For all of you out there that are parents, I have had a realization as to what I felt I was missing.
I would read my friends (without kids) facebook posts on the Saturday activities they were doing. Going for breakfast, stopping at the store, reading for the afternoon, going out for a late dinner and out for drinks late night, etc... I would feel little twinges of jealousy. It wasn't that I wanted to specifically do any of the activities they were doing, it wasn't that I wanted my life to be without children, it wasn't that I didn't want to spend the day with my children. I love my kids so much, it scares me occasionally how much I love them and how I can cry just thinking about my love for them. So I knew that wasn't it. I spoke with my wonderful husband about it to try to figure it out. He said he would take the boys for spurts out of the house so I could do things I wanted to do around the house or I could go out and do what I wanted or needed to do. Those moments to myself are great and I accomplish lots but it wasn't it. I couldn't quite put my finger on it until last week. I had an Oprah "Aha" moment.
Leisure......I miss having the time to do anything I want. Do you remember those days when you basically got to do whatever YOU wanted? Sure we made plans and had appointments, deadlines and things like that but you still got to decide those plans. YOU chose when you woke up, when you ate, when you went to the store, etc.
Do you do that now?
I wake up when my children think it's time to get up, clearly that doesn't always agree with me and if it's too early I put them back to bed but I have been woken up. I eat when they need to eat because if I don't, I don't get to eat. My children are snackers like myself. So heaven forbid that I am not hungry when they are and choose to eat later than they do. They eat my food or require me to make them whatever I have. It's actually helpful sometimes because I make a better choice when they are watching because I want them to make a better food choice! Some days I want chips but we have yogurt instead because it's what I want them to eat. Do you really get to choose when you go to the store or has it been planned around a nap, snack or another child related activity? I do most of my errand running at lunch, so I am constantly watching the clock and speed shopping. Or we rush to do errands after bedtime so I am still watching the clock because people start pushing me out the door when it's closing time! Saturday afternoon nap time is grocery time.
Most of the activities in my life are planned around my children and are timed by my children's patience level. I love doing activities with them and watching them experience new things. I enjoy children's activities because it allows me to free my inner child but some days I just want to pick!!!!
What makes matters worse is when I do go on a vacation on my own, I am allowed to make the decisions for me and me alone (well usually including my vacation partner but still on adult time). I still find myself making decisions based on the routine of my life. I need to eat first thing in the morning, noon and 5pm. So I seem like a senior!!! I can get by with snacks though.
I usually find myself looking at people with their children and miss mine terribly! Thinking, oh they would have fun here or we will have to come back here so they can experience it! Most often I try to cram my mini vacations full of me time so I still seem to be running in fast forward.
I feel that I am probably not alone, so I just wanted to share the revelation I had last week. I know it won't change anything and frankly I wouldn't change my life for all the money in the world. I love my children, my husband and my life. We live in chaos most of the time but have a great time doing it. I feel a little better knowing what I thought I was missing. My leisure is taken from me for now but everything is a phase of life and it too will change. It's not likely to happen soon but I will probably miss it when it does!
I hope everyone can find a little leisure in their life and can enjoy the chaos as it happens!!!