I remember BC (Before Children.) I used to be bored. There were times where I couldn’t find anything to do. I mean, I had cleaned the house all the way, walked the dog, fed the cats, matched up all my socks, folded my underwear. I used to sit on the couch after work and sigh deeply about how bored I was with my life. My husband and I would get in fights about our expansive amount of “free time.”
Of course he is far more of a home-body than me and couldn’t have been more than happy to sit on his butt playing World of Warcraft for the next sixty years of our life together.
But that was never enough for me. I need to be doing something and moving and going places most of the time. At least I did back then.
Now, of course, life has changed with the introduction of my twins. I like things non-stop and I certainly have that now. I work 40+ hours a week, spend time with my children, sing in a choir and try to find time to clean my house, work out and occasionally match up a sock or two.
But I remember those days of being bored.
I think now that is what we parents call “free time.”
A random poll on my Facebook page of the mothers I know netted some interesting results. I asked, “What would you do, both fantasy and reality, if you had the ever elusive ‘free time?'” These are some of the responses I got.
“As a Single Mom of two doing my best… when I do get totally free time…I want a good book and a nap… in that order. To be able to TOTALLY disconnect is a treasure.” – Megan
“Free time…. I usually go to Target for 2 hours and look at everything I ever wanted to look at! And I get a Starbucks. … or I hit the gym…. or …. nope. That’s it.” – Kris
“I read, or watch my not-suitable-for-kids shows, take long showers and shave past my knees, I go shopping, I clean the kids rooms (read: purge toys and clothes)…rarely, I might rest..or meet up with a friend.” – Heidi
“To relax and watch a movie… Take some time to breathe, maybe go sit in a hot tub…” – Jacquelyn
“I actually look forward to undisturbed laundry time!” – Julie
For me, when I do get free time it always involves a lot of sleep. I seem to never get enough anymore. I took 2 weeks off over the holidays and I think I slept 90% of it. Sleep is free and we all need economical ways to spend that rare free time. I also enjoy wandering through the mall. I suppose that I am strange that it is relaxing to me. I don’t have to buy a thing at all. It is about being alone with my thoughts. I get to touch what I want and not focus on anything in particular.
I think no matter what I do these days – be it a mall meander, a pedicure, a walk in nature or time at the gym – it is about reclaiming that part of me that I sometimes can’t hear anymore over the crying and the questions and the general chaos of childhood. So, dear readers, what do you do when you have free time? How do you take care of yourself? How do you remember what it means to relax?
Katie Sutton works in the IT field and is the proud mom of nearly four year old boy/girl twins. She lives in Denver Colorado with her husband, her kids, two cats and one dog. She enjoys writing, reading and travel, all of course when the twins allow. She hopes her articles will give inspiration and a glimpse into her crazy world. She thinks life is full of new wonderful experiences at all turns and she cannot wait to live that life to the fullest.
* * *