If you think I have been goldbricking all summer, well, I haven’t. I have posted less frequently mostly because my driving schedule has increased exponentially. I’m happy that my children have found fun things they like to do this summer: sailing, soccer camp, farm camp, culinary camp, but because the camp schedules are so varied and in different towns, no less, I am on borrowed time. Basically I am a preschool mom. If you don’t have preschoolers yet, you don’t know what the heck I am talking about. When you are at home with small children, you are 24/7, that is a given. When they start preschool, you realize you will have three whole hours to yourself! You have plans, big plans, like cleaning the house (including the really big projects washing the walls or windows), planting a garden, reading the paper, reading a book, writing a book, heck, buying a book, grocery shopping alone, starting a part-time job or business, volunteering at your local library, learning a musical instrument, a new language, taking a class, meeting friends, shopping for cute clothes, starting a blog, reading a blog, working out and grabbing a shower. Maybe all of these.
Well…Reality check. You will have time for maybe one of these activities, possibly two and sometimes, well, none. What?! You are just not organized! I can do so much in three hours. Yes, yes, you can except when you can’t. It is unbelievable how fast three hours goes by. You have coffee with a friend, volunteer to help at the school, have to take your car in for service or you have a dentist appointment or a mammogram or the dog throws up and the day is gone and your house does not look like anything on Pinterest. Don’t worry and cut yourself some slack. Some days are easier/better/sunnier than others, it’s okay.
When your dear ones go on to elementary school and you have six or more hours. Okay, now you are talking, now you have some time. The activities above, you can do three, four or more, some days, still none. I know, weird. Now, picture his not-superbly organized and slight germaphobe mom of two who have been in school for 6 hours a day for about 10 years reduced to a 3 hour day with increased driving responsibilities and work. You can understand why I am a little more frazzled and off my game (this is supposing I had a game before) and my house looks nothing like anything on Pinterest (my pretend house is lovely).
So…What can you do in three hours? A walk and a shower and a quick sandwich. Run errands in something I like to call Speed of Sound Time (errands without children of any age). Start a cleaning project but break it up into manageable bits so you don’t get overwhelmed (I cleaned my kitchen including pantry and inside all cabinets and drawers by breaking out a one hour block each day – sure it took me a week – better than your spending your entire Saturday doing it). Sneak in reading time – bring a book or magazine to pick up at school or camp, if you get there early (I wish) you can read a few pages.
What else can you do? Get something reupholstered (okay, you do have time to pick out fabric and drop it off) – you can recover dining room chairs with some fabric and a staple gun…great tutorials at Design Sponge. Renew your driver’s license or passport including new photo. Read about home keeping (so much more fun than actually keeping home). Plan meals for the week and grocery shop alone – it is cheaper to go solo, you only have your impulse purchases to contend with.
Most importantly – Recharge. Do whatever you like to do that makes you happy. A book, a run, yoga, a coffee, music that you choose, time with friends, time alone – anything that makes you energized. You are going to need it for the other 10-12 hours left in your day!