God is the madwoman in the attic.
I'm camped out on the threshold with my journal, camera, and plenty of snacks.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

self-portrait Saturday

out & about

My boss asked me what I'm going to do with the rest of my time, now that I'm working only 20 hours a week.  Oh, the sweet obliviousness!  As if "the rest of my time" existed.

It does exist, in pockets of chosen and focused efficiency.  Maybe 30 minutes in bed with a notebook before the sun considers rising.  And later an ear-plugged 90 minutes over the laptop and books while kiddo is not-napping and I'm efficiently ignoring the noise from his room (and the clutter in the apartment).

The weekend's aren't automatically "my time" either.  We've only just retrieved family time from the last couple years of adjacent work schedules, my days to L's nights & weekends.  It's more communication and more choices than we've had for a while.  But we can shuffle it up so that we're not simply sharing company in the same room together, as comfortable as that is.  Little N is flexible enough to let Mommy or Daddy go out for a little while without him.  Mommy and Daddy can be flexible with each other too. 

 family time downtown

And so it's not simply a matter of defending "my time" but defending L's time too.  He needs room to read, think, and create just like I do.  The give and take is a flow of fighting for both of our needs, all of our needs, not just Little N's, not just mine.  

I keep wondering, what works for other moms?  Other caregivers?  Where and how and when do they create, personally or professionally?  What do they do or say to the oblivious folks (who maybe also want mom's time for themselves) who ask, "What are you doing with the rest of your time?"

To my boss, the answer is first, the rest of my time is with my son.  My time is with diapers, applesauce, park and library trips, ouchies, matchbox cars, "please be careful," "that's not a toy!" and "we're almost there" while lugging a stroller and groceries and a lagging child up to the third floor apartment.  My time and my attention are on someone else, who needs it, who deserves it, and whom I love. 

Then, the pockets of time that I can carefully, conscientiously, and lovingly carve out, are mine. 

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