Since moving to another country and drastically reducing our friends and responsibilities outside of the home, Gareth and I are getting to talk so much more. Which is definitely an upside to being down under.
In one of our chats this week we talked about finding some time for me when I am not cooking or looking after the children. Because one of the down sides of moving this far away and Gareth having a 45 hour week is that I have 12 hour days, seven days a week.
Extra stipulations for this gift of time were that it couldn’t be a week day evening when I am shattered, it couldn’t be used for doing those things that I can’t do when I am cooking or looking after the children but is still not really “for me” i.e. picking up some more cereal and milk for the week, paying bills, going to the post office etc. and it could not be interrupted, so no cute but totally unnecessary visits from Minnie.
We went for three hours on a Sunday afternoon. This is my first one, right now. Here is how I have spent it. At 2.15pm I crawled into bed, put the electric blanket on and went straight to sleep until 3.30pm. My alarm and Gareth trying to get the children out the door woke me up. Once they had shifted out I got up and raided the kitchen for sweets (next blog is all about that there diet I was going on) and poured myself a long glass of diet Coca Cola (I know terrible drink, but we’ve run out of Pepsi Max). I have just finished watching about a dozen film trailers (this is one of the most relaxing things I can do – it used to be my lunch break when I worked from home) and now I am writing all about my three hours. I feel I could do better at this.
Gareth and I expected that there would be a time of adjustment for me. Like how I nearly booked us all in for a family outing this afternoon because I’d forgotten I was getting my time. And how I’ve spent half of it sleeping. And how it’s basically totally unplanned. I hope to get more imaginative with my time and I certainly don’t want to spend any of it sleeping (what was I thinking??!!). Truth is, since Minnie was born I’ve been swallowed up in being a mum, and that’s fair, that’s as it should be, in as much that this is an all encompassing, full time, can’t turn it off, I’m always going to be a parent, life time commitment. BUT once they’re weaned and can get themselves about, (albeit pretty haphazardly Jackson) there has got to be some time when mummy gets to glimpse at who Clairey is, at least once a week.
The aim is that over time, as I punch in the hours and start to find some meaningful ways to use the opportunity three hours without anything to do can give me, we will see some fruit. I will find the Clairey version of mummy and I’ll enjoy being me.