I have a kindergartner and twin three-year olds. There are eight magical hours a week where they are ALL in school at the same time. My husband always says that I should use that time to take a nap or get my nails done. He means well, but is clearly confused about what “free time” looks like for me. Here is what I really do when all of the kids are in school.
1. Visit five stores in 30 minutes and get everything I need on my lists.
2. Sit down to check my email and look up an hour later to realize I have wasted an entire kid-free hour on Facebook.
3. Smuggle out broken crayons, dried up markers and the 10,000 trinkets from birthday party gift bags to the trash.
4. Go through the pile of “art” that my children have made from an entire ream of our computer paper and smile at each piece as I put it in the outside recycling bin so they don’t know it is gone.
5. Stare at the mounds of laundry that needs to be folded and decide, “Yeah, I am not going to to do that today!”
6. Turn up non-kid-friendly rock music really, really loud and attempt to pick up the house knowing full well it will only look nice for five minutes after they get home.
7. Go for a run in the outside world without pushing a double stroller.
8. Shower without interruption and maybe even shave my legs.
9. Make the 1,000 phone calls that I have been putting off because I actually need to appear professional without constant yelling in the background.
10. Try to go to a well check doctor’s appointment for myself for a change.
11. Volunteer at one of their schools because it is Field Day or Valentine’s Day or they are celebrating Costa Rica’s Independence Day (true story).
12. Work during regular business hours on one of my freelance projects so I don’t have to do it at 9pm when the kids are asleep and I’m exhausted
13. Do mind-numbing boring errands that I dread taking the kids with me on, like getting the oil changed
14. Start dinner prep so I am not scrambling to chop veggies at 4:30pm when the kids are begging to eat every snack in the house right before dinner.
15. If I am really lucky, I can meet up with another mom whose kids are also in school to enjoy a coffee or lunch where we can actually talk to each other
I know some day they will all be in real school and I’ll be missing them running around, messing up the house, using every scrap of paper they can find to scribble pictures with broken crayons, and yelling for me to help them in the bathroom when I am on the phone…but for now, those eight kid-free hours are pretty golden and definitely not for naps.
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