I’ve been home for about two and a half months now which sounds longer than it feels. And I’m glad it’s still a long time before I have to get back to work. Not only am I trying to enjoy time with my kids, I’m also taking the opportunity to work on my to-do-list which seems to be growing longer instead of shorter…I’m trying to make the most of my time off and I know I’m putting pressure on myself this way but doing nothing, wanting nothing, and planning nothing, I would regret afterwards. I can already imagine when I’m back at work, I will want to read books, watch movies, and play the piano, things I don’t take the time to do right now because of my to-do-list. And I’ll wonder where time went and what on earth I spent my time on during my leave, and I won’t know the answer because I’m doing so little, yet I constantly feel like I’m running out of time…
I have about six hours a day alone with the baby when my son is at school during which I:
- try to do the household but I must admit I usually only do the bare minimum
- run some errands, mostly shopping for practical rather than pretty things but covering both
- meet with other grown ups (in the interest of my mental health), preferably over lunch. Did I mention I really love to eat? It goes without saying that there are things I miss since I became a parent, one of which is enjoying a nice meal (something other than fish sticks and mashed potatoes), eating my food when it’s hot (this is actually possible thanks to the wonders of television) and without interruption (“Water!”, “I want a blue spoon!” – “We don’t have a blue spoon, sweetie” – I want a blue spoon!”, “I have to pee”)
- work on my blog, though I’m slacking a bit lately
- watch Netflix, on very rare occasions, honestly…there’s something about watching television in broad daylight that makes me feel very lazy
- take a nap, even more rarely but do I enjoy lying in the couch with my little baby next to me!
Six hours seems sufficient in theory. In practice, I don’t seem to get anything done. this is how an average week day looks like: I drop off my three-year old at school, have a little breakfast, quickly tidy up the place and myself, do laundry, get Billie ready for the day, breastfeed her, change her diaper, check to-do list…and it’s almost noon. Before we can leave the house I: put Billie in car seat, check diaper bag for essentials, dismantle stroller and put in car, run back and forth between house and car until I have everything I forgot, and another 45 minutes have passed…that’s if I’m lucky and Billie didn’t poo in the meantime and needs a clean set of clothes which adds another 15 minutes. Worst case I need a new outfit too. You catch my drift. By the time I’m on the road it’s almost time to get back and pick up my son from school again. My daughter’s in daycare which doesn’t close until 6.30 pm (oh, the opportunities) but I even feel guilty leaving her there until 4 or 5 pm.
Sometimes the days pass and I don’t know what I did, if anything at all. Life on leave is going at a slow pace but it’s like I can’t go any faster.