I love child free time!
Now, mind you, I'm not saying that I don't like spending time with my children, or children in general (I am a teacher after all). But when you are with them 24/7, well.... it is just nice to have a little child free time.
It doesn't come very often. Partly because on weekdays I am working, weeknights are spent at ballet class or drama class and getting ready for the next day. Weekends are taken up with chores, errands, church, and Sunday dinner at my mom's house. So the amount of time available for child free time is very limited. Combine that with TDaddy's schedule and the fact that I just don't often ask for time off and there you have it. Child free time doesn't come very often.
So today the kids and I went to church and then to my mom's for lunch. But instead of spending most of the afternoon at Grandma's house we came home and they stayed with TDaddy while I went to the mall.
Usually, when I have child free time I head to Barnes and Noble and browse among the books and read for a few hours. Heavenly! Today, however, I had a different mission. I needed pants.
The last eight years I have spent pregnant 3 times and with my weight fluctuating quite a bit. I have been on the slow and steady down slide in my weight in the last 7 months or so (Yeah!) and the result is that I have 2 pairs of pants that fit. Now granted, I do mainly wear skirts to work (They just changed the dress code recently to allow women and girls at my school to wear pants year round. Before we could only wear pants during the winter time). But with a recent cold spell, wearing tights with skirts and bundling up in sweaters, coats and scarves just wasn't cutting it.
Anyway, my mom met me (it is easier for me to shop for clothes for myself with another person, I always feel like I need a second opinion) and we shopped.
It was great! In a couple of hours we were able to find 3 pairs of pants on sale, get new batteries put into TDaddy's watch, and get a cup of coffee and just sit for a bit (OK, so Mom had coffee, I had tea - I love tea, but I can't stand coffee!). We were able to talk about whatever we wanted to with no little ears listening and it was just relaxing not to be minding any children! I picked up a couple of Little Caesars pizzas on the way home for dinner tonight and lunch for the lunch boxes tomorrow and got home in time for a game of Disney Scene It.
The benefit of child free time? A more relaxed Mama! A relaxed Mama, as opposed to a stressed one, is able to enjoy her kids in the stage they are in. A relaxed Mama isn't easily irritated by all the little things that the kids do. I was able to sit and play the game with TDaddy and the kids and enjoy it. I wasn't feeling like I couldn't wait for the game to end so that I could get up and go get something done.
And that is a good thing.
I don't want to spend my children's childhoods wishing the time I spend with them away. And I'm pretty sure that isn't God's plan either.
So, an occasional child free afternoon is a very good thing!