I am currently hunkered away in my bedroom, with the door locked and the laptop in front of me.
This is “getting away” now that I have children.
This morning, I woke up a half hour before everyone else simply so I could take an uninterrupted shower and have time to do something with my hair before church. Of course, Ola forced her way in to complain that Daddy wasn’t letting her have a turn with a particular toy or the television or I have no idea what she was going on about because I had shampoo running into my eyes and I was trying to work a new blade into my razor since my old one had all the hair-shaving effectiveness of a dull plastic spoon. But I did manage to get my hair tamed. Sort of. Before I gave up and pulled it all back into a ponytail.
Last night, I stayed up late to read. It’s the only time I have to read, that golden hour after all the kids have been wrestled into bed but before I’m left taping my eyelids open in order to stay awake just that few minutes more. I also try to sneak in a few minutes of reading every time I’m in the bathroom, but then someone else usually has to use the bathroom, and even though we have two bathrooms, only the upstairs bathroom is the “good” bathroom, and then they have an urgent need to brush their teeth, or to sing to me, or to push trains across the bathroom floor, so I’m left to tuck the book away and finish up as discreetly and quickly as possible.
Right now, even as I type this, I’m debating whether I should throw the laptop aside (well, not “throw,” since laptops are expensive and I don’t exactly possess a bank account full to bursting or a swimming pool filled with gold a la Scrooge McDuck) and take a nap, or continue to chip away at my non-chore-related to-do list.
This blog post, I believe, is a form of procrastination before I’m forced to make a final decision.
But every time I’m gifted with that extra ten minutes outside of my usual routine, I go through the same debate: Should I try to rest? To read? To watch a bit of television that isn’t My Little Pony or Thomas the Tank Engine? Or should I instead tackle that overflowing basket of unfolded laundry? Or sweep something? Or load all the kids into the little red wagon and take them for an educational and inspiring
death march walk through the neighborhood?
So far today, I’ve done a bit of both. I read two Batman books to Ola (okay, one featured Aquaman who is TOTALLY INSUFFERABLE and Batman needs to just leave him to his dolphin friends and head on back to Gotham posthaste) and I built a train track for Will and I forced Freja to eat green beans (What? That’s quality time right there. Honest.) but I also took all the garbage down to the garage and cleaned the bathroom floor and tried to figure out what that stain in the carpet was next to the coffee table.
And now I’m writing. And typing up this post. And dreaming about the day when I’ll be able to afford to hire someone to come in and wash my dishes for me and identify that weird smell coming from the downstairs closet.
This is my life, now that I have children. Always a debate, always a bargain, always a balance of figuring out what has to be done immediately and what can be put off until later. And it’s not a bad thing. But it’s a new world, and a completely new way of thinking. And it’s easy to get completely overwhelmed with the belief that I’m going about it all the wrong way. Did I choose the right homeschool curriculum for Freja? Should I give them snacks between meals or let the hunger build so they’ll actually eat what I put in front of them at dinnertime? Should I continue to buy diapers or just turn my son out into the backyard when he gets that scrunchy look on his face when I think he’s about to poop?
And what about me? Will I fit in that little bit of reading time for myself? Will I be able to bathe more than two times this week? Have I completely given up and allowed jeans and a t-shirt to become my “dressy” clothes?
Yes. Maybe. More than likely.
Because it’s all about balance. And waking up at three in the morning in order to use the bathroom in peace.