I know that, in this culture, “me time” is highly valued, just like “me space”, but the truth is, since having my second child, it seems like the times I’ve spent any length of time alone in my house I could count on one hand. The time I have for myself is usually stolen from sleep or by “cheating” and putting a movie on for the kids while I do something while they are distracted. Needless to say, I try to do this as little as possible as I can literally see the brain cells dying as they sit with mouths agape, watching caillou or dora the explorer when I happen to pop my head in and check on them.
That’s why, yesterday, when I shunned all of the family festivities and shunted greg and the kids over to his parents house so that I could be alone to get my head together, nest a little bit and, hopefully, start labor, it felt so weird. I had it in my naïve mind that perhaps the reason I wasn’t going into labor yet was because I couldn’t fully relax with the kids around and also that I had mental blocks concerning the state of the house. Namely, that I wouldn’t let myself go into labor until everything was just so.
Well, imagine my surprised delight that neither of these things turned out to be true and my body simply must not be ready, because in just a few short hours, I was able to do more around this house than I have in weeks, it seems like. I was able to really settle in, relax, be one with myself and I still didn’t go into labor. So….unusually for me, it seems that my mind is not holding me back and getting in the way. It’s just simply not time yet.
Because I am clearly having trouble sleeping lately and seem to be up and thinking in third gear almost constantly these days, even though I just wrote a blog post yesterday, I felt like sharing a little of what I learned yesterday, besides the fact that it’s my body, not my mind, that is hitting the brakes on this kid being born.
Things I learned while staying home alone on father’s day:
First of all, I was able to clean and organize my house in a surprisingly small amount of time after everyone vacated the premises. I’ve gotten really, really good at cleaning and putting shit away because I have had to glean the skills to clean while messes are still being made, cleaning on the go, if you will, so that, when I can actually just clean up the house without people in it still making messes and fighting with each other in the background, I am lightning fast. Number two: the few projects I’ve had in the back of my mind to get to for the last few days also took an astonishingly short span of time to accomplish. I mean, these weren’t monumental tasks or anything, stuff like: bake granola, and mix up another loaf of sourdough bread, and repack the labor bags. Still, it is simply amazing how hard these things can be to get to while the kids are constantly going in and out of the house all day, asking for food and drink, fighting with each other, wanting changes of clothes and people to pay attention to them (constantly).
The last thing that I learned was that I don’t want to be alone for that length of time. By the time I had taken a shower, cleaned the entire house, completed my task list, done a few stretches and exercises to try and jump start labor (like a stalled car), and watched an entire movie (in the middle of the day!) I started getting really bored, antsy, and just a little sad and lonely.
After Greg and the kids got home there was an initial shock period, a readjustment time where their voices seemed too loud, their demands too quick and impatient, when I had trouble easing back into life with them, but I quickly found my stride again and things were thankfully back to normal.
I guess what I learned is that even though I am introverted and like quiet and space, I don’t like that much quiet and space. I only need a little more than I usually get.
So, my life is more balanced than I thought it was. Or…I’m more imbalanced to make up for the crazy imbalance….ah, well. Either way, the house is clean for five minutes, there is fresh bread and granola and my bags are packed if and when I ever go into labor.