It’s Saturday night (okay, last Saturday night) and I’m sitting outside the movies while my daughter and her friends are inside getting their fill of the new Insurgent movie. The idea of sitting outside of the cinema is a noisy environment instead of being at home with the other 3 children getting their dinner sounded like bliss.
Before you panic, Mr M is at home with the other 3 children….presumably he is attending to any dinner requests.
Something strange has been happening to me lately. You see the kids have been back at school for about 7 weeks now. My youngest started kindy this year so for the first time in a bazillion years I thought that the hours between 9 and 3, Monday to Friday were going to be my own. I thought they would be. But I was wrong.
School activities (assemblies etc) still took up some of my time but so did the laundry, the grocery shopping, the keeping track of everyone else’s activities and managing the family calendar.
When there was a small child around my feet doing the laundry was okay because there wasn’t much else I could do. Because you know, becoming engrossed in a book or trying to get my zen on with some yoga was always a challenge. But now I’m child free and doing the laundry on school days feels like I am squandering away precious minutes.
So I could do it in the evening when the children are at home but that too feels like I am squandering away precious minutes.
Same thing with the grocery shop. How I longed to go to the supermarket child-free and now that I have the opportunity do it, it annoys me more than ever.
In fact the whole domestic side of life drives me to tears. And before anybody misunderstands, Mr M does his fair share and the children do have their chores (which is always accompanied by loud groans).
I have written before that I find absolutely no satisfaction in keeping house. I do it because I don’t like living in squalor. And I’m still baffled as to why the other members of my household don’t have the same standards of cleanliness that I do. Hair in the bathroom basin; whatever. Socks strewn about the floor; whatever.
Being child-free for the first time in years it feels like I can plan more than a few days ahead and the idea that I can start doing things for myself again (in a concerted way). The idea of still having the keep house depresses me. It’s like I got a wiff of freedom and I want it ALL. Surely that’s not unreasonable….much.
I also get that I may very well be in a process of over-compensating. I’m trying to make up for the last 14 years.
I’ve always enjoyed time on my own. And I do get time on my own during the week and I recognize that not everybody has that. So I’m not trying to be flippant about all this. But I also find that when the kids come home from school the noise that comes with it is more irritating than ever before. You’d think that my tolerance level would increase after having relative quiet for a few hours but the opposite is true.
Maybe I got so used to the noise that now when I have silence I want it all the time. Well….not all the time but a bit of shush never goes astray.
It’s definitely an adjustment this whole ‘all the kiddies are at school’ palava. But definitely not in the way of ‘what will I do with myself’ kind of way.
Here’s a fascinating article. Brigid Schulte: Why Time Is A Feminist Issue.