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I picked Scott up from the airport yesterday after a 3 day business trip. It’s something that happens pretty frequently, especially this time of year. Let me tell you, I have a whole lot of respect for parents who do the whole single parenting thing for long stretches. The weeks and half weeks that I’m left to manage a house, two kids, and 3 animals, (who all seem to need my undivided attention at the VERY SAME MOMENT) completely drain me.
Finding time for myself is hard enough when I’m just managing things on my own during the workday. As much as Scott tries to relieve me of all my duties and give me some much needed time to myself when he’s home, it just doesn’t alway happen with so many things going on and growing up around here that really need 2 grownups’ help.
Most weeks he’s home, though, I do manage to get out or decompress in some way, even if that means not coming to bed until 12:30. I’d say the majority of my “me” time happens from 10:30 until midnight.
But when he’s gone? Oh my. It’s next to IMPOSSIBLE. And yet, I know that’s when it’s most important to recharge myself. I’ve learned to cope, to carve out just a smidge of “me” time over the last couple years by doing the following when he’s gone:
1. The house is at the BOTTOM of the priority list. I keep this place livable, one step above gross. Beyond that, all bets are off. If I get around to the laundry, I do. We go out to eat far more when Scott’s gone just so I don’t have to deal with dishes 3 times a day.
2. I take small breaks when I really need them. Sometimes that means turning on a 30 minute show that I know will keep Kendall on the couch just so I can make myself some iced tea, sit down and flip through a magazine. I’ve even gone so far as to load the kids up in the car, drive to the Sonic, get a 1/2 price slush for me and Kendall (happy hour FTW!), and sit in the car and catch up on emails from my phone.
3. My latest sanctuary is the late night bath (I rediscovered their awesomeness while looking for a little buoyant relief while pregnant). The late night part is key. If I attempt to take a bath at anytime while Kendall is awake, he, of course, expects an invitation to join me. I’ve got a stack of magazines, some luxurious bath oils, bubbles and salts, and many times I bring a glass of wine with me. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes at 11:30 at night before I climb into bed, it really helps calm me and get me ready to start all over again the next day when I will wake and…
Leyna stirs, she’s hungry, I put her in bed with me, nurse her and hear Kendall over the monitor waking.
He begins banging on his door, “Momma!! I have to go poopy! I AWAKE!”
I pop Leyna off my boob and dart for his room, hoping I get there in time to get him on the toilet and avoid changing a poopy nighttime diaper (toddler poop is so much worse once you regress back to newborn poop).
Leyna’s screaming in the other room because she wasn’t done eating yet, so I leave Kendall on the toilet, run back to get her.
ALL THE WHILE the freaking dogs are chasing me around the house, back and forth, their noses up my ass, and the cat is weaving in and out of my legs, nearly tripping me, meowing at me for food.
Why does EVERY. LIVING. THING. in this house always need me at the same exact moment?
And so another day begins, and it goes on like this for hours until I decide that I must make a little time for me for fear I might explode from exasperation.
What about you? How do you make time to recharge? What do you like to do? Am I the only one who loses her mind a little bit the first hour everyone is awake in the morning?
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