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Tales From the Dad Side – Enjoying the ‘Me’ Time

flickr, Earls37a

Let me start by saying this won’t be a blog complaining about how I don’t get enough “me” time. I mean, God forbid a MAN complain about not having the time to do what he wants to do. Since all we do is go to work, come home, lay on the couch, and demand dinner while wondering why the house hasn’t been cleaned yet. Am I right ladies, or am I right? We’re such pigs. If we weren’t around, you’d have way more time to gossip and say one thing while meaning something else (AH-HA! It seems the shoe has found itself on the other foot).

Alright, sorry about that. Apparently there was some piss and vinegar in my veins that needed to be expelled…back on point…which is enjoying the “me” time I do get whether it’s five minutes or four hours.

Case in point; my 7-year old son is playing baseball again this year. Even though we live in Evansville, he goes to school in Boonville where my wife teaches therefore he plays baseball in Boonville with all his friends. This means that twice a week or more, I make a mini, 25 minute “road-trip” to watch his games after work or take him to practice on the weekend. On game nights, I swing by my daughter’s daycare and pick her up on the way. But this past Wednesday was different. My daughter went with my mom to a mother-daughter-grandaughter-”girls-only” dinner thing which meant I was ridin’ solo to Boon-Vegas.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids to death, but as any parent knows, they are a handful and require nearly non-stop attention. That’s why we parents get so excited when bedtime rolls around. My daughter in particular is very inquisitive and talkative (she comes by it naturally) which means a 25-minute trip can be filled with a relentless barrage of who, why, how, and what is that thing-type of questions. The ability to take a 25 minute drive without that was a little slice of heaven that I looked forward to all day. I drove with the windows down and the iPod cranked on songs I wanted to listen to instead of listening to the Alvin and the Chipmunks Soundtrack for the billionth time…and I loved it. More importanly, I didn’t feel guilty about loving it.

That’s really the whole point. I think as parents we get in a mindset that we should spend as much time as possible with our kids and our families, which is true, but anytime we start to think about doing something just for us, by ourselves, there’s a little feeling of selfishness and that shouldn’t be the case. Good Lord, if you don’t get away every once in awhile, you’ll go insane and that’s not good for anybody.

So make a point every once in a while to take the long way home from work or run errands by yourself…whatever you need to do to keep from being committed to a mental institution.

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