Why every mom needs a 'mom cave'
Why every mom needs a ‘Mom Cave’
A friend of mine Luyanda* once said, “I used to believe that people who got home and sat in their cars for a while in the driveway or parking lot had problems. Lately, I find myself doing exactly this. I think it's the only quality time to myself between work and what waits for me at home (two noisy kids under the age of 7).”
In response to her, a mutual friend Zukiswa* says, “My kids know that in the first 20mins after arriving home, they need to give me space. I want to change, get into my gown and slippers and let it all hang… Then I'm ready.”
Why are moms so tired?
I’ve recently found myself in conversation with several mothers around the idea of ‘me-time’ and how they navigate it. There is nothing more understated than the fact that moms are exhausted. It seems like such an obvious fact but, studies show that mothers are more tired than fathers. A Pew Research Centre study in the US found that parents find caring for their children to be much more exhausting than the work they do for pay.
A mom once joked (that funny but true kind of joke), “Try sleeping?! Sleep doesn’t exist for moms. Have you ever tried raising a doctor or a lawyer on virtually no sleep?!” Everyone who has ever tried to nap as a mom knows that emergencies usually happen just as you get to the part of your nap where you feel some semblance of relaxation. Most will tell you that they run around so much before that nap and then the moment they shut their eyes, they suddenly remember something they forgot to put in the To Do list.
Another mom said that she doesn’t remember the last time she peed in peace. “It’s like my toddler has a way of timing just when I am in the toilet, so she can come and have a chat,” Janice* says. She’s become accustomed to the conversations that happen with her sitting on the toilet seat and her toddler seated just outside the toilet door.
‘Mom cave’ too far-fetched?
Numerous conversations with moms made it abundantly clear that the idea of ‘me time’ in their own homes was highly unlikely. The closest they could get to time-out was going out shopping, pampering yourself, going for massages but most moms say all they want to do most of the time is just sleep. So I started toying with the idea of an ‘Exhausted Moms Hotel’. This is basically a place where you can make a booking when you feel tired and literally go and sleep or nap for a short period. Call it ‘timeshare for moms’.
In this hotel, there’s a bed (because hotel beds are THE most comfortable beds); a television with a selection of series you could binge out on, as well as a safe for your adult toys (in case you’re looking for that kind of relaxation – and spare batteries of course).
Far-fetched? Well, Zubeida* doesn’t think so. She found a solution that comes close to it – and not as expensive. She made use of a single friend’s place. Key emphasis on ‘single’. She said that the last thing she wants when she is trying to have a break is to go visit a friend who has kids of her own. Her single friend was constantly travelling for work and needed someone to keep checking on her place and the agreement is she could drop in anytime and whenever the friend was in town, she would let her know, just so there were no clashes. The best part of it is that her husband and three kids don’t know where this place is, so they cannot find her.
Zubeida reports that she is a much more pleasant person to her husband and kids because of this ‘mom cave ‘she has found.
How self-care can bring passion, peace, and intimacy
Laura Doyle, an author and relationship coach writes extensively about regaining intimacy in relationships. Most moms will tell you that, the last thing they want to do is have sex or be intimate with their husbands/partners after looking after kids (and doing other work that pays) the whole day.
Problem is, at some point relationships die if the proverbial sexual flame is not kept alive.
So Doyle suggests that you place attention on your own self-care and your own pleasure so that you can have enough energy or reserves for anyone else. That means doing at least three things a day that make you happy or satisfied.
I still say that the idea of me-time at home for moms is virtually impossible unless they find space (like a physical space) to just ‘do them’. Anyone keen on investing in an ‘Exhausted Mom Hotel’?
* Fictitious names… because moms could do with a little privacy.