When I first had kids, I thought...well, "Whew! This is really busy work, being a mom!" Everything seemed harder when it had to be accomplished with a child or three in tow. I remember yearning for the day when they would go to school, so I would have some time to myself.
Flash-forward to now. Three kids in school, full-day. Theoretically, I should have about six hours a day to myself. Six long, lovely, luxurious (and if you use the correct shampoo, bouncy and vivacious!) hours to myself.
Pish-posh on that. I swear to you all, I have less time now than I did when they were little and still at home. How can this be?
Damned if I know.
OK, well, I do know, a little bit. The multiple part-time jobs nibble away at the edges of my "free time". As do the housework and the chores that just, no matter how many times I put a stake through their hearts, will not die. My new (healthy) addiction to running takes a good bit of time.
I have taken to scheduling in time for things such as exercise (other than running) and writing. And still, it doesn't always happen.
There are many many nights when we do not eat together as a family, instead doing a sort of round-robin of eating, coming to the table when we are able/have time/are home/are hungry, and I miss the simpler days when we were always all together.
Between playdates and sports and concerts and all manner of activities, the kids are just off in a million different directions, leaving me chasing after them and feeling ineffectual at about everything I put my hands to.
I am exhausted by all of it. No, seriously. I sit down when they finally go to bed, hoping to catch up with a favorite TV show, only to fall asleep 15 minutes in, having seen enough to regret missing the ending when I wake up the next morning.
The writing is again, in drips and drabs, much like our dinners of late. I've found that I have this weird hangup with needing quiet and solitude to write. So you can imagine how that's working out for me.
I need to learn to write with the din of an emergency room around me, people squalling and rushing to and fro.
Actually, that probably wouldn't be so bad. It's the interruptions that screw me up; that make the Muse sniff, turn up her nose, and say "I'll come back when you're not so busy," in an acidic condescending tone that makes you wonder if she will ever really return.
This is all unsatisfying.
I want order, and routine, and some semblance of normalcy. I would love a schedule where I look at the clock and say, "Oh, 10:30, time to write!" And the Muse comes and joins me for tea.
I don't know. Life is weird and messy and chaotic, and it just seems to get more so. I feel like all I can do is hang on tooth and nail and try to learn to love the wind in my hair and the uncertainty.
I'm still working on that.