Let’s imagine, hypothetically, that you were given two weeks. Two weeks when the kids would be in their appropriate child care locations. Two weeks during which time you would not be refinishing the baby’s room (as my husband would like to mention). Just, well, two weeks for whatever it is you decide is important.
Now, resting and relaxing (or chillaxin’, depending on your vernacular) is definitely on this list. But what else? What projects are you going to undertake? What “this needs 4 dedicated hours without children” tasks, so long delayed because you never get 4 dedicated hours without children, are going to make your list?
Worst of all, which ones aren’t? Because let’s be honest — if it isn’t important enough to make your 2 weeks list, what is it important enough for? Will it ever get done? Aren’t you pretty much admitting it’s a low priority? You might as well drop it from your mental memory if it doesn’t get done in this two weeks.
Well, it just so happens that this is the circumstance in which I find myself. I have two weeks (minus next Thursday, which is bespoken). I have a list of ten items of “work”. They are:
Then there’s the goofing off. In broad strokes that looks like:
Finally, there are the Things That Need To Be Done. You know, the laundry, the dishes, buying diapers at Target (which seems to happen every 3 days or so) pick up the boys from daycare, exercising, do the regular bills (now with extra excitement from paycheck variety) cook dinner, reconstruct the house after the Thanepocalypse (how can someone so small make such a mess?)
Then there are the maybes. Like bleaching our bedspread or cleaning out the tupperware cupboard or tackling the detritus on the hutch.
When you look at it that way, suddenly 2 weeks doesn’t seem like that much. But I’ve decided something. First, to treat the fortnight as the gift that it is. Just because it’s likely to be rich and full doesn’t mean that it’s not wonderful. I could get all defensive about how it’s not so much time and it’s interrupted with daycare dropoffs etc so as to make sure other people don’t “count” the two weeks as a period of pure leisure. But I don’t think that’s honest, productive or fair. It is a great gift. Second, I want to prioritize the goofing. That might sound weird, but I almost always make time to do the things that need to be done. I am much less good about actually sinking back into the couch with a good novel.
Finally, I want to make this a time of joy for my family. I want to take some of my extra energy and play better with my sons, and be a bit more patient. I want my husband to revel in two weeks of what it would be like if my energies were devoted to being a housewife with daycare. I’d like to spoil him a little. And I’d like to emerge from my hiatus energized, enthused, confident and ready to face new challenges.