What You Won’t Find Me Doing On My Own Time
- What: Banal Tasks
- When: Kids are in school
- Why: Save my sanity
- Where: My house
I’ve spent seven years staying home with my kids. Now that my youngest has started preschool several days a week, granting me a few hours of time on my own, I had a top five list of things I wanted to do during daylight hours without little minions. But I also have a strict list of things I refuse to spend those precious minutes doing.
Sometimes it feels like I spend more time doing dishes than playing with my kids. Sometimes I prefer that. I can only play the same game the same way under the very specific direction of a person under four feet tall so many times before I feel a bit crazy. Looking at my kitchen buried under a pile of dishes makes me feel similarly insane, though. With my rare child-free time, I don’t feel like spending one extra minute putting clean dishes away, or constantly relocating dirty ones from the table to the kitchen to the sink or dishwasher. I have plenty of time once they come home to accomplish that.
I spend less time on laundry only because I let it pile up so much. I buy at least two weeks’ worth of the limiting type of clothes (for one kid, it’s pants, another dresses, and the last one underwear) and have big laundry hampers to go with my ginormous washer and dryer so I can spend less time doing this task. The hardest part for me is remembering to push loads through the complete cycle. But I refuse to spend quality time without kids on laundry or sitting around so laundry can go through the dryer. And even though I like folding laundry, which probably means the dishes or repeated games from item number one have made me crazy, I have other ways to relax during my time without kids.
3) Picking up toys
It took me a while, but I learned to stop picking up toys more than once a day unless it was a danger to my health or mental stability. I cannot and will not spend non-child minutes cleaning up after them, when they can do that task themselves. Not even for you, Roomba.
4) Sharing my food
Don’t ask for my food. I might break down and offer you a bite, but I will only begrudgingly share my drink, snack, or meal. You’d be better off asking a wild animal to give you a piece, because I am so happy to eat what I want when I want without anyone asking for things from my plate that it will be a few months (or years) before I’m ready to share again.