Nothing Guilty About These Pleasures

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Whether it’s by way of the weepy, wounded Ryan Gosling in The Notebook; the unbelievably cool, bendy-ness of dancers Les Twins; or something more (un)real like The Housewives of McMansion City, we all need our full helping of guilty pleasure entertainment. It’s crucial, especially for moms. We need that time to unplug and put the hard drive (a.k.a our overloaded brains) into sleep mode, so we can laugh or lust — c’mon, have you seen The Gosling? — and just enjoy.

Photo from

First, let’s ditch the “guilty” part of this whole thing. Why feel anything other than unmitigated joy (and possibly some salty residue gathering at your eye-corners) while re-watching this scene from Scandal?

The hot ‘n’ bothered TV shows, the sappy movies, the trashy books, the time-stealing/rabbit-hole sites (shots fired, Pinterest!) … they’re all really sanity savers, and should be called healthy pleasures. Or something with positive spin. The calming effect and happiness brought on by these, ahem, healthy pleasures can lower your heart rate and stress levels, according to studies. And you know these studies know things, so I’m accepting this as a solid truth.

Actually, I remember during those first few months in MommyLand, when I was breastfeeding and changing diapers and coaxing naps and breastfeeding, oh, and breastfeeding, plus, changing diapers — wait, yes, there was also recovering from the emergency C-section part — I found myself hopeless hooked on TNT. The network, that is, because TNT was broadcasting back-to-back epis of ER starting at 9 a.m.  Sure, I watched with the sound muted and the closed captioning turned on (napping baby, remember?), but I soaked up every fast-paced minute of medical jargon, blood, tubes, tears, love, and drama that show had to offer. Hell, I still have a soft spot for Dr. John Truman Carter III.

Having that time —  30 minutes, an hour — to let my mind breathe was possibly the best thing I did for myself as a new mother. That and stocking up on snoftly (yes, it’s word) sleep bras.

What about you? What was/is your healthy pleasure of choice?


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