When Abby and I moved into our first jointly picked place, I had a man-room. It wasn’t a stated requirement while we were looking, but we gravitated toward units with way more space than we could use.
The result was that we ended up in a house with three bedrooms, an office, and a man-cave. It was just the two of us, and we were living the dual-income-no-kids life to the fullest. We used the dining room maybe twice. I went down to the man-cave about once a week, and the two spare bedrooms were unused on all but the most debaucherous of nights. We spend all our time in the shared bedroom or the living room. The budget for dining out was astronomical.
Then, after we bought a house, life started to chip away at my precious man-space. It was done an inch at a time, but adulthood was stacking it’s crap against the far wall, and slowly filling my refuge with refuse. When kids came into the equation, all bets were off. The office became a nursery, the guest room became a play room, and the entire basement was filled with stuff. If someone asked, “Where should I put this?” the answer was “In the basement.”
The man-cave was a cave no longer. It was a filled, literally, with all the things from my life that children had displaced.
So, I have had to find a retreat of the mind. The easiest place for me to find a little zen is in the kitchen. No matter who is crying, if I’m cooking dinner, I can plausibly say, “Sorry, can’t help you, I have chicken on my hands.” Then I laugh on the inside. I don’t have chicken fingers. I have delicious avocado fingers. Delightful, creamy avocado. <Maniacal laugh>
The Man-cave has since been remodeled into a rumpus room for the girls, the kitchen has been improved after a plumbing malfunction, and the spare room has returned to an office. Still, I enjoy cooking, and getting the girls involved is a good activity to control and focus them. I had the seventeen month old help me make a Spinach Honey Hot Sauce dressing this evening. She had no idea what was going on, but she enjoyed the one on one time none the less.
So, as long as I can keep the lovies out from underfoot, and a nominal patch of counter clear, I can make me-time, while I make us-food.