As I sit here on my living room sofa allowing Little Baby Bum to continue its reign of terror in my home, I am brimming with excitement. For approximately 1 and a half hours, 90 minutes, 5400 seconds, I will be able to enjoy time outside of the house without children. Sing it to the tune of Rent’s Season’s of Love (you know the one – the fivehundredtwentyfivethousandsixhundred minutes), because forget minutes in a year- that’s minutes in a lunch date, baby.
That includes the 40 minutes I will be driving because I live in a big city and nothing is ever closer than 20 minutes away. Not that I’m complaining, because bet your butt I’ll be using those 40 minutes to my full advantage. Windows down, sunroof opened, and skipping over the Moana soundtrack on my Spotify playlist library. It isn’t even supposed to reach 60 degrees today, but I’ll tough it out for the sake of fully experiencing my freedom. Take a backseat there, Maui, it’s my time to drive. You’re welcome.
It is now Saturday. The last time I was out of the house, a few walks around the neighborhood being the exception, was Monday for my son’s 2 year wellness check-up. The last time I was out of the house without children? The last time I was without children, period? Sunday.
Some of you may read this and take it as one big ol’ dick measuring contest and say “that’s great, Emily, but I haven’t been out of the house in a year.” If that’s the case, I’d recommend attempting to find the nearest escape route because I’m fairly certain you’re being held captive.
The key point I’m trying to make here is, as a stay-at-home parent, it is important to have those moments out of the house, away from the kids. My husband and I had a brief disagreement a few days ago after his schedule changed, resulting in him being off Saturday instead of Monday. I took this as good news because he could stay at home with the kids while I grabbed lunch with my sister. He took this as an opportunity for him to have the house to himself as my plans already included bringing the children along. I had to take an extra moment to explain that yes, while I had planned on bringing the kids along today, I had also planned on being able to run errands kid-free on Monday; that I would appreciate having some time to myself.
There is some difficulty explaining this to someone who is around people all day at work to come home and consider his “time off” surrounded by screaming children and a frazzled wife, and he is no less deserving of time to himself than I am. However, I must also say work/relaxation is all relative. Even people who work at Disneyland don’t want to be there on their day off, you know what I mean? And that place is supposed to be magical. The only magic in my house is my toddler’s ability to make a metal utensil disappear and leave me constantly checking that outlets are covered until I ultimately find a butter knife crammed in the cushions of the couch.
My place of work is my home. My job is keeping our children happy and healthy and the house (acceptably) clean and in order. But, as with any other job, it’s important to have time off, to decompress, to return refreshed. Having that time child-free and outside the home makes me a better stay-at-home parent. Now I will go enjoy my Bahn Mi sandwich because I have only looked at the menu ten times and return to my home anew.