The holidays were fun but I was pretty much ready to be done with all the fol-de-rol by New Year’s Day. Close to 10 days of family togetherness with non-stop eating and drinking was enough for me, especially when most of the eating consisted of cookies, chocolates, cakes, pies, cheese, butter and red meat.
Thursday, January 2nd was heaven. The kids went back to school and my husband went back to work, so I had the whole house to myself again. I had a light work day with a few client calls and some paperwork, but it was a relatively quiet day where I got to regroup with lots of alone time. I ate healthily and drank lots of green tea and felt on my way to getting all that sugar out of my system.
And then last night Winter Storm Hercules dumped 6 inches of snow on NJ and thwarted my plans. Both the high school and my husbands office are closed and now the house is full again!
Not to digress, but….where do they come up with these embarrassing storm names, anyway?
I’ve always liked to spend time by myself.
When the kids were babies, it was really tough for me. I didn’t marry until my late 30’s and I had lived alone for over 10 years so getting married was in itself a bit of an adjustment for me. And then we had the kids and as wonderful as it was to have them, it was very difficult to have no time to myself.
With little kids, you never get to be alone. They come in to ask you questions while you’re on the toilet, for crying out loud. Showers were taken with the bathroom door open, often with the kids sitting on the rug in the bathroom so I could keep an eye on them while I raced through my shower. Reading, my passion, took a back seat for almost 10 years. I was simply too tired at night to read, sleep was the only thing I longed for.
Going back to work when they were born was a double-edged sword. While I hated leaving the kids at the company daycare every morning, I relished the fact that I could close the door of my office and let my calls go to voice-mail if I really needed to get some peace and quiet. Compared to taking care of two young babies, being a marketing director with a staff of 10 was a piece of cake.
I sound so selfish. Don’t get me wrong, having kids is the most satisfying and gratifying thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m not a religious person, but kids are seriously a miracle. They start out like little newts that are fully dependent on their parents for everything and they wind up being fully grown, self-actualized adults in a span of about 16 years.
In between those 16 years they provide endless hours of amazing and often profound entertainment. Watching my kids learn how to walk, talk and (my favorite) read were some of the most intense and satisfying moments of my life.
But I still like time to myself. It’s part of my DNA and without it I start to get cranky and out of sorts. I lose focus and stop being productive.
I’ve gotten spoiled now that they’re older. One of the benefits of consulting from home is that I get to spend time alone all day. I have client calls so am usually on the phone for 6+ hours a day, but there’s no one physically here with me and I thrive in this type of environment.
Earlier today, my husband and I got in a bit of an argument about whether or not to let my daughter drive to her friends house to go sledding, because of all the snow on the roads. I convinced him that the roads were fine and that she should go, after all she’ll be 18 in three weeks. By her age I was driving in two feet of snow, but now a mere six inches fall and the entire state goes crazy.
I did tell her to text us when she got there to let us know she was ok. Here’s her text:
I told you having kids provided a lot of entertainment.