I had the day off work Monday, and Noah’s daycare was open, so I had a nice chunk of time to myself, a rarity these days.
I took advantage of the time to spend about an hour browsing baby clothes and Target and working on a freelance assignment. I had the luxury of sitting and chatting with my interview subject for two hours over coffee.
As I was driving home around lunchtime, I started thinking about how rare it is for me to have (mostly) guilt-free time to myself.
Oh, mommy guilt.
Don’t get me wrong. Bobby does a great job of making sure I can take a break when I need one, but that doesn’t keep me from feeling bad about leaving the baby with him. Or not wanting to spend every free waking moment with Noah.
And honestly I could have kept him out of daycare on Monday, but it was an easy choice for me to send him. I can’t get as much done when I have him with me, and leaving him with Bobby wasn’t an option because Bobby had to work.
So what I was thinking as I was driving toward home was that maybe I should start taking a day or a half-day off work occasionally, just for me. The idea seems so extravagant.
My average weekday goes something like this: Get up, shower, get Noah up and dressed (alongside Bobby), feed myself and Noah, stuff diapers, pack him in the car. Drop him at daycare, go to work, eat lunch at my office (parking is a pain on campus while classes are in session). Pick Noah up from daycare, come home, cook dinner or part of dinner, play with Noah, Skype with Bobby’s parents, feed Noah, help get him ready for bed. Once Noah’s in bed (usually no later than 7:30), I typically spend some time catching up on writing for my blog and freelance and also housework and bills. By the time all this is done, I’m pretty much ready to just spend some time with Bobby or veg in front of the laptop. It’s pretty rare for me to go out and do anything on weeknights.
The weekends are a bit different since I don’t have to work, but they are often the time to catch up on all the stuff I’ve let slide during the week. And while Noah has become a bit more independent, he still requires (and, at times, demands) a lot of attention. The weekend just never seems quite long enough to get everything done.
There are so many things I want to do, and now that there’s a baby in the picture, it has gotten a lot harder to make time for those things. But I know it’s important that I continue to work at it.
Other moms, how do you manage to balance everything? Do you ever just take time off for yourself?