I remember in high school that if you didn’t have your Friday and/or Saturday nights already planned with friends by Wednesday, no later than Thursday; your social life and reason for existence was doomed…for those seven days of course.
And now we are lucky, as parents, if we even have a social life. Because typically we are running from activity, or meeting, or duty as a PTO mom, or getting birthday gifts wrapped for the three parties you have to take everyone to on Saturday between 10 A.M. and 3 P.M., while juggling a soccer game, and Pee Wee Football in between them there somehow.
So now, as a parent, a very busy parent, revel when I have nothing to do. And when my friends ask “Hey what do you have planned for tonight?”, I proudly beam with delight…” Absolutely NOTHING!”. And an understandable smile and nod are returned from your friend.
It is an unspoken sigh of relief. Because when another parent says with such pride that they have nothing on the calendar or nothing planned, that is code for….” Don’t even ask me to do anything. I don’t want to see anyone, I want to go home, take my bra off, and put my comfy pants on…so don’t waste your breath!”
And everyone gets it. It is a bond between exhausted parents. We would rather go home, cover our exhausted wrinkled eyes with cucumbers, lights some candles, lock the door and disappear for about 30 minutes from reality.
However, in reality, that 30 minutes is really only going to be about 10, because someone will have to go potty, in your bathroom. I mean forget about the other bathrooms that are wide open and available throughout the house, but nope, mom’s seems to be the best; since she is in there to talk to us and entertain us. After all, all she is doing is taking a bath with the lights off and vegetables over her eyes. So it is without a doubt that she needs us in there to talk to here.
However, sometimes our lives get so busy that when we do have a day off or nothing planned, we get a little anxious. Or at least I do. Not anxious in the sense of what do I do with myself? But anxious in the fact that I have forgotten something, or forgotten to log something on the calendar, and I am expecting a phone call from a friend saying, “You were supposed to be here an hour ago with the potato salad, where are you guys?”
Even though I love my life and love my kids, an open day every now and again is much needed. Like this weekend, I was able to hang out with my kids, they had friends over all weekend, and I was actually able to do some yard work (which I actually enjoyed doing). It’s nice to just be able to breathe and relax sometimes.
So coming from a former teenage, who would die if her Friday night wasn’t in the books by Wednesday afternoons, I say to that girl…” Watch what you wish for!”
Dedicated to all those parents, grandparents, soon-to-be parents, and anyone involved in rearing children and a crazy schedule…it’s the toughest, but most rewarding job we will ever have. Just remember to keep an empty space on your calendar every now and then. Memories are also built in the swing, on the back porch, or dangling your feet in the water; it’s not all about the rat race and staying ahead of the game.