Although I work full-time, I have configured my schedule so that I have one full weekday home with my children. Initially I spent this day each week with my son, and now that he is older and off at school, I spend it with my daughter. I love the one-on-one time that this affords us and we always have a great time exploring activities on our own. Whereas she is typically dragged along to events that are geared toward older children, so as not to bore my 4-year-old, these days are completely focused on her interests and developmental level.
What of my developmental level though? As a full-time working mom, I spend my days going from mom to doctor to mom with no break for myself. Often my downtime comes at 9 PM when I am too exhausted to drag out a hobby, exercise, or read. Furthermore, this is not a time of day when I can get errands accomplished or simply walk about the neighborhood.
So every now and then, I send both of my children to school on a Tuesday and guiltily indulge my own interests. Typically this is prompted by necessity, such as a work meeting or conference call that I need to attend for a portion of the day. This commitment may be the impetus, but really it becomes my excuse. These days are the perfect time for me to schedule doctor’s appointments, hair cuts, and shop for birthday presents. As much as I tend to cram my day with such obligations and feel accomplished in checking them off my to-do lists, there are a few other simple things that I relish about these days and make sure to include in some form:
– walking with no purpose and not worrying that at any moment someone may boycott their stroller or throw themselves to the sidewalk kicking and screaming.
– a phone call with a friend that ends organically and not due to nagging children.
– a long, hot, uninterrupted shower without having to peek my head out every few minutes to listen for sounds of mischief.
– leisurely browsing in a store. Instead of worrying whether someone is breaking something or rushing to grab items off the rack and running to the register, I can stroll and ponder and flip through the racks with ease.
I do love my children and the time I spend with them, but the rare days that I get to spend alone are blissful reminders of who I am without them. Besides spending my time picking up Legos and sorting clothing, I can focus on things that I enjoy and pour some energy into caring for myself so that I can care better for them. Tuesdays with mommy are mostly for the children, but every now and then, it is for me.