In the last 8 months my days have seen a major change. I sent my baby to kindergarten in the fall and it changed everything. Our house became quiet for 8 hours a day. I could go to the grocery store alone, and not have to work around nap times. I’m guessing to many of you, especially those with babes at home, in the thick of mothering, this sounds like heaven. Believe me, as a mama of 3 babies in 4 years I always thought it did too. Or it did, until the time came.
In the quiet of my new, kid-free days all I could hear was the deep ache in my heart. I felt lost, no longer needed. I tried to tell myself not to be dramatic, I had school age kids for goodness sake, it’s not like they all left for college. Still the ache remained. My friends of older children told me I would come to love my free days, even become protective of them. I couldn’t even imagine this happening. Still, to keep myself from being sucked into a self-hosted pity party I began to look for ways to fill my time. Unfortunately, in my zeal to be productive I soon learned a lesson in overbooking. I didn’t feel any better just crazy busy.
In talking to my husband, I brought up the idea of going back to work full-time. Although I wasn’t crazy about the idea I really didn’t know what else to do. My husband, in his ever nurturing way, said he didn’t think that was a good idea. He told me that I had earned this time after 10 years of babies at home, that it was okay to take some time for myself. “Do all the things you love,” he said, “you finally have the time.”
So, that’s exactly what I started to do.
Knowing myself, and the need for a bit of organization, I make a ‘to do’ list each day. It always includes the things that need to be done to keep the house rolling…grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry. Those completed, I am free to work on what I love…photography, my blog, cooking, running, friends, computer time. I even bought a puppy and decided to pursue dreams I had previously put on hold because I didn’t have the time (or energy) to devote to them.
It’s taken some time, but I’ve finally found my groove. And while I won’t say I love my quiet house, these days I’m enjoying my time too much to notice quite as much.