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The Time Conundrum

I have no time.


Maybe I should rephrase that. I have no time to myself.

I realised the seriousness of the situation when I found myself trying to have a wee in peace this weekend. I sneaked off, locked the door, sat down in blissful anticipation of a whole minute to myself... it must have lasted all of ten seconds before the kids managed to track me down. They stood outside the bathroom door, hammering on it with their fists and shouting to be let in.

I mean, jeez. Give me a break. A woman's got to retain some form of dignity. A bit of private time to go to the loo isn't too much to ask - is it?

I work from 8am to 5.30pm - which, considering that my occupation/vocation is public relations, is really pretty good. (There was a dirty rumour flying around recently that one of the big PR firms had installed beds into their offices so that employees no longer had an excuse to go home. Nobody batted an eyelid. It was like, yeah, and? Like, tell me something new.) My employer is the enlightened humanitarian movement of the PR world, and still... I have no time.

I finish work and go to pick the kids up from nursery. We drive home. I curse (a lot) at other drivers with the audacity to dawdle or cut me up (don't they realise I'm on a tight schedule?) First born tells me off for my 'potty mouth' (the shame, the shame.) We race from the car to the apartment as quickly as possible before the ticking timebomb that is my children's stomachs explodes in a chorus of anguished screaming. I throw pasta/rice/couscous/quinoa in a pan, defrost a sauce (yes, even though I have no time I find the time to bulk cook nutritious meals then freeze in pre-schooler portions in the fear that otherwise I will sink into a mire of pre-packaged ready meal guilt). Then I clean the pasta sauce from the walls, wrestle them out of their clothes (at least one will be wailing at this point), throw them into the bath (more wailing), persuade them to get out of the bath (full scale screaming), wrestle them into their pyjamas (bellowing), milk, story, prayers, huge cuddles (maternal love tinged with working-mommy guilt), lights out, and.... collapse. Five minutes later I will be summoned back to their bedroom for any of the following reasons:
  • more cuddles
  • a sudden urge to poo (to be repeated at 15 minute intervals)
  • tuck me in!
  • monsters!!! under the bed!!!
  • monsters!!! behind the curtains!!!
  • etc
And so it goes on...

I mean, it could be worse. Alpha Male cooks in the evening and takes the kids to nursery in the morning. I have a cleaner. It's not like I'm doing this all on my own. If I was, I would probably curl up and die.

How the hell do we manage it? It's no wonder I'm on a one-way street to Botox.


Glad to see you back! You know what you need for that NO TIME problem? A third kid. Nope, trust me. With the third you don't even notice the time thing any more. You're too busy alternately screeching at all the other humans around you and sobbing while you dole out the pizza.

Ahem. Now I have that off my chest, I feel your pain. Truly ruly. And even though what I'm going to say next will sound as much of a set piece as what I said up above, Trust Me This Is True: when the youngest turns three, everything gets just a bit easier.

See? Don't you feel all better now?

Hang in there.
Li said…
now, this is a question I often wrestle to create more time for self. At the end of each day somehow there just isn't. I think this should be the ultimate do mamas create more time for self and still exist within a relationship? Because if you nab more personal time its not because there is magically more time in the 24hr clock it is because it is stolen time from some other department. And I only have one son, several horses, a full time job that I commute to and working on creating more independant work and keep a marriage...sick!
Surfing Free said…
My husband once told me that when I am at work that is my time. Pardon?! Last time I checked I was working for the man and not reading books and drinking tea for a wage. Grrr! Anyhoo, it's sooo hard not having anytime to just be who you are. I sometimes see people in cafes on their own, or in a car on their own and I sigh a sigh of envy.
PS. Came to your site via Glamourouse 'cause I love the name :) I'm not stalking you Bec - honest!!
yankeemom23 said…
You forgot my favorite bed time excuse....

Mommy, i am thirsty

which inevidably leads to....

Mommy, i have to peeeeee!!!!

It is amazing how smart these little con artist are. LOL
Sara said…
I'm laughing, but in a delirious way, because I almost could have written your NO TIME post, definitely the part about group bathroom use. My mother never told me about this aspect of motherhood.
Anonymous said…
I feel your pain, I know exactly what it's like to live everyday by the clock attending to everybody's needs and never having time to myself anymore.

I have a 17 month old (who sleeps thru the night) and a 4 1/2 month old, both are boys.... getting the little one to sleep from 2-6am is killing me! I'm so tired, my body aches from sleeping in uncomfortable positions as I sleep while holding him in my arm for hours. I work two fulltime jobs, my profession and motherhood. I need a massage, so tired, so tired...
Dee said…
OMG! I am having such an issue with finding time to myself, time to just do OTHER things around the house and outside of it. And I only have one child. I initially thought you were a single parent. My dh helps out a lot and is a SAHD, so I really feel guilty if I don't help out after I get home from work, but OMG! I am amazed at all the mothers who have more than one -- how do you do it?

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