I'm an only child, which means I'm used to being the only one around to enjoy certain things in life. One of those things? Food. But I've come to find that this particular nonsharing luxury never seemed that luxurious until I was married with children. One night after traveling by bus, train, and car to get to the leftover meal I fantasized about all day, I walked in to find my husband polishing off the final bite. After swiftly reminding myself of our wedding vows, I accepted his apology and made a sandwich. But I knew this was the first of many similar scenarios.
This off-limits vessel is my safe space, my haven, my me time. The only place no one would ever think I would take food.
Once I mastered sharing with one person (who now calls before eating my leftovers), we added children to the mix to further test my generosity. I'll admit that two little, well-fed faces asking for "some" or pointing to their mouths whenever they saw food was cute at first. It was only little bites here and there, so I happily obliged their requests. But the boys have now reached the age at which they do one of two things: remove food from my plate, devour all of it, and ask for more, or remove food from my plate, tell me how gross it is, and the food is lost forever to the trash gods because they have touched, licked, and destroyed it past the point of consumption.
Family restaurant outings equal cold food for moms. Even when I purchase individual treats for everyone, I still only enjoy one-fourth of mine. Because of this, I knew it was time for me to reclaim my snacks, so I found a new way to enjoy them — in the shower. This off-limits vessel is my safe space, my haven, my me time. The only place no one would ever think I would take food. It started off small, with a handful of Skittles or a cookie, things I could easily hide and smuggle upstairs, but after venting with other moms about my crumb snatchers and them sharing similar tales, an idea was born.
I established Restaurant of the Month (ROM). Each month, I gather my mom friends, and we try a new restaurant. There are no children allowed. We eat slowly and enjoy food that we didn't cook, while it's still actually hot. On this monthly outing, I savor each bite and am usually the one eating from everyone else's plate. It's the perfect recharge for moms who want to enjoy a husband-free, kid-free meal. And when I return home (on a full stomach) to those cute, little, food-stealing faces, I know there are only 29 more days before my next outing. And on those in-between days, I'll happily sneak off to enjoy my snacks in the shower.