Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Elusive Free Time

As mothers, free time is as elusive as winning the lottery. 
And an hour to myself feels as luxurious as an all-day spa treatment. 

Exaggeration much? 
Eh, I don't think so. 

When I do grasp a moment of this free time, 
there is so much pressure to MAKE THE MOST OF IT. 

A few weeks ago, 
I read this fascinating article about 
Don't let the title turn you off! 
It is an incredibly insightful article, 
particularly for moms. 

Although the author touches on several points, 
what really spoke to me...
(again, that Bible study term : "this verse spoke to me..."

Historically, leisure time was only for men
Hence why men dominant history in art, literature, science, 
and so many other "leisurely" pursuits. 
Because they had the time
They weren't raising children, cooking, or running a home. 

Our society is different nowadays, 
moms are working the same hours as dads 
(not me, but many are), 
yet the vast majority of the houeswork and childcare lies with the mom. 
Obviously, this is a gross generalization
There are many families where dads are cooking, 
dads are cleaning, 
and dads are spending the most time with the kids. 

But back to our gross generalizing, 
we women are not programmed for leisure time.
This morning, Adam took Aaron for a few hours of errands. 
As he walked out the door, 
I looked around and tought: 
"So... what do I do?" 
Then my mental list started... 
- clean up the kitchen 
- do laundry 
- pick up the house 
- start cooking 
I thought to this article and I said to myself: 
"No, Emily. These are all things you should do.  
And you will do... later. 
What do you WANT to do?" 

And... I was stumped. 

Sometimes, in my free time, 
I like to organize and purge, 
but I didn't have a lot of energy this morning 
so I figured no need to force something I wasn't excited about. 

Perhaps read? 
I read a little, but wasn't particularly into the book. 

I thought back to the days pre-child, pre-marriage, and pre-house. 
When I lived in an apartment with no responsibility 
besides going to work during the week. 
Many Saturday mornings, 
I would lie on the couch watching cooking shows on the Food Network. 
So here I am, 
with my laptop, 
on the couch, 
watching Food Network. 
And it feels awesome

As free time becomes more and more elusive with a second baby, 
and around-the-clock-breastfeeding, 
I want to make sure I spend my free time doing things I want to do
If that means lying on the couch, 
typing on my laptop,
 and zoning out to Food Network. 
So be it. 

I'll get the rest done later.


  1. Ahh that does sound amazing (especially after I've finished a day of solo mom duty while Brian was at the A&M game)! I, too, struggle with knowing what to do with free time. There's a great quote that has always resonated with me: "If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."

  2. (Pretty sure Brian is not torn like this, so I tend to agree that it's a female thing ;)

  3. This makes me feel a lot less guilty about the two hours I "wasted" watching Dancing With The Stars videos on YouTube the other night! But seriously, I do find it hard to enjoy "free time" because I do feel a need to be productive.

    And let me just say, as a mom of two, you will get free time again. Eventually :)

    1. Also, I really like that article so thanks for pointing it out.