My typical workday + mommy duty hours are similar to an amazing holiday pie or a fabulous full sized birthday cake. At the end of the day, you find the awkward last piece. When the last small serving of my personal time and energy remains, I just don’t know what to do with it at times. Someone wants it. Something needs it. Others don’t know how to ask (politely) for it. Who needs it the most? Who or what is most deserving?
I usually devote these precious bits of bottom of the barrel energy to the “time saving” chores that will help me be get out the door quickly the next day.
Pack the lunches. Pour the baby bottles. Line up the backpacks and other bags. Click in the car seat. Plan the outfits. Decide if it’s a hair washing day tomorrow and plan accordingly. Send a few last emails (after contracted hours). Capture a spider that is freaking everyone out. Locate the lost shoe that has been missing for 3 days.
I tried putting all of it on hold the other night, and I forced myself to just enjoy a few installments of my favorite reality TV “housewives” show after everyone else went to bed. It was rare TV viewing that was given my undivided attention. It felt strange. It was somewhat fun. I didn’t really know how to use the remote correctly.
In the middle of my morning commute the next day, however, I realized what I had forgotten. I left the baby bottles and my work laptop at home. I had also forgotten two non-essential, but nice to have items. Sunglasses and a hoodie. An extra stop was necessary to resolve the absent items. Portions of the pie/cake of my daily routine were quickly given away before the official workday even started. As the day went on, many more people, things, and events needed a piece throughout the day. I served it up.
So again, at the end of the day, I’ve been stuck with the crumbs. I decided to just enjoy them. Rather than TV time, I used the tiny bits of energy that I had left and I wrote this post. Time saving chores won’t bring me the same satisfaction that I feel when I do something that makes me happy and balances out the chaos a bit. I enjoyed the last piece. I think I’ll call dibs on it again tomorrow.
How do you treat yourself when you have a bit of extra time to spare?
■ Elementary Educator for Equity & Cultural Responsibility
■ Collector of Small Moments & Thrifty Finds
■ Wife & Mother
■ Bay Area, CA