I've never had so much household help, never belonged to so many groups, and never had such a social life as I do now in Abu Dhabi. I certainly have never shopped as much. Poised to embark on weekly riding lessons after a 25-year hiatus, I have to admit I'm feeling a little guilty about all the things I'm doing for me.
Mind you, with six children and a husband with a demanding job, plus nearly 20 years of marriage under my belt, I ought to take care of myself. (Why not have an expensive personal trainer?)
I tell myself I ought to pursue some of my own interests and have some fun. Makes sense, no doubt about it. I also firmly that believe no woman should be a doormat for her family. It's good "modeling" for my children that I insist on saving some of myself for myself, if you know what I mean.
But I suppose there is a small part of me that worries that my children are becoming too used to their mom and dad either having a get-together or going to one on the weekends. Too used to their mom breezing in from an activity a few minutes after they arrive home from school.
Yes, it's important that they know I'm a person and not just a facilitator of their lives.
But nothing good ever comes without sacrifices and hard work, and raising children is certainly at the top of the list of endeavors that require both.
Perhaps all this self-indulgence is just the pendulum swinging over from where I was before: burned out. Moving from a small town in New Hampshire, US to the UAE in the summer of 2006, on the heels of my mother's death in late 2005, did take a toll on me. These extra comforts I've indulged in since moving here have renewed my spirits. Abu Dhabi has been fantastic in that way.
So maybe the fact that I'm thinking I ought to be more selective about how I spend my time is a good sign. Maybe it means I'm finding the balance.