" time late at night . . . but I need to give up part of it and get some sleep! LOL! Thanks for writing about what too many of us do!!!

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