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When a Trip to the Dentist Is as Good as the Spa

The sun is shining. 

I’m out traveling. 

A warm pre-spring breeze blows on my face. 

My steps have extra bounce. 

I feel invigorated!  

LIFE IS GOOD.

“Why?” you ask?

I’m free! “KID-FREE” that is.  (Even “house-free.”)  I’m out in the world without my kids.  And it feels amazing!  (What a guilty pleasure.)

I’m heading to the dentist – a place that‘s known to make some people break into a cold sweat just thinking about it.  But me – I feel like I’m heading to the spa for a mani/pedi because I’m out and about without my tribe, my offspring, my amazing children who can sometimes drain the life right out of me.

Who needs a spa treatment?  Today, even if a possible root canal looms, I’ll take it! Especially, if it’s my ticket to be by myself. (Woohoo!)

Woman in sunlight - Quiet and Solitude

I reach my destination and it only gets better: The Chew is playing in the waiting room on an extra-large, flat screen TV.  NO WAY!  That. Is. Such. A. Bonus!

The receptionist is beginning to wonder why I can’t focus on her long enough to answer any of her new patient questions.  I think I’m beginning to embarrass myself but I can’t miss this segment – Giada is demonstrating how to properly cut an avocado.

I’m really trying to be attentive so the staff won’t regret their decision not to loop a dental infomercial for their patients, but my attention is totally consumed by this show.  It’s rare, if ever, that I get to watch daytime (or even nighttime) TV during the week, so this is a luxury not to be missed.

This is so good that I almost have to pinch myself in-between filing out insurance forms.  It simply can’t get any better – unless the receptionist brings out a tray of hors d’oeuvres.

Who needs a foot soak or a body massage?  I’ll gladly trade them in for some mental margin, for a moment of solitude, for my mind to NOT have to process a thought or settle an argument or check a math problem or make a meal or answer another unexplainable mystery of the universe question.  And if getting that mental margin goes along with getting a root canal – today I will gladly take it!

Darn it!  I just got called into the dentist’s office for some meet and greet with the dental hygienist who will clean my teeth, but it only gets better because this room is actually playing cable: the Food Network!  (Oh là là.)

[Note: If u want to sedate a homeschooling housewife without using anesthetic, just play her favorite cable and TV shows.]

***

There are entire websites dedicated to demonstrating the beauty of motherhood, the ministry of motherhood, and being an ever-present, 24/7 mom.  And while all of those things are true (minus the 24/7 part) we moms still need some time out for ourselves.  We need to find moments of quiet and solitude to recharge and refresh ourselves.  Yes, we love our kids, but they can’t engage us ALL day.  If they do, things can get scary.  We’re not the best version of ourselves when we’re tired and worn out.  We have to schedule in naps and quiet time for them so we can regain our emotional and spiritual equilibrium.

The toughest season for us as moms is usually when we have babies and toddlers.  That’s when the kids seem to dictate our entire day.  Babies don’t cooperate with naptime; sometimes even toddlers don’t!  And one crazy, chaotic and life draining event snowballs into the next until the day is over and we fall face down across our bed.  Of course, that would be the very night the baby doesn’t sleep, one of the toddlers get sick or even an older kid has a nightmare – because you know – things go “bump” in the night . . . and the Boogie Man . . . and Disney with that darn Monster’s Inc. movie!

monsters inc 2

Now back to the dentist: The x-ray technician needs me to settle-in and sit back for the sake of accuracy, and I want to be a team player, but my hesitancy pays off – I just learned that Kraft Macaroni and Cheese has no artificial flavors, preservatives, or dyes.  What planet have I been on all this time?!  (This video plays at the end of the post.)

The hygienist want’s my attention to so that she can pitch the latest (and most expensive!) rotating toothbrush/health care system ever created – it’s only 100 bucks! – because apparently the $3.99 toothbrush most of us have been using all of our lives just doesn’t measure-up.  But I’m torn and occasionally I divert my attention; and it’s a good thing I do . . . turns out that whole milk has been getting a bum rap all these years.  It’s actually better for you than skim milk – it has less sugar!  Who knew?  (Bonus points for having ADD!)

Before my trip to the spa dentist I didn’t know how badly I needed time alone; time to not be engaged or mentally stimulated.  Time to use as much (or as little) energy as a broom stick.  Time to be out in the world without having any children tethered to me.

Being out and having a moment to myself is not something that I fantasize about.  I no longer have babies and I generally have emotionally fulfilling and satisfying days (that is, when I’m not having a total melt-down).  But I still have young children, nonetheless, as well as the all day demands of homeschooling; so something inside of me “woke up” as I ventured out on my own own.  It was completely refreshing – and odd!

Yes, I really do love my kids.  Yes, I really do believe in the ministry of motherhood, but I also believe in self-care and refueling so I have I something of value to give: a better me, which equates to a better mom.

As moms, we are not going to have the luxury of having one-on-one time with ourselves every day.  It should be our goal, but the chances of that happening every day is slim-to-none.  As the kids get a little older though, we’ll have a better shot at it.  Still, schedule in time once a week to go and have coffee; read a whole chapter (or two!) of your favorite book without interruption.  Window shop or take a brisk or leisurely walk.  Ask your husband to partner with you in this endeavor; especially if you’re a stay-at-home-mom who sometimes never seems to get out of the house, because as moms we need that time like we need oxygen.  And if you can’t get that, just schedule an appointment with the dentist.

What about you?  How do you refuel and refresh yourself?  Do you ever have time alone?  Are you privileged enough to get out and have coffee without the kids or do you mostly hide on the side of your bed?  I’d love to hear from you!  Post a comment below to share.

 I’ve shared this article at these fabulous faith and family link-ups.

Comments

  1. Bingo, Tiffiney! If a trip to the dentist feels like a trip to the spa, I’d say your need for some alone time is at its height!

    This is a lovely, winsome post that makes such a good point. Thanks so much for sharing it at the Grace at Home party. I’m featuring you this week!

    • Hi Richella,

      Thanks for stopping by and thanks for featuring my post on your blog. Some people might think it’s sad that a mommy would consider a trip to the dentist relaxing and refreshing, but I think it’s down right funny. It’s just how life is. :o)

  2. This cracked me up. With grown kiddos I don’t seem to share your love for the dentist, but oh how I remember those moments of being able to just think for a minute or two without interruption. This is good stuff! Thanks so much for linking up at CMB! Blessings!

    • Hi Deb, I so get your point. If all of my kids were out of the home a trip to the dentist would not be the equivalent of a spa day. But for now – it sometimes serves as a wonderful distraction from busyness of raising little ones. Apparently, we moms in the trenches have to take it (quiet time) any way that we can get it. Thanks so much for stopping by, my very wise bloggy friend!

  3. Love it… I have had similar feelings about the dentist trips since kids… my hygienist even expects it from me.

    Thanks for sharing with #theCozyReadingSpot. Hope to see you again tomorrow

    • Hey Marissa! Yes…you, me and a ton of other women, apparently, have had that same experience! (And we are all coming out of the wood works about it!) Too funny! Lol! Thanks for stopping by. :o)

  4. Lol! I went to the dentist a couple of weeks ago and felt the same way! When I told the hygienist that this was actually a nice treat for me just to have some quiet. She said that’s pretty bad if you have to go to the dentist to get a break! Ha ha. Really i do get out quite a bit. At least every other day I go for a run or to bootcamp workout. And some other days I get out with friends. I am really blessed that my husband knows I need some time alone and with friends. I totally believe that our jobs as mom should be sacrificial. That it’s not wrong to give ourselves for our families but I don’t think that means we never have any time to take care of ourselves and get some time alone. You have made some great points here that I think a lot of moms need to hear!

    • Hey Rebekah!

      I can’t quite figure it out, but it’s become an epidemic! All of these woman coming out of the woodwork telling tales of visiting the dentist and it being an amazing moment of “mommy only” time. Go figure! And I thought it was just me. :o)

      Yes, we moms love our kids like crazy, but we really do need time alone to regroup and refresh ourselves. And hay, if it means that it’s achieved by a trip to the dentist, then so be it! :o)

      Glad to hear you had a good one. Thanks for stopping by and please do come again.

  5. Ok, I clicked on your title from the Grace and Truth link-up because I had a suspicion that I knew what this was about and I was totally right because YES. I had the same experience last month at the dentist!!!! I got to not only leave my one and three year old at home to be put to bed by my husband, but I got to lie down and watch TV for a whole hour!!! It was amazing and I had the same thought–“Wow, I need to get out alone more often!” Anyway, it’s fun to read about someone on the same wave length as me these days. Thanks for this.

    • Hey Leslie! This is so totally funny! You are not the first person who said they recently had the same “spa” experience at the dentist experience. Oh my word. We moms really need to get out more. Lol! Thanks so much for stopping by.

    • Hey Michelle! How bizarre is it that either one of us has a “favorite” part of a dental experience? That’s the life of a mom. :o)

  6. Alone time is a beautiful thing, and I think us moms don’t realize how much we need it until we get it. Love your story, and LOVE THE CHEW TOO!

  7. Tiffiney, you had me cracking up while reading this. 🙂 I remember when my kids were younger, a trip to the supermarket was like heaven! Nowadays, now that they’re in elementary school I still value any alone time I can get. So I can completely relate to your trip to the dentist. I find that every now and again I need to be intentional about getting away on my own so that I can be a better wife and mommy when I get back.
    Wishing you blessings, and a bit of a break now and again. 🙂

    • Hey Marva! A trip to the supermarket – like heaven? I love it! We moms are certainly birds of a feather.

      So glad you enjoyed this post. And thanks for stopping by and wishing me more quiet moments! Please come back soon. :o)

  8. I saw the title of your post in the link up and it made me smile. Just went to the dentist yesterday. Only took me over a year to get there because of my three littles and schedule conflicts. But Praise God for no cavities and compliments on my good hygeine. Cheers 🙂

    • Hey Tiffany! So funny that we both ended up at the dentist on the same day. Not sure if you’re experience was as “spa-like” as mine, but glad you had no cavities! Thanks for stopping by and please come again. :o)

    • Howdy Sarah! So glad you enjoyed this post. I love the coffee shop conversations community! Thanks for stopping by!

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