When I was in middle school my mom sighed and said “There just aren’t enough hours in the day.”
I suppressed an eye-roll at how trite and cliché that statement was.
Now I sometimes find myself crying about the very same thing.
I get 24 hours. I would like to spend eight of them sleeping—preferably eight in a row, thanks.
I want to eat good, healthy food. I’ll need time to eat it and time to make it. Some days I’ll also need time to buy the ingredients.
I want to exercise.
I want to write.
I want to read a few chapters in a good book.
I’d love a hot bath.
It might be nice to curl my hair before Ryan gets home.
I want to go to bed with every dish washed. I want to go to bed with every clean piece of laundry folded or hung-up, all put where they go. I want to sweep, mop, dust. I want a house as clean as the ones in a magazine.
I want to play Candy Land or color or build block towers. I want to take my kids to the park, push them in the swings, watch their little legs kick wildly as they laugh and smile and squeal. I want to sit on the couch and make smiley faces at my baby, take turns cooing at each other. I want to sit still and let her take a two-hour nap on my chest. I want to read every book my little girl brings to me. I want to hold her and tickle her and make animal noises with her. I want to talk to my three-year-old. I want to write down everything he says. I want to make Lego creations together. I want to see his eyes light up over dirt bikes or monster trucks or circus acts.
I want to take a family trip to the zoo. I want to watch Ryan hold and play with each of our children. I want to hike in the woods together. I want to be patient and calm and have nary a care in the world when my children take two hours to fall asleep but sob if I attempt to leave the room.
I want to play Scrabble with my husband. I want to bake him cookies. I want to take a long drive and then lie in the bed of his truck in a field, holding hands, staring at the stars, talking about God and life and love. I want to curl up with him and watch an Alaska show.
Some days I get so frazzled and just want time to myself. It’s hard to be an introvert when your entire life is spent serving other people. It’s a blessing and a gift but it still gets hard. I sometimes feel like I’ll snap under the pressure and I finally send Ryan an SOS text message. He’ll put the big kids to bed by himself after the baby is asleep. I’ll take a few deep breaths and feel giddy with all the possibilities. Should I read? Should I write? Should I see if there’s still open swim at the pool this late? Should I go sit in a coffee shop and listen to music while I sip a chai latte? Should I sew something?
I nearly squander my precious alone time just trying to decide what to do… and then I think about them while I do whatever I’m doing and I secretly wish they wake up right before I fall asleep so I can give them one more hug and kiss.
I spend hours craving just a few hours away from them and then I spend the hours missing them.