Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Why I'm not REALLY a Mall Rat. I Swear. Really.

Wednesdays are child-free days for me. (Well, for a couple more weeks anyway.) Ava is in school, Nate is in preschool, and I find myself adrift with oh-so-many options.
Should I stay home and catch up on laundry? Should I do the church planning and admin I need to do? Should I go get my nails done? You get the idea. I find that the things I usually imagine I'll do (go to the movies! sleep all day!) on my next kid-free day don't happen, though. I tend to be much more "practical". Clean the house, catch up on emails, etc.

Today was different, though. I'd scheduled a tour of the maternity ward where we'll be ending up soon, and then Jason and I went to the mall and had lunch together. I hadn't given up on my boot shopping, but this time I recruited him to help me pull 'em on. Yes, he is a prince, even if he wants to give me The Salmonella.

Today, I walked up to our table at lunch where Jason was waiting for me. "It's strange to see you walk up without the kids in hand," he said. Yes, it is strange. It occurred to me then that I always feel strangely conspicuous when I'm out in the middle of the day without my children.

I mean, don't get me wrong: I'm no martyr. I really enjoy time to myself. But I often have this sense that I need to offer some sort of apology or explanation for why I'm on my own. Ya know, like: "I promise I am a contributing member of society and not just slacking at the mall at 11am. I have kids who'd normally be here, you see. I do stuff." Or, I see moms with kids and wanna say, "I sooo know what you're feeling. Normally, I'd be just like you!!!"

Do you do this? Do you ever feel the need to offer unsolicited explanations or apologies for things? Rationally, I know that I don't need to apologize. I don't feel guilty or anything. But my family will tell you that I've always had the tendency to apologize for that which I haven't done, couldn't help, or isn't even a big deal. It is embedded in my DNA, like my mutantish pinky toe or underbite (blessedly corrected by jaw surgery!).

But I wondered today if others feel the same. What makes you feel conspicuous, even if no one else seems to notice and/or care? What do you feel you have to explain, whether or not you actually do? A personality quirk, a life circumstance? Just wonderin'.

P.S. In other news, I found some boots! Oh y'all, you KNOW they're cute, too.


  1. I just had to catch up on all your posts. I haven't visited in a while! All fun reads, as usual!

    When I'm out with just my toddler, I always have to tell people about my older daughter. I always feel like I'm leaving her out if she's not with me. She actually has way more fun at preschool than she does with me. She's even told me so!

  2. Absolutely I feel that way without my kids! Exactly that way. Weird!

    I wonder if we also have the same freak pinky toe? Looks kind of like a small turtle leg & isn't exactly big enough to support a proper toenail? LOL.

  3. Yeah, being without kids but WITH the hubs in the middle of the day. . .I don't know what might happen.

    And you are the queen of apologies, you know. Go on, say you're sorry for it!

  4. While I have no idea how you feel on Wednesdays, (???:)) I must say that I have started feeling conspicous of late when I'm out with Rebekah in the middle of the day shopping etc. you know she has only turned five but has the height of a 7 yr old (she's had a big growth spurt of late!) Anyway, we've started getting asked why she is not at school, oh yes! I knew it was coming but didn't think it would happen so soon. Anyway, as a result of that (or maybe not?), I have often found myself offering unsolicited explanations to one and all about why I am homeschooling Rebekah and that no she is not missing out on anything by me homeschooling her etc etc etc bla bla bla :) it must be the female psyche!

  5. I do the same thing, Amy. I feel like everyone needs to know why my kids aren't velcroed to each of my legs like they usually are and that it's actually because I'm doing something SUPER important. Like boot shopping. (Um, pictures please?)

  6. So, ummm... I don't have kids- and no, I'm not apoloizing for that. However, I do have a compulsive need to explain myself to strangers, friends and family alike whenever I get a compliment on a new outfit. I feel that people MUST know where I bought the outfit and that I got it on sale for a really good deal, and that I never would have paid full price for it, actually for anything, and how I used my birthday money, or had worked overtime so was justified in spending extra money on myself...
    The list goes on and on... not sure why I do that, but weren't you the psych major, maybe you can explain it to me :)
    Well, gotta run and go do something productive, I mean I don't spend all my time online reading about other peoples lives and facebook stalking- there I go again... making excuses for something you didn't ask about!
    love you Amy- keep the great stories coming!

  7. When I'm out without the kids I always have to re-check myself and say, "Did I forget someone? Did I leave someone somewhere?" (You can tell what kind of mother *I* am!)

  8. This is such a girl thing. Julie has to make me dig the dried up soap out of my ears (At least I wash them.), pull out the razor again for a spot I missed (Got most of it, didn't I?), and um...brush my hair (Yeah, I really have no excuse for that.).

    I do get a little insecure when I realize I've been walking around with my zipper down. But that's probably justified.

    Thanks for making me laugh, Amy.

  9. Well, good to know I'm not alone in my neuroticisms!

    Hi Ginny--thanks for catching up. :)I've been doing the same at your place.

    Sara, maybe we're secretly related. Becky and I've been saying that you feel like one of the family anyway!

    And Sarah B I am laughing at yours--cause I've totally heard you do that! It just makes me love ya all the more, babe.

    Rosemary, I know what you find yourself talking to someone and you're thinking "I am so telling them more than they need or want to know." But I can't stop myself!

    And Wendy--you sound like the same kind of mom I am! I stand there and pat my pockets too, as if one of the kids would be in there. Weirdness! :)

  10. It is TOTALLY a girl thing! Jason thinks I'm so weird when I try to explain this to him.