I have reached a point in my motherhood journey in which I have 2 free mornings a week while my 3 children are attending their respective schools. As I typed that line I swear I just heard a choir of angels harmonizing on a high note together.
TWO FREE MORNINGS. Oh, I had big plans for those two free mornings when I sent all my little ones off in August. I can brunch with friends! I can run errands in peace! The house will be spotless! I can download all 2,604 pics off my phone and print them out in nice little coffee table books! AND THAT WILL JUST BE THE FIRST DAY!!!
It is now November. I did go to brunch one time and I organized a closet, so there's that. I think my sweet husband also had similar expectations of a tidy house and a showered wife on my free mornings. Sometimes he will helpfully suggest tasks I can accomplish on those days. "Um, Honey, Sweetheart? You know that giant pile of stuff on our dining room table you said you were going to take to Goodwill? Well, it's been there for about 3 weeks and I was just thinking that you could maybe, possibly take it while the kids are at school?"
"OH MY GOSH IT'S ON MY LIST YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I DO ON MY FREE MORNINGS I DON'T KNOW WHERE ALL THE TIME GOES."
But seriously. Factoring drop off and pick up times, I have about 3 child-free hours on preschool days and they are the fastest hours of my life. Kids-in-preschool-minutes are as fast as getting-a-massage minutes. They are even faster than kids-are-finally-asleep-let's-break-out-the-chips-and-watch-netflix minutes. It's amazing how I get anything done with those minutes whipping past faster than I can fill up my cart at Target.
Still, just to prove to my husband and anyone else who dares question my time management skills, I have carefully documented everything I accomplished this morning while the kids were at school.
STUFF MAMA GOT DONE
9:20 Pull in the driveway after dropping kids off. Alanis Morrissette is on the 90's station; sit in the car until "You Oughta Know" is over, obviously. Sing loudly. Sit in the car through 2 more songs because the 90's was such an awesome decade.
9:30 Go inside and sit on the couch. Stare out the window and think about all the stuff I'm going to get done today. I have 3 whole hours ahead of me. I probably even have time to repaint the guest room.
Get out my phone to check email. Check Instagram instead. Oooh, someone has reposted a throw pillow giveaway! You can never have enough throw pillows. Click on over to the throw pillow account where I discover this sweet woman is actually selling the darling throw pillows to fund the adoption of her Ugandan daughter. Stalk her blog and read her entire lifestory. I now feel we are BFFs.
10:15 WHAT? It's 10:15? Guess I should unload the dishwasher and clean up the kids' breakfast dishes. As I unload the forks I notice the silverware drawer is a complete disaster. I cannot stand to live with a crumby, disorganized silverware drawer for one minute longer. I feel so accomplished as I am cleaning the silverware drawer!
10:50 Realize I still haven't checked my email. Go to check my email and notice a Facebook notification. It is a notification for an event that I did not sign up for. A friend I haven't spoken to in 15 years is hosting an online party for products I do not wish to buy. That notification felt like a mean trick.
But look! Someone has shared an article, "12 Things Successful People Do Before Breakfast." I definitely want to be successful before breakfast. I begin to read.
1. WAKE UP EARLY. Does it count if my kid woke me up at 5:45am but I gave her the iPad and stayed in bed til the last possible second?
2. EXERCISE Well, I haven't technically eaten breakfast yet, so I could still get that in!
3. SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH FAMILY Yes! I definitely snuggled with my daughter at 5:45 while she watched the iPad.
4. MEDITATE Stared out the window thinking about all the stuff I was going to do today, CHECK!
5. CHECK EMAIL Oh shoot.
11:05 In a fervent effort to be successful before breakfast I change into yoga pants and a tank top. I am definitely going to exercise this morning! I am feeling a little hungry, so I think it would be okay to eat breakfast before exercising just this once. I go to the kitchen to make a protein shake, but somehow eat half a brownie and a slice of cheese instead.
11:25 CHECK EMAIL! I AM SO SUCCESSFUL! I DELETE THE JUNK MAIL! I SIGN UP TO BRING NUT-FREE, EGG-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE COOKIES TO THE CLASS PARTY! I'm sure there's a recipe on Pinterest for nut-free, gluten-free, egg-free cookies shaped like Santa hats or something. Oh hey, look! There's a clearance sale at Anthropologie!
11:45 Write a blog post about how much I get done on my free mornings.
12:20 Freak out because I have to go pick up kids in 15 minutes and I have not yet painted the guest room or even showered.
12:36 Relocate Goodwill donations from dining room table to trunk of car where they will sit for 3 more weeks.
12:45 Arrive at preschool with no make-up and wet hair. I'm annoyed that those tricky minutes have all escaped me yet again, but I'm also feeling strangely relaxed. It was probably all that meditating I did.