Motherhood brings with it many occupational hazards. Image: Thinkstock.
Let me just... empty the dishwasher and clear the table while I wait for my tea to boil.
My husband and I have two very different ways of watching TV.
My needs are frequently reassessed, the pause button pressed, breaks taken to fetch whatever my heart requires in order to enjoy House Of Cards, et al. to the max.
My man, on the other hand, walks to the couch, and lies down — simple as that. As long as no work or child gets in the way, he can stay like that for a couple of hours without so much as a bathroom break.
He calls me the worst possible movie partner, and I'm inclined to agree.
Now, I would love to sit down and watch a movie without interruptions — but motherhood brings with it many occupational hazards.
Then there are the habits that would have gotten me thrown out of any movie theater I don't own, which is, admittedly, every movie theater. (Maybe there’s a reason I only go to the movies about once every decade.)
Here are those habits and hazards, in no order at all:
1. I’m constantly pausing to pee or get water (the latter of which aggravates the former).
As of yet, my attempts at influencing cinema projectionists to cooperate with my bladder have been unsuccessful, so Netflix it is.
When we watch movies at home, it’s always after the kids are asleep… until they’re not asleep.
Tending to a waking child is yet another reason the pause button must be pressed — not that my husband wouldn’t like to change this — he doesn't want the kids to cry either.
And once they can walk, well, they can come find you while you're watching TV. Best-case scenario: That's all they find you doing.
3. With little relaxation time allowed in my schedule — mostly my own fault, but that's another thousand words — I need to make the most of when I actually do sit down to watch something.
And that, of course, is where the problem starts: Do I have everything I need?
This seemingly innocent question kicks off a gathering of items and completion of chores more routinely crafted than what your average teenager needs to go to the mall or drive-in (which of the two resonates better, of course, depends on your age).
4. I will for sure need water.
I’m always drinking water. Aside from the obvious health benefits of keeping your body hydrated, I believe water keeps me from snacking more than I already do. I often feel like I want a snack when, instead, I’m actually thirsty.
I'm used to drinking a lot of water, so thirst is uncomfortable.
I can't focus on relaxing if I'm uncomfortable, so I need water!
5. But I also like to have a snack.
In lieu of smoking, sitting down with a cup of coffee and a snack is what makes a 'break' for me.
6. My snack when the kids are asleep is usually sweet, so I’ll need something to temper that.
This usually means the aforementioned coffee or tea (depending on how far I've dipped into my caffeine allowance for the day).
I enjoy both hot, so I either need to make coffee or to put on the kettle for tea.
Unfortunately, this leads to what I will call a secondary delay...
7. ...Let me just empty the dishwasher and clear the table while I wait for my tea to boil.
Of course, we know how that goes: The tea’s steeping, and I’m still cleaning, because who wants to walk into a messy kitchen in the morning? Not me. (Doesn't mean that the kitchen isn’t still a mess some mornings. It's about 50/50 around here.)
But, eventually, I need to stop the cleaning and start relaxing.
Besides, it's not like I'll ever be done. Everyone just keeps eating, playing, and wearing new clothes.
Every day. Forever.
8. I also need to make sure every door to the outside is closed.
However, I don’t mean the doors just need to be locked.
They also need to be latched on the hook near the top, since our toddler can open the other two locks — and who knows when he'll start sleepwalking and take off and/or open the house to intruders.
9. Culinary requirements met, I can then carry my loot to the couch, looking very much like a vendor at a baseball game.
I will also need some craft — knitting, origami, etc. — to keep me productive while relaxing (since idle hands are the devil's workshop and so forth).
This is usually stashed somewhere in a Ziploc on the way to the couch, causing only a minor delay.
10. But the walk to the couch in the TV room leads through the laundry room…
Which reminds me that I could either wash all those dirty (cloth) diapers really quickly, or just put in one tiny load (figuratively speaking) so the laundry won't grow over my head tomorrow.
11. Of course, if I'll be working with my hands once I sit down, I’ll need to lotion them first.
Ahh, smooth, happy, and comfortable skin.
12. One last thing: I probably should pee before I sit down.
Or the cycle will just start all over again!