Posted by: Hannah | 12/02/2015

can surly Wednesday be a thing?

This morning it’s cool and rainy in Halifax, and both Charlie & Daisy arrived late; this never bodes well, as it usually means they were up late the night before. I decided we’d head to the library where they have an extensive children’s section with lots of toys appropriate for the preschool crowd.

I do this every couple of months or so, and honestly, I should have my head examined. It always puts me in a bad mood. Today I saw:

  • a mother chastising a child, not her own, who found a dinky car lying unattended and started to play with it. “That is MY SON’S very special toy! He doesn’t want anyone else playing with it, and you need to give it back. It belongs to HIM.” (for the record, the child who found the toy is 3.5, and the baby who is SO ATTACHED to this dinky car was nowhere to be seen);
  • another mother who held onto a toy school bus that her son wasn’t playing with; he didn’t want anyone else to play with it either, so she said “I’ll keep it safe until you want it again” and held it clutched in her lap for 45 minutes;
  • three different moms who approached other moms sitting alone to strike up conversation… in every case, they were Arbonne salespeople looking to add more people to their MLM scheme;
  • a young mom wearing a sweater that didn’t reach mid-thigh, matching knee-high rain boots, and no pants. Nor tights, nor leggings – nothing. And when she bent over, it quickly became clear that she spends a small fortune on waxing but very little on underwear. (Yes, I realize as a feminist I’m not supposed to ever judge what another woman wears, ever, but if you’re in a children’s playgroup and I can see your business every time you bend over YOU NEED TO PUT ON SOME PANTS.)
  • four of those amber teething necklaces, which have no scientifically-proven benefit and are actually dangerous;
  • three kids with facial rashes and two with green mucous actively streaming from their nostrils;
  • and a dad who missed two belt loops on his jeans and so was generously giving us all a clear view of the crack of dawn.

Really, it was too much nudity for a Wednesday morning preschool playgroup.

It also became evident almost immediately that Charlie was in no shape to be out in public. He kept going for toys that we have here at my house, and if another kid already had it, he’d stand in front of them, head bowed, lower lip protruding, the very picture of misery and woe. He toppled headfirst into a wooden toy bin (while my back was turned, naturally) and I got tut-tutted.

Then when I tried to check books out, I had $13 in overdue fines. Sigh. THEN when we got home and had lunch, Charlie did everything but eat. He also had a disco freak-out when we were washing our hands before and after lunch – guess why? Because he is wearing a short-sleeved shirt today so he couldn’t pull his sleeves down.

I think I’m once again hitting my “being around other people” limit. Used to be that when the older kids were at preschool Charlie would relish the opportunity to play by himself, not needing to share anything; not so much anymore. He now uses it as his chance to get a word in edgewise. He chatters non-stop about anything and everything, and when he runs out of things to say he takes a breath and starts over from the beginning. Then, at naptime, I used to get a solid 60 to 90 minutes to myself; George would play with Lego and I could have a cup of tea, start dinner, do laundry, tidy up.

The arrival of New Baby has thrown a monkey wrench in that schedule. She only comes in the afternoons, just as naptime is starting. At home she’s on a two-hour morning nap schedule, so she’s awake and looking for stimulation just when I used to have my needed quiet time. That’s fine, it’s OK, she’s pretty easy to amuse and a bright little thing, but it means that I am literally never alone. I wake just about every morning to George asking me if it’s morning yet, I spend the entire day with people, the last kid goes to bed at 8:30 and then I do my best to be a not-terrible wife for a couple hours before I go to bed.

Anyway, this is a lot of complaining and it’s really not as bad as this post makes it sound; generally speaking things are OK but I am actually thinking about setting my phone alarm to get me up at 5. When I was doing that over the weekend, I really enjoyed that hour or so of solitude. I won’t do it every morning, but I think tomorrow I will. Clearly, I need a little time to myself and around here, that is a rare commodity.

Serious question – how do you find time to yourself? How much do you need to stay happy?

 

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Responses

  1. Surly Wednesday is a thing. I am sure of it because I am not at my best to say the least. 😦

    Alone time, where I am alone seems easy to come by.

    Me time, where I am doing something for myself is a hot commodity and I almost never get it.

    I need an island.

    • For me, alone time IS me time, but I get what you’re saying. On the rare occasions when I’m finally alone, I’ll just sit there for a while because I have to remind myself “OK, what is it that I actually enjoy doing?” My mom assures me that’s normal and a function of having young kids, but oy, it’s a little scary sometimes!

  2. I need a LOT of alone time to be happy. I work from home and now that all three kids are in school full time, I get at least five hours to myself every day – and now I’m totally spoiled. If a kid is home sick I just feel totally out of whack, and on the weekends I get super cranky by the end of the day with everyone so AROUND all the time. You have my total sympathy!

    • Weekends can be tough. I’m slowly learning how to manage those but it’s a whole different ball game when they are home and I’m not working.

  3. Honestly? I get up at 5. Every weekday morning. I am not a morning person so this fact makes me very, very irritated but there is simply no way around it. I use that time to write, plan, do yoga, drink coffee in peace, etc. I hate (hate, HATE) it every morning when the alarm goes off–I cannot emphasize enough how much I hate it–but five minutes later I am fine and it makes me feel so much saner when everyone else gets up at 6ish. Then I can deal with packing lunches and getting kids and myself dressed and out the door without losing my shit.

    So far I have not extended this to the weekend, because I like the idea of a Saturday/Sunday sleep-in. But the sleep-in is not worth it because the kids like to “snuggle” with me those mornings. Their “snuggling” involves elbowing me in the face continually while fighting with each other and it makes the whole day start sour. So I really need to buckle down and do it then, too. But, ugh. I hate mornings.

    This was a very long answer. tl;dr I get one hour at 5 a.m. It’s not enough, but it’s what I’ve got to work with right now.

    • This is a very useful perspective, thank you for sharing it! Today I got up at 5 – my eyes popped open at 4:57 and I thought that was a sign. Now I’m puttering away on the blog and having a cup of tea. It’s really nice.

      Weekends I’ve got cased, now. The kids are allowed to watch TV in the mornings as long as they don’t squabble; most weekends now it works out. Now, a long lie-in for me is 8AM (heh) but at least it’s not 5AM with children piled on me.

  4. Half-naked people! In a library! How can something that should be in my top three sexual fantasies be SO VERY NASTY?

    • It was just eight thousand kinds of wrong, Allison.

  5. At home H and I get up at 6 M-F so we can get ready then the kids get up at 6:45 and 7:00. It’s wall to wall kids until I drop Youngest off at 8. Then work. I work in an office and although I have my own office within the larger office area, I have one coworker who is one day probably going to actually end me with her incessant, endless chatter. After work I pick up Youngest and either Oldest is already home or gets home shortly. We are all together while I make dinner then H gets home and it’s wall to wall family until Oldest goes to bed at 9. I have abt 1/2 an hour after that to talk to H then I basically fall asleep. I reached a point last summer when the lack of alone time felt like it was doing damage to my mental health. So, I finally sucked up the courage to ask my boss to let me work from home one day a week. It’s not much, but MAN how I treasure those hours of quiet work time. When I have to go to work on my usual work from home day I’m noticeably more cranky.

    That said, I know things won’t be like this for much longer. Youngest is no more than 3 years away from getting deep into one of two possible sports she currently loves and being out of the house 3-4 nights a week. At the same time, Oldest is nearly 13 and when he’s home he doesn’t need as much attention unless it’s help with studying for a test or if he wants to watch a show with me. Frankly, if it weren’t for the overly invasive and talkative coworker, I’d probably be ok with my level of non aloneness most of the time.

    • Your day actually sounds a lot like my day except that my incessantly-chattering co-workers are all under three feet tall. 😀 You’ve seen Office Space, right? As soon as you described your co-worker I immediately heard the receptionist in my head sing-songing over & over again “Corporate Accounts Payable, Nina speaking… just a MO-ment”.

      And you know, I think once I close the dayhome things will improve, no matter what job I end up doing at that time. I like kids and to my continual surprise I’m good with them, but they really do constantly need close, attentive contact. You can’t just mumble “mmm-hmm” at a kid who is telling you about all the different kinds of Ninjago powers; you have to act like you care, and often they’ll be touching you while they’re talking. I mean. Kid. I do not care. :p

  6. Wow, some of the mothers at the library are going to have some interesting experiences when their children get a little older.

    Last year I did not get nearly enough time to myself; I still haven’t completely worked this one out. My son wakes up at 5am and wants me. So I basically spend the day sleep deprived, and I can’t tell if I’m tired or I just think I’m tired because my own wake up time is between 6:30 and 7.

    He’s in kindergarten now, and I have a brief window each afternoon when I get home from work before I have to leave to pick him up. (after he goes to bed, I work some more). I like my job and I like parenting, but I could use a break. My girls’ weekend away got cancelled as well so I felt doubly sad when you had to stay home from yours. (sad for you and for me).

    • “My son wakes up at 5am and wants me. So I basically spend the day sleep deprived, and I can’t tell if I’m tired or I just think I’m tired because my own wake up time is between 6:30 and 7.” – Oh, so much this. George woke at five and needed to “snuggle” every morning for the first three years of his life. He would only snuggle with me, of course. I watched a lot of Bubble Guppies before dawn, let me tell you. It’s weird how getting up at 5 because you choose to doesn’t make you whacked-out tired nearly as much as being forced to wake at 5, isn’t it?

      I’m sorry your girls’ weekend got cancelled. 😦

  7. I am figuring out that actually it’s not as much that I need alone time (although I do), but that I need down-time where I don’t have to go out. I haven’t had a day where I’ve not needed to leave the house (and therefore get dressed, be presentable, organise stuff, try to be on time, and just generally leave the nest) for several weeks. It’s tough because I moved here so I could see my girlfriend daily, and especially when she’s ill I want to spend as much time as I can with her, but since she can’t easily manage the stairs to my flat I nearly always go to her. She knows it’s rough on me and we generally manage at least one night a week where she stays here, but we still usually go out somewhere. I’m adjusting, though. Occasionally I just decide to stay home for the evening once I’ve got back from work, and she understands. It’ll be so nice when we live together and staying home IS spending time together!

    Wow, I wasn’t meaning to write an essay. Guess you tapped into something…


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