Parents to pre-school kids, what do you get up to on the rare days that you have a few hours to yourself?
I wrote a post a while back on all the things I would do if I had the day to myself. It involved a lot of gallivanting around London, to all of my favourite old haunts, basically having a general mooch around.
Now, I actually have a day like this. My parents are looking after the kids. They had them overnight, so I woke up in my own time and have the day ahead of me. That said, I’m already freaking out that it’s nearly 10am and almost half of the day has vanished with little production.
I already had a long list of to-dos to work through, but now that I have ‘freedom’, why is it I feel anything but free?
My list has immediately tripled, and only because I’m looking around me and thinking about all of the things I could do, uninhibited and unencumbered, while I have the time.
I could blitz the house and get all of those awkward bits sorted that always take an age with the kids around.
I could pick up the thousands of items littered around my house and take them to the charity shop with ease.
I could paint the kids’ new bunk bed (built by awesome London carpentry services – Wood Work Wonders – if you need to hire a carpenter. This is not a sponsored post – he’s my mate).
I could rake the garden.
I could write the articles that I’ve started for other publications.
I could reply to and write new emails.
(The list goes on.)
Or, I could put all of that sensible stuff on the back-burner and go and meet some of my friends.
OR, I could sit in my house, and do absolutely nothing but drink good coffee, while watching a film or the TV.
I remember my single days. My pre-kids days. Days like this that I took for granted and whittled away doing nothing. And I wonder, was that such a bad thing? Was it so bad of me to just do (or not do) exactly what I felt like doing? Did it negatively affect my mental health? I don’t know. I don’t think so.
I do know that my brain is now permanently in a state of overdrive, with ten million ideas racing around all the time. They rarely come to fruition. But they excite me and their presence makes me feel like a productive human being. And as stressful as it sometimes is when I consider my massive list of to-dos, the way I am now makes me feel alive, productive and worthwhile.
I’m coming to the conclusion that the thought of producing, as opposed to consuming, is fundamental to my happiness and well-being.
Although I could sit here drinking coffee in front of the TV for the rest of the day, I think that doing that would ultimately be way more frustrating and mind-numbing than getting doing.
So on that note, I’m going to print out this blog post and turn it into a check-list. I’m also going to take the opportunity to say thanks to mum and dad for looking after the kids for me.
And I’m going to congratulate myself for taking a mere 20 minutes to get this written and published. (Does it show?)
What would you do on a day to yourself?