How I Spend my Free Time

I lay in bed strategizing ways to tactfully make my way down the stairs, grab my book from the living room, and make a mad dash into the family room without waking up a soul. It was going to happen, today was my day! I was going to do it! I was going to read! After all what is the point of being a part of a book club if you never get to read the darn book!? I glanced at the alarm clock it read 5:30am. Yes! I had the potential to read for an entire hour! The combination of anticipation, excitement, and adrenaline was enough stimulate that I even considered forgoing coffee right away….besides I had not contemplated a side trip to the kitchen, that could foil everything! It was go time!

I climbed over our 4 year old who was sleeping next to me. I tip-toed out of the room while holding my breath, for fear one exhale might be too loud and somehow heard over my husband’s snoring. Haha! I did a weird dance down the stairs in the dark trying to avoid the center of all stairs where the wood creeks. I then walked along the perimeter of the room as to avoid more creeks in the wood (old houses, gotta love em). My cat like reflexes really came in handy when I came in contact with two baseball bats on the living room floor that I had asked our son to put away…to be honest I lost my footing rolled a little, and came a quarter of an inch away from striking the keys on the piano. The dog heard me and barked. This just got real! I ran into the kitchen, forgot we put the baby gate up and half of my body went over it…I am certain it looked hilarious but man it hurt!  Removed the gate, guided our blind dog down the stairs, opened the back door and let him out. Closed the back door and he barked to come in. Let the darn dog in walked around the kitchen to find that he was right; he did not need to go out to pee he had already taken care of that in the kitchen.  For the love of books, why!!!! So I cleaned up the mess, finally broke his code, he wanted food. So I fed him and quietly walked back to the living room where my book awaited and my 4 year old holding a Belle dress.  My dream of reading that morning was officially shattered. Within ten minutes everyone was up. …I wanted to cry but I didn’t. I went on with my morning routine, made breakfast, did laundry, made beds, did hair, daughter hated the way I did her hair so we redid hair, listen to girls argue over a doll, removed said doll, son was concerned about guinea pig because he was dirty, gave guinea pig a bath (because that’s what you do 20 minutes before school), daughter realized there was a back to her homework page, helped her finish her homework, threw some water on my face, put on clean underwear and grabbed clothes off the floor to wear, drove older kiddos to school, drove preschooler to school, and arrived home and glance over at my book, finally, alas!  And my phone rang.

For the next two hours I helped a friend with a crisis, switched around the laundry, made dinner, edited pics, filled out forms the kiddos needed in order to get registered for various activities/field trips/etc., stopped at the bank to get preschool tuition and headed to preschool to pick up our 4 year old…all the while wondering how I might be able to finagle a way to read for 20 minutes later in the day.

Get home, make lunch, put 4 year old down for quiet time, 4 year old gets up from quiet time 3 times, finally she settles in with a few books for a little while, I clean bathroom, finish editing pics, workout for 20 minutes…noting I clearly did something to my lower half of my body when it came in contact with the baby gate (get yourself a Beach Body coach and accountability group…best thing ever!), plan a party (which was amazing…Frozen was the theme and kiddos got to build their own snowman…I included a few pics below), organize a few activities for our playgroup, take a call from a friend who needs someone to watch her kiddos…I am totally your girl! (Always make time for others, some of the best advice my momma has ever given me) .Get 4 year old up, we run to car, drive to pick up older kiddos from school when the real chaos begins.

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Both kiddos jump in the car eager to tell me about their days and our 4 year old wants to chime too! It is a chorus of chaos those first ten minutes. Once home kiddos put bags on hooks, folders on table for me to go through, grab a snack, and we start on homework. One child reads aloud to me while the other does their math then they switch, I check work, and we go over spelling words while I put the finishing touches on dinner. Dad arrives home, kids set table, we eat, then the older two are off to religious education while I go to the Cub Scout meeting and learn about selling popcorn. All the while I am sitting in the pack meeting my mind keeps going back to the book I never got a chance to read and I wonder how I can do things differently tomorrow morning. Then the meeting is over, I pick up older two from religion education down the street, go home, bath/showers, sit out clothes for the next day, make lunches, and tuck in kiddos.  I fold a load of laundry, but on my PJs, grab a glass of wine and that book I have been dreaming of all day and settle into bed. Ten minutes later I am out! LOL!

The next morning I basically go through the same routine but instead of preschool my 4 year old and I head to a playgroup meet up. There I enjoy chatting with other moms while she plays with other kiddos. While chatting one of the moms who has children who are not of school age yet asks me, “So, what do you do with all your free time now that the kids have school?” For a moment I felt complimented, clearly my tired eyes had not given me away and I must look refreshed.  Then my blood began to boil a bit….and I thought, free time, what is that?  But I finally came to the realization that all of us new moms, myself included, have hope and dream of a utopia like life that will present itself once the children are in school. Sadly it never happens but far be it for me to shatter this young mother’s dream. So, I truthfully replied, “I think about reading a lot.” And I am almost certain she thought I was crazy but that is okay.  It is important that we allow those new moms who are in the thick of diaper changing, spit up, potty training, etc. to have their hope. In fact I know of a couple amazing friends who kept their mouths shut when I would dream about what life would be like once my children were in school…though looking back, they did always have a smirk on their faces.

Do tell, how do you spend you free time? Or perhaps I should rephrase the question, how do you dream about spending your free time some day? Haha!

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