Yesterday, I attended KJ’s daycare winter recital. For all intents and purposes it was your traditional run-of-the-mill holiday production put on by two-to-five year olds. Much of the singing was loud and off-key. The choreography was poorly executed. There was one kid who burst into uncontrollable tears the moment he took the stage. One Pre-K class even treated us to a Christmas rendition of “Eye of the Tiger”. (In a not completely unrelated note, we also identified which Pre-K class we are going to request for KJ next year). In short, the recital was perfect and absolutely adorable.
My biggest surprise yesterday was in the time leading up to the recital. As I blogged on Monday, in order to make it to KJ’s inconveniently timed program, I needed to work from home yesterday. So, I did. We went about our morning in the usual whirlwind fashion, with me helping get Husband and the kids off to school. But unlike every other day, once they left, I didn’t have to rush around myself. For what felt like the first time since KJ was born, I was left alone in a quiet house.
Since it was still 7 a.m. and I was already set up to work, I decided to do some house chores before I got down to work. Between 7 and 8 a.m. I paid bills, did a load of laundry, ironed two shirts, made dinner (well, made a crockpot lasagna), addressed the envelopes for our Christmas cards, uploaded pictures to our computer and made a special post-recital treat for the kids. When I sat down to work, I looked at the clock and thought to myself, what the heck did Husband and I do with all of our free time before we had kids?
Now, I realize that my morning was a sprint. Part of why I was able to get so much done was because I knew that hour was all the time I had. I don’t know if it is a by-product of being a working mom or just a by-product of being a mom, but when you know you have a limited timeframe in which the kids are asleep/at school/with their dad, you take on this Wonder Woman-like persona and just knock out about a million little to-dos that have been waiting for your attention. Plus, I knew I would be returning from the recital with two tired kids and no husband (guy’s night out), so having dinner lined up was going to be key to a smooth evening. I did what needed to be done in the time allotted.
But I still couldn’t believe how much I got done. Back before we had kids, I don’t remember feeling like I had all the free time in the world. But we must have. Sure, some of our “free” time was consumed with yard work and painting and stuff like that when we bought our house. But we still do that stuff now. Certainly, if we had been half as productive back then as I was this morning we could have gotten a lot more done. Or at least gotten the master bathroom painted.
And what about before we bought the house? When Husband and I first got married we lived in a townhouse. We didn’t have to do any yard work and because I had lived there before we got married it was already decorated to my liking. What did we do with all of our free time then?
I don’t really know how we squandered our hours back in those days, but today’s little one-hour house-focused sprint made me amazed at how much better I can juggle the tasks of every day life. While a part of me longs for some time to myself to read a book, polish my nails or heck, go to the bathroom alone, I’m glad that I’ve adapted the Wonder Woman alter ego. It means that I’ve learned to do more in less time, so that I can spend more time with my kids. That’s a pretty good lesson to have learned.