Tuesday, March 18, 2008

24 hours

24 hours is just not enough.
I'm not sure where the time goes. It was on my mind for a couple reasons, especially last night as I ran out of time to work on my portfolio samples to send for a job I want. Another thing brought it to mind today, and I figured I'd come on this blog and calculate it.

Wake up: 6:45
Snuggle time & out of bed by: 7:15
Shower & Get Ready, make lunches and breakfast, out the door by: 8:00
Wait for train, walk to the office, in my seat by: 9:00
Work work work, out the door by: 5:30
Walk to train, get home, in the door by: 6:30
Unwind, change clothes, begin making dinner by: 7:00
Make, serve and eat dinner, done by: 8:00
TV/movie/us time, 'til about: 10:00
Cleaning, Freelance work, jobhunting, portfolio prep, pay bills: 'til bedtime, usually 12:00

This is a fairly typical day for me.
This week my schedule looks like this for my evenings:

Tuesday -- Craft night
Thursday -- Date Night / Concert
Friday -- Out dancing at the club!

It's fairly common for us to have stuff planned about twice a week, and since I've been doing much more freelance work lately, I'm super busy on the other evenings. I'll tell you what got me thinking about this.

I heard a woman talking about how her husband is one of those "I've got my interests and they're not going to be altered by new addition(s) to the family" guys. And I couldn't help but think "my god, I'm one of those guys".

What would I give up if I were to have a baby? Music is a huge deal for me, and I start to really feel like I'm lacking in something when I haven't been to a good show or gone dancing in a long time. Going to shows, going out dancing, that's all a big part of who I am.

Okay, so I can definitely cut out craft night, right? Craft night is my opportunity to see my girlfriends, and it's an opportunity for me to be creative doing something other than my work. Sure, sometimes one of the hostesses' friends brings their baby, but I can't even imagine the ordeal it takes to get out of the house only to stay someplace and do crafts for an hour before it's time to go home.

So what do we cut? Us time? Hardly. If we had kids, we would work to keep our marriage at the top of that priority list... yes, more important than showering all that love solely on the kidlets. While I find cooking dinner every night fairly relaxing, it's when we relax together on the sofa watching X-Files or a movie that I actually get to unwind. I get overwhelmed easily if I don't have my decompression time and have learned how to deal with it. Having this time is simply non-negotiable.

"I've got my interests and they're not going to be altered by new addition(s) to the family." It's true. That's why I'm not making any new additions. I'm unwilling to make those sacrifices. Willingness to sacrifice a huge part of yourself is essential to being a good mom. I am unwilling, and I'm glad I know it.


britgirl said...

My day's a little like yours. Except it starts at 6.15, and I'm at work by 7.30. I am also just starting a freelancing business and so my evenings are completely full most evenings,whether this is networking or writing. I don't think I could do it if I had children. I too cherish our "me time" when we watch films or go out to dinner. Usually Friday, and I wouldn't give that up. The thing is, when you have kids, the me time goes out the window, whether you want it to or not. I've seem it happen with my friends who are parents, and they freely admit it.

Getting one evening to themselves means a babysitter or family who can stand in.. and that means expense. I'm not willing to be a parent either.. I'm not willing to pay the very high price of giving up myself to a kid. :)

Anonymous said...

Many women are "one of those guys." Unfortunately for us, we don't have the luxury to keep that attitude after the kids come. Men are culturally/socially excused from all things domestic. If they do participate, they are "helping out around the house" or "babysitting" their own children. It's much easier for a man, if he realizes that having a baby wasn't all it was cracked up to be, to start working late, going out with the guys more, and generally dismissing parenting duties. That's what women are for, after all. As a woman in this sexist world, having kids is a sentence as far as I'm concerned.

melissa said...

wow, two days in a row, lucky us!! i discovered your blog last month, and had to start back at the beginning~ i'm so enjoying reading your musings...thanks for sharing

i too am always wondering where the time goes? i only work 5 hours a day, and my days still seem to go quickly. i've come to discover and honor how much i require quiet and solitude--slow moments of naps, reading, movies, just hanging out talking with my sweetie and puttering around the house--for my feeling sane and rested and with some semblance of balance.

i always had wanted kids until 2 years ago (i'm 32 now), when i started to look past the romantic baby images at the reality of what that would require. i know i wouldn't be able to handle the constant attention and lack of sleep and working more to be able to provide and on and on. i had dated someone previously with a child we had on the weekends, and also nannied for four lively fantastic kiddos, and i got a few years of partial reality there. man was i always glad when the day was done and i could go back to my peaceful abode to refresh!

anyhow, thanks again for sharing! it's nice to know that there are others out there thinking about similar things~

Anonymous said...

Dear Stasha,
I don't know why but I think that in Italy - where I live - is more difficult to be a childfree by choice.
We have economic problems (I have a degree but work for few moneys) but instead of them people ask me why I don't want a baby.
I don't want a baby because I don't love this idea, I actually do not desire one. They think is for money and job but this is not an economical subject: this is a choice of mine.
I find embarassing when people tell me that I am strange, like an alien.
Oh I wish I could leave this country: too much corruption, too much Vatican.