Along with almost every comment about the girls being in school, the question, “What are you going to do with yourself?” usually follows.
The girls are in school from 9am through noon, Tuesdays and Thursdays. That’s six hours a week (minus transit time) apart from my babies. While that sounds like a huge chunk of time, I knew going in that that time would pass by so quickly.
On their first day of school, there was a brunch for the parents after drop-off. I spent about 45 minutes there, and then I ran by the grocery store. I came home, dawdled a bit on the computer as I downloaded pictures from the morning…updated the blog and Facebook with their “first day of school” pictures…loaded the dishwasher…made lunch…consoled the cat who didn’t quite understand where her sisters were…and it was time to pick them up again. Whew!
Maybe I should have felt refreshed with three hours to myself, but I actually felt pretty harried. I’m sure part of it was due to my first-day jitters, but that experience underscored that I want to be more intentional with that time.
I did a better job on Thursday. I went to the grocery store again, this time with a list. I actually got our family shopping taken care of for the balance of the week. I came home, put away the groceries, and made lunch, but I didn’t allow myself to be sucked into the computer. I went to Target to cross a few more things off my list. And then I dropped off my things for the fall consignment sale. I still had time to enjoy a coffee downtown (it just so happens one of my favorite coffee shops is two blocks from the girls’ school!), and I read my book for a glorious 30 minutes!
This week I didn’t have any errands to accomplish, so on Tuesday I decided to treat myself to a “me” day. I enjoyed a long-overdue pedicure…I browsed at Hobby Lobby (BROWSED!!!)…and I still had an hour, so I treated myself to lunch at one of my favorite cafes. I tried to remember…I believe it’s been a full year and a half since I ate lunch by myself. BLISS!!!
On Thursday, I have a “work” day planned. I need to clean out the guest bedroom (it tends to suffer when I’m getting ready for a consignment sale), and I need to go through the girls’ closet to pull out the fall / winter things I bought for them at the end of last season. Both of those tasks are very difficult to do with my “helpers”, so I know that will be time well-spent.
I like that I planned both days this week at the same time. The “me” time on Tuesday seemed so luxurious, but I don't feel guilty about it, since I intend to accomplish a lot on Thursday.
While my babies are apart from me…having fun, playing with friends, doing messy arts and crafts that don’t require Mommy to take a nerve pill (HA!)…I’m vowing to be AWARE of this time. That doesn’t mean it will always be productive – in fact, one day I plan to NAP! – but I think as long as I feel like I have something to show for the time, it will feel like a huge “win” for me.