It’s tempting on the weekends to look at my husband and say, “you take the baby, I’ll take the couch”. Especially for a stay at home mom, every day can feel so overwhelmed by little feet, little hands and not so little cries that often I find myself wishing for just a couple hours of stillness. Just an afternoon to sit and know that my train of thought won’t be abruptly derailed by a small human (or large dog) requesting that I play with them, cuddle them, or feed them.
Due to a loving husband and supportive family, I’m lucky enough that I do, occasionally, get those afternoons to indulge in that elusive stillness, relaxation, “me time”. And the first five minutes are absolute bliss. Sit down, close the door, look around and realize THERE IS NO BABY OR BABY MONITOR, and just breathe. But the hours fly by – articles have been read and email has been checked, perhaps I’ve scrolled through Facebook and window shopped on Gap.com. But with ten unpurchased items idling in my electronic shopping cart, my baby free time comes to a close, and I’m not any more relaxed than I was three hours ago. But wasn’t this what I had wanted? Some free time? It’s then that I realize I’ve idealized this alone time so much that I’ve managed to accomplish nothing in the name of “relaxation”.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve become accustomed to this go go go pace that kids bring about in life. Or maybe I’ve just forgotten how to indulge in down time. Or, maybe most idealistically, this child of mine has refreshed my own child-like wonder for exploring this world and taking hold of each day.
So this past weekend, when I was feeling a bit of that familiar all I want to do is be still and in particular NOT CLEAN THE HOUSE, I decided I would leave the half empty bottles on the floor, the diaper pail full (it still is) and the dishes in the sink. And instead of closing the door to the bedroom and telling Chuck he was “on duty”, we all packed into the car and drove out to one of our favorite nature preserves. As we walked into the woods I felt my feet on the trail, the cool breeze on my face, and I smiled at the blissful, indulgent stillness of it all.
And it was every bit as satisfying as I’d hoped.