May 21, 2010

Two hours

          I had two hours all to myself today. This is an incredible rarity in my life. (I suspect in any mom's life.) I spent that precious time doing absolutely nothing. 
          Truth be told, I had planned to read (another rarity these days). But I left my book in the room where my daughter was napping. No way I was going to risk waking her up by going in there to get it. So I lounged by a pool soaking up the sun and enjoying a cool sea breeze. And it was, well, weird! I'm not used to doing nothing.
          I don't ever just sit still and do nothing. Usually when my daughter is napping I work out, take a shower or do things around the house. When I have someone to watch her, I go grocery shopping or run some other kind of errand without having to take her along. Or I schedule a routine doctor's appointment. Real exciting stuff.
          Occasionally, very occasionally, I will splurge for a pedicure. So occasionally in fact that the last time I went, the woman took my feet in her hands, looked up at me and said, "It's been a while since you were here last, no?" 
          Please do not misunderstand me. My daughter is the absolute light of my life. But once I became a mom I found I placed my own needs at the bottom of the list. Or not even on the list at all. And over time I started to feel edgy.
          Writing saved me. It gave me the creative outlet I desperately needed. It is something I have that is just for me. I am able to find an hour each day, sometimes two, to dedicate to writing. And I don't feel guilty about it. This has made a world of difference.
          The occasional pedicure is nice, too. So moms, how much time do you get to yourself? And how do you like to spend it?


  1. Time to myself - seems like precious little. Although my boys are older and are in school for 7-9 hours a day, I'm not usually alone as my husband works out of the house. Also, even when he's traveling, just because there's no other person around doesn't mean it's "me" time as there's always so much to do around the house. What little me time I get I like to spend shopping or reading (certain novels, cooking mags are my top two choices).

  2. Never!!! Really a car ride sometimes to and from work.

  3. Much more than I used to as my girls are all grown and starting families of their own. Sometimes miss the crazy days and other times am soooo very glad to be where I am. Grandchildren make it all worth while!

  4. My kids are now 13, 17 and 19, so I have some time. Or rather, I now make time. But, what do I do with it? I work. I work my tail off trying to make up for all the years I was strictly a stay-at-home mom. Now that I'd actually like to earn a paycheck again (college tuitions and all), its not easy to package myself. So, I've got projects in the pipeline that I hope will start to pay off. I've got kids in school who still need me for food and rides and help with homework, a garden that needs tending, dogs that need walking... and I actually think I have to work harder to find time for myself than when my kids were younger.

    Oh yeah, and for the first part of this year I've written a blog called "What do you do?" the question that makes stay-at-home moms squirm. I've kind of made my peace with that question, so I'm about to transition the blog, but it addressed many of the issues I've wrestled with in that role.

  5. Two hours! That's on a good day. With two kids, there is certainly nap time but unfortunately those don't always coincide. On the days they do.... it's a good chance I might just sit and do nothing. Although I too am not a nothing do-er, so somehow this guilty feeling always finds it's way into my mind reminding me that there is laundry to be done and dishes to be cleaned. At times I give in, get it, and get going. Then at other times I don't and I feel really good about the times I don't.

  6. I have little time to myself, but like you writing has helped to let me feel as though I have. Having an online community in writers, aspiring and published, gives you a window to the outside world when you physically can't be there.

    There's a list of needs for us too? I need to find this list again!

    Enjoy you're pool time, we need it!

  7. @ Camille - Your blog sounds very interesting. I'm definitely going to check it out. My book is on that subject. You might be interested in checking out my blog archive. I have a post about the war between Mommy Bloggers and some excerpts from my book's introduction. I'd be interested in your comments...

  8. I LIVE for 8:00pm. All three kids are tucked safely in bed, like angels. I head downstairs and fire up the computer to write, write, write. This is my release. Of course, strolling through an outdoor mall with a little spending money in my pocket is another treat - but it doesn't happen to often and ironically, I end up buying the kids clothes and forget about myself. Their stuff is so much cuter!

  9. I totally know what you mean! I love to read and one day a spark lit inside me to try my hand at writing. I am working on my first novel and I love it! I agree with you them that it is such a great "just for me" part of my life. I hope you find success along with a bit of sanity as you travel through parenthood! I applaud you!

  10. Great post!!! EXACTLY what I feel - I happily take 5 minutes in the car outside the drug store singing a song.

  11. Hi! Just found your blog thru alabastercow, and wanted to say I really enjoy it!

    What I like to do in my 'free' mommy time is work on my art, sewing, crafts, soap making, blog, lounge, watch crappy reality tv and the Soup/ Tosh.0, take pictures, nap, and yaddayaddayadda! I'm lucky I get to do a lot of these things when my kids are up too :)

    Hope to see you around the bloggy-verse!

  12. it's always nice when you have some time for yourself! i fortunately get a decent amount because of my awesome mother - i owe her a kidney, i'm well aware. thanks for this post elizabeth! i'll be revealing the alabastard of the week tomorrow!

  13. This is great. I do know what you mean though, my girls have started going to bed at 6 and so I have my evenings relatively to myself and it is so weird because sometimes I actually find myself getting bored:)LOL BUt the time to decompress has really been helpful.Hope you enjoyed your pool time!Thanks for linking up!


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