The Truth About 'My Space'

Saturday, August 05, 2006

How a Mother's personal space, private space, and even virtual space begins to disappear, seemingly overnight and what she can do to win it back... well, some of it anyway.

Everyone is talking about My Space this, My Space that, and 'Have you visited My Space?' Let me be the first to tell you, there is no such thing as 'My Space'. At least, for a Mom there isn't. The truth is, once you find out you are expecting, your space begins to vanish instantaneously. In just a few months, what once was your fine body that you could flaunt and use however you choose, is now more of a mother ship that is anything but free. Your stomach is occupied with a bundle of joy with a bit of Napoleon complex, threatening to take over and conquer all space claimed and unclaimed as their own. As a Mother-to-be, you have no idea about what you're soon to give up.

It's time for Mothers across America to unite and take a stand against the spatial takeover that has occurred in the common household. As a Mom who once had walk-in closets, office space and a private bathroom where you could actually enjoy privacy, vow to take no more.

When they began to feel their space closing on them physically, Mothers sought refuge in virtual space on the internet in chat rooms and blogs. But, that space too has been invaded. Advertising agencies have now flooded the internet with attractive, interactive websites where children can view and sample all the games and toys they can ever dream of asking for. When Moms turn on their personal computers they find all kinds of downloads that their children have so gracefully overloaded their memory with. That is, when they actually have a turn to use the computer. This is exactly what our girlfriends warned us about.

But, there is hope. Today, I present Mothers everywhere with a 4-step strategy for reclaiming their space and their homes.

Step 1. Sacrifice one room in your house and declare it as your children's designated playroom. Put all the toys you may find beneath your computer, in your closet and on the stairs into this room and know that anything that goes in may never come out. You may feel like you've already given up enough of your physical space in the house without giving up one more room. But, trust me, giving up this room will mean reclaiming other rooms in the long run. Your children will be overjoyed with the idea of having all their toys piled up haphazardly in one place and having the freedom to throw things all over the place.

If you have a teenager, the same concept applies. Because they crave independence, they will love the idea of having a hangout spot in the house. Keep them involved in the design and interior decorating (on a budget). It will be like having a tree house indoors.

Step 2. Designate one space in each shared room of the house as 'Mommy's Space' and make it off-limits for everybody else's things. Whether it's a shelf, a small cabinet or a big drawer, let the entire family know that this space is reserved for your things and your things only. If you find anyone else's belongings in that space, remove them immediately and lovingly bring it to their attention.

Step 3. Lock the door. Okay, this is a sensitive subject that we are about to address. We often hear people talk about that one time when they were little and they walked in on their Mom and Dad when they shouldn't have. Please, save your child the trauma of realizing one day they witnessed their parents having intimate relations and lock the bedroom door (or whatever door) when you're having that special adult-only time.

If you enjoy using the bathroom in privacy, lock the door. You'd think that a closed door would mean 'Do Not Enter'. But, for a child it's actually a curiosity teaser. As they pass closed doors your children think, 'Now there must be something fun going on in there or Mommy wouldn't be closing the door to hide it from me!' Lock the door. Lock the door. Lock the door! And explain to your children that you love them, but that it's Mommy's right to have some personal space.

Step 4. Your computer comes equipped with functions to distinguish users. If you have a family computer that everyone uses, create a username for everyone so when they turn on the computer they can log on to their individual space. This will keep everyone's work and online activities separate. If you use the computer for work at home, make it clear to the entire family that when Mom is working at home the computer is off-limits unless you have stated otherwise. Invest in a file cabinet with labels so everyone can have their own drawer for print-outs, supplies, and papers.

Using these tips, Mothers everywhere can restore their space and sense of privacy. Establishing these simple steps will teach your children valuable lessons in respecting the personal space of others and sharing. So, spread the truth about 'My Space' to all of your fellow maternal friends and enjoy freedom within your home once again.

About the Author

Karen Fusco is co-founder of which supports Busy Moms with free gift ideas and helpful tips to meet the challenges of motherhood. SilkBow is the perfect place for the perfect gift. Karen can be reached directly at


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