Category Archives: free time

Friday Night

Yesterday was amazing! I had the day off. But I always have Fridays off. However, yesterday was different. Yesterday was my Friday. I am in between semesters, so it was the first Friday when I wasn’t working on stuff for school. Well, this is not to say I am not already pouring over my material for next semester. But it was the first Friday in a while when I didn’t have to. And it made my research so much more fulfilling.
Fridays are generally reserved for grocery shopping and errands. I did do these things, but I wasn’t in a rush to get back to do anything else. The day was mine to do with as I pleased. Once my errands were done, I got a nice work out, and relaxed before having coffee with a dear friend I haven’t seen in a long time. Well, his wedding was just a little over a month ago, and I did see him there, but it was not really the time to catch up on anything. Today he flew back to Champaign. So we were going to grab a quick cup of coffee since it may be years until we see each other again. Three hours and three cups of coffee later I think we were all caught up. I don’t think y’all understand what this means! I had three full hours to have an actual conversation with another person! And it was during daylight hours!
Then I went to my parent’s house. It was nice to see them as it has been a few weeks. We did the usual, where I helped my dad send emails. My dad, being in his seventies, is not going to understand this whole technology business anytime soon. So by helping him send emails I mean I open his emails so he can read what others wrote, and then reply while he paces around behind me shouting in three different languages as I am furiously attempting to consolidate them into one and reminding him that he is writing to so and so and not the other guy. I have to mention that my dad becomes very animated when he dictates email. So the pacing, shouting, and wild gesticulations make it seem as if he is preparing for war and rallying the troops instead of recanting his latest trip to Italy. For anyone unfamiliar with our dynamic watching all this would be terribly amusing. Maybe a little frightening. A word of advice: do not stand within three feet of him. You may get an eye taken out. I had so much free time yesterday we were able to email everyone in his address book!
Then it was time for the much anticipated main event. I met with my friend Tanya and we went to a jazz lounge in LA. Only a few weeks ago I was very disappointed I would not be seeing Tina Dico in concert. To cheer me up Tanya found something else I may enjoy, Dayramir and Habana. I looked them up, and their samples online sounded pleasant enough. I was more taken with the venue, and was glad to spend some time with Tanya. I was pleasantly surprised to find their music was immeasurably better than the samples I had heard.
The venue was amazing. It was a small, intimate lounge. We got there early enough to sit right behind the piano. They had amazing food (because I forgot to eat all day again), and a wonderful drink that combines Grand Marnier with ginger spices. I had three of those, and probably should have only had two. But I wasn’t driving, and Tanya doesn’t drink. So what was the worst that could happen? She gets pulled over because her passenger is tipsy? I know it has been a while since I have gone out, but I am pretty sure that is not how that works.
It was such a wonderful all around day I didn’t even mind the traffic. And there was plenty of it. On the way there we encountered three accidents. Each worse than the one before. On the way back we encountered a bunch of people who couldn’t drive, and found that the main freeway leading back to the valley was closed. There was no better way to end this wonderful day than with an adventure. Since neither of us have any sense of direction, finding our way home without using the freeway was quite interesting. In case you were wondering, we found it. And at some point around two in the morning, when I finally got to lay down, something wonderful happened. I slept. For the first time in a long time.
I can’t wait to do this again next year!

Mommy Guilt Sucks

I am a mother. But I am also a woman, and a human. I have needs. And one of those needs is some quiet, alone time. So why does asking for it make me feel so guilty? I have no problem sending my children to day care while I am at work. I see this as a necessity.
I happen to work a 4/10 shift, meaning I work ten hours a day, four days a week. I have Fridays off. We pay for daycare for the full week, but I rarely, if ever, send my children to daycare on Fridays. I feel it is my duty as a parent to never part from them. This Friday it is supposed to rain, and I have a boatload of errands to run. Combine all of this with getting two very small children in and out of the car a bagillian times, and schlepping them through numerous stores, and you are asking for chaos. Nevertheless it never even occurred to me to send them to daycare.
I was outlining my plans to my husband who looked at me and said “you should send the kids to day care.”  I just stared at him as if he had announced the most astonishing news on the face of the planet. Why hadn’t the idea come to me before? I mean, we are paying for it anyway.
As soon as the plan to send them off starting sinking in, I began trying to rationalize how it is better for them under the circumstances to be at day care. They won’t get rained on, and potentially catch a cold. They won’t have to be dragged from store to store. They will surely have a much better time playing, and being taken care of. And the list goes on. Why can’t I just admit that it will be easier for me to do everything without them, and that I actually welcome some me time. Why do I have to feel like I am abandoning my children? Is there something wrong with wanting to relax for a few hours?
As much as I am looking forward to my Friday this week, I cannot help but feel selfish. Every time I try to think about the things I will be getting accomplished and how nice it will be to read my book and maybe take a nap, I feel a pang of guilt. It is completely irrational. Mommy guilt sucks.