This chunk’s for you!
I have learned that when you are a mom, your days are divided into “chunks.” Mine goes a little like this:
- 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Baby Boy is awake, and we’re together.
- 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Baby boy is sleeping. ***1.5 hours of productive time***
- 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Baby Boy is awake, and we’re together.
- 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Baby boy is sleeping. ***1.5 hours of productive time***
- 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Baby Boy is awake, and we’re together.
- 8 p.m. until I fall asleep. Baby boy is sleeping. ***2-3 hours of productive time***
I have three chunks of time every day. Things are a little different when Darling Husband is off (because we use those “productive time” chunks to go out, do things, etc.), but on a typical day, these are the things I fit into my “productive time” chunks:
- Freelance writing
- Work-related phone calls and emails
- “Me” time (reading blogs, watching TV, reading)
Lately it’s been a lot of the first two (and almost none of the last two). And I think that’s becoming a problem
Monday was an especially rough day, where I was finishing a project until 10:30 p.m., and then had to spend 45 minutes tackling an obscenely dirty kitchen before I could crawl into bed. I’d hurt my neck/shoulder by sleeping on it funny the night before, so I was hunched over the sink in tears, thinking Why don’t I have any time to myself anymore? Why am I doing dishes at 11:15 p.m.? The answer was that if I didn’t, they’d be there in the morning, and I needed that naptime to finish another project. It’s always something.
I hate feeling like I’m counting down to naptime because I desperately have to finish a project/send an email/return a work phone call.
I hate feeling like I’m not fully with Baby Boy when I’m with him.
I hate that there is no time for me.
I hate looking at my crafty blog posts and feeling jealous that I don’t have time to try anything.
I hate that I feel resentful
that this is probably the only maternity “leave” I’ll ever have (read: paid leave), and I am spending it working so much because we need it
Darling Husband doesn’t like to see me like this. He wants me to start devoting one “chunk” of time every day — either one of the naptimes or the post-bedtime period — to myself.
I told him he’s crazy. That it will never work. There is always something I need to do, so therefore I can’t sit around watching TV when I have something hanging over my head. CRAZY TALK!
But then, on Saturday night, I did it.
I finished my work during the afternoon nap timeslot, and decided that when Baby Boy went to bed, I would watch Black Swan (Darling Husband was working — he wouldn’t walk a movie about ballerinas unless Vin Diesel or Bruce Willis was blowing them up).
I looked forward to it all evening, and was kind of giddy when I settled myself on the couch with a snack and a Diet Coke. It was like old times! The movie was great (although I was a little freaked walking down the dark hall to the bedroom), and I felt relaxed.
That Darling Husband — he really does have some good ideas sometimes.
So I guess the point of this post is that I am going to try to do this more often. It can’t be every single day — for now, at least — but I’m going to try to make time for myself every couple of days.
Otherwise, my head just may explode, and that’s not going to do anyone any good, right?