Monday, 13 March 2017

The Pressure of Kid-Free time

I am currently ‘supposed’ to be painting some cupboard doors. The kids are at my mother in law's for a few hours and it’s the first time I have had time without them for a few weeks. Every time I am presented with some child-free hours I cycle through this same set of emotions; the excitement and anticipation of actually ‘getting stuff done’, the anxiety of them not being around when I’m at home but mostly the pressure to be mega productive. For most of the time the obstacle to getting things actually accomplished as most parents will attest to-is the kids. One snack to another, one bottom wipe to another, you might be able to sneak some chores in whilst the babysitter (aka Netflix) has them preoccupied but that only lasts until the next cry of “I’m hungry!” or “I don’t want to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles again!” is wailed from the next room. So when I do get a day without these time sponges around my list of things to do is as long as my arm. 
Upon them leaving I usually start running around like a chook with its head cut off, doing a million things, but actually doing nothing. Then my blood pressure starts rising, “DO SOMETHING!” my little voice yells at me. I usually manage to tick the easy things off: washing, tick, beds stripped, tick, dinner prepared super early and dishes done, tick, tick. But it’s then that I falter. Sometimes I catch myself just staring into oblivion whilst I chastise myself for wasting time staring!

Not getting things done usually comes down to two things; one: the list of ‘to do’s’ is just way too long, and completely overwhelming, they are usually things like weed the garden, clean out clothes drawers, paint something (that could just be our house!) and reorganise the cupboards. I mean all things which of course can be done in a reasonable period of time (sarcastic eye roll emoji!). So it’s no wonder I instead end up standing at the kitchen bench googling things like the ‘best water filter system’ or ‘why is my mouth so dry’, yep very important things which can only of course be done whilst the kids are not at home. 

To make matters worse, husband usually has a list as long as his arm too, always house renovation items, which range from replace whole storm water system to make side gate and concrete the side path. Yes, these too are pretty easy jobs to tick off the list! (I need a sarcasm button!)

The second reason these things don’t get done; I don’t want to do them! If it was bake some biscuits whilst watching Netflix or rearrange friend’s pantry (which I’m dying to do by the way! - yes I know I have problems) then it would get done for sure. But painting what seems like the millionth door of our house or re-weeding the garden bed which I’ve already done three times in the last six months, then yeah, it’s not really on my ‘want to do’ list. Motivation is low.

So as I sat down to write this (with the glare of husband from outside watching me on the laptop) I realised, I need to take it back a notch, getting myself in a tizz over things that will just not be accomplished in a few hours is unproductive in itself. I will instead give myself just one of these ‘do not want to do' items to accomplish and then maybe I won’t feel so bad when I hear the kids run back through the front door.

On that note, the painting is calling, the clock is ticking but at least I can tick ‘write blog post’ off my list! ;)

Anyone else suffer from this affliction? Do you put major pressure on yourself to be productive when the kids aren’t around, or do you give yourself a break and breathe in the silence? (that sounds pretty good!)