In the back of the highest, hardest to reach cabinet in our kitchen, lies a stash of gourmet chocolate bars. My children have no clue that they exist, and that’s exactly the way I want it. Most nights, once they’re asleep, I down a couple of squares. It’s my just-for-me-treat.
I am generally selfless when it comes to the kids. If my daughter wants a necklace I have, I let her take it. My luxe nail polish is her luxe nail polish. If I’m having a bowl of soup and my son wants it, he gets it.
But a few lone things are mine, all mine, and I don’t just mean tampons. I also hide my good purses (so they can’t be battered during dress up), lip balm (ewww, yuck, not sharing), and my husband’s mushy love notes.
I am not alone in my mommy hoarding habits; food seems to be a biggie. My tendency is inherited from my own mom, who hid bags of Pepperidge Farm Milanos in her bedroom closet (but not very well, since my sister and I constantly raided them). One woman I know recently disclosed her approach to Girl Scout Cookies: Most of the boxes she buys go on a pantry shelf except the Thin Mints, which she puts way at the bottom of the freezer, strategically covered by things the kids would never touch like boneless chicken breasts.
One friend has a glass vase of seashells she stores in the depths of her closet, ones she gathered on beach getaways during her single years. “They remind me of that carefree time in my life,” she says, “and I don’t want my kids playing with them.” Another friend recalls hiding rolls of super-soft toilet paper in her closet. “We stopped buying it to save money and since it clogs our old home’s toilets, but after I had a baby my lady bits needed it!”
My husband isn’t very into possessions, so there’s nothing he squirrels away from the kids except the Hess truck he has from childhood that he’s stored in our attic. He knows about my chocolate stash (no keeping secrets in our marriage!) but since it’s not a food he loves, I’m in no danger of him polishing it off.
To those moms who choose to inform their children they have stashes o’ stuff and they are not allowed to touch them – more power to you! (And less chocolate, sorry.) Sure, this can be a teaching opportunity, but I choose to take the easy way out and keep my valuables out of sight.
I’ve never once felt guilty. Parenting blurs the lines of privacy. There are few things and places in our homes we can still call our own (see: kids barging into the bathroom as you pee). If we don’t want our little ones getting their hands on assorted items that are precious to us, that’s our right, especially if it helps us feel pampered amidst parenting chaos or retain our sense of selves.
As moms, we make plenty of sacrifices for our kids. But if we don’t wanna share the Thin Mints, we sure don’t have to.More On