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Coming Out Of The Mommy Closet

I’ve noticed recently that when I am
without the kids, I instinctively do two things: shop and eat junk
food. And I can’t help but worry about that a little bit.

I understand completely why I do it – they’re the two
things hardest to do with little ones underfoot, but for different

With the junk food thing, I’m trying
to raise my girls to have only a passing relationship with candy
and cookies and such. So while I’ll eat dessert with them for
a “special occasion”, they don’t seem to realize
that “special occasion” for Mommy means “Hey,
look, the girls are asleep for their nap! Let’s eat some
M&Ms!” Yes, I eat some sort of sweet almost daily, and
don’t wish to model that behavior for my girls. Which means
that every moment I’m alone, I have this Pavlovian response
to solitude: “There’s no one around! Cram some
chocolate in my mouth quick!”

As for the shopping, that’s easy: every parent out there will
vouch for the difficulty of doing any sort of shopping with a
toddler and preschooler in tow. So any time I’m by myself
– say, driving home from teaching – I’ll think,
“Where can I stop and buy stuff on the way home while
I’ve still got someone else watching the kids?”
Birthday lists, grocery lists, the (sadly lacking) contents of my
underwear drawer all scroll through my head as possible targets. I
can get more shopping done in ten minutes by myself than in an hour
with the girls, and I’m loath to give up one precious minute
of that shopping.

And it does occur to me that both behaviors are a type of bingeing
– binging on eating, and binging on spending. Giddy with
freedom, I cram candy or luxury goods into my life with a speed
that’s astonishing, merely because I can.

Am I the only one out there? At some point I’m going to have
to put down the cookie (!) and stop relying on high fructose corn
syrup to get me through yet another napless afternoon. As well,
I’m going to need to face up to the reality of shopping with
the girls, and acknowledge I simply won’t get as much done as
I want. And I will. At some point.

But for now, donuts in my laundry room in ten minutes.


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