The Concept of Free Time/ Ode to a Young Family

My husband and I had some neighbors over the other day, both retired, and at one point they asked me- “You’re so busy! When do you get free time?”

Now, we were cooking and doing some minor kitchen cleaning afterwards, juggling a mildly fussy baby (we would find out less than eight hours and a fairly sleepless night later that she had an ear infection) and 2 well behaved but energetic older girls… music on, dog wandering around, etc. The question took me aback a bit- I didn’t even know how to answer! Is there an answer? Because this life- I don’t see any of that as not free time! It’s busy but not exhausting. Full but not taxing. Requires pretty constant effort, but not draining. And yet it was so foreign to them they were close to being shocked by the noise and pace of it. (and we’re not a pot banging, child screeching crew, mind you.)


I don’t know. I guess it’s because I work in an empty house all day by myself and travel and have all the free time I could want in the hotel rooms in the evenings… and I hate it. All I want is to get back to the bustle here. Free time isn’t exactly fun time- give me my four favorite people in the world all in one spot, existing together- I’d never want for more.

Sure. I don’t paint much these days, but I could if I wanted to without causing hard feelings. Or write. I conveniently use the general humm and cadence of the household to complain I can’t exercise… but I could if I wanted to. (Do. Not.)

And I guess, there are definitely days where I’m not keeping up. (Is running behind considered exercise?) The laundry never seems like I get in front of it. And the floor, well I think I wrote a blog post about it the last time the floor was mopped (before Christmas 2016, if memory serves).

And while I certainly don’t need their sympathy for the busy young (ha!) couple down the street… the husband and I will take our kind neighbors up on it; because they’re offering to let us step out for a date night soon. And if memory serves the last one of those we had was around my birthday in August. Unless you count the other ones, that is. The date nights that were every  other night after that. And mornings. And afternoons… and I wouldn’t trade a one of them for all the open hours in the day.

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