Skip to main content

Twenty Minutes

A few Sundays ago, early in the morning, I put one child down for a nap while the other lazily rolled out of bed ready to veg on the couch, eat a waffle and watch Barney. I acted quickly on this rare opportunity and asked (I know, why do I feel that I need permission?) Andy if I could sneak back to the laundry room to walk on the treadmill. As fast as possible, I threw on running clothes and sneakers, knowing that at any minute a baby cry could end my potential work out. I dumped a load of laundry in the washer and spent the next twenty minutes listening to my ipod and speed walking. I'd cut out a 10-minute exercise plan from a women's magazine and carried it, and my yoga mat, to the living room, in hopes of catching an extra few leg lifts and sit ups. I tossed the mat next to the TV and tucked the exercise sheet underneath it for another day. Baby had awoken from her power nap and was rolling around on the floor, the preschooler was jumping from the couch to the floor, just inches from baby's giggling face. Daddy was in the kitchen making eggs and sort of watching the living room from the corner of one eye.

Later that morning, during baby's second power nap, I slipped away to the bathroom. As I stepped into the shower I heard the door open and close. Then I felt the cold, clammy shower curtain rub against my bare skin. I shrieked and yelled, "Stop!" A moment later a hand pushed the curtain toward me again. I stuck my head out to see both Andy and Caroline in the bathroom. "What?" he asked me, "I was just making sure the curtain was inside the shower and she copied me." I sighed, "Can't I get a minute to shower in peace?"

To which he answered, "A minute? You already got twenty minutes this morning on the treadmill." Ahh, silly woman, why would I assume that I could dedicate two separate times in one day just for myself?

Those precious moments have gotten me thinking about time. Twenty minutes is generally my maximum allotment for personal time on a daily basis. Yet, in a world with small children, that same amount of time can seem like an eternity. Here's a look at twenty minutes, the long and short of it.

When twenty minutes feels like 10 seconds:
A private shower;
Going to the bathroom, alone;
An uninterrupted phone call or email;
Watching TV;
Reading a book or magazine;
Shopping, alone;
A walk or run around town;
A child-free car ride, listening to loud music;
Snooze.

When twenty-minutes feels like four hours:
Tubby night that includes hair washing;
Cleaning up pee and poop from the carpet, cushions and bed;
Being on hold, waiting to speak to pediatrics at 8 am on a Monday morning;
Watching Barney;
Reading 5 stories at bedtime;
Checking out at the grocery store while one kid screams and the other crawls on the floor under the cart;
Pushing two strollers around town when kid decides she is too tired to push the umbrella stroller she insisted on taking along;
Screaming kids during a snowstorm drive;
3:30 am feedings.

I know that no matter how slow times seems to go when I'm with the kids, that it is actually flying by. On the one hand, it seems like it has been YEARS since I slept for more than 4 hours straight, and on the other it feels like just yesterday that I sat in the backseat while Andy drove me and Caroline home from the hospital. I look at Caroline and still see her big baby eyes and gummy smile. I've still got my baby belly and Charlotte is already crawling and jibber jabbering. I love to work out and I need my alone time but, these days, I'm not as upset if I miss the opportunity because a lost walk in the laundry room means more time cuddling and caring for my little girls. My kids will only be small once and my big butt will still be there, waiting to be sculpted when the time is right.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Me V. Parental Judgement

When you are pregnant, there’s so much to think about when considering the future: what color to paint the nursery, what decorating scheme to select from Pottery Barn, whether to go with disposable or reusable diapers, what to name your little nugget, and even deciding to use a cake or a box of balloons for the gender reveal party. You quickly learn that, if you share any of these decisions with anyone, you are bound to get opinions- lots of them. And, while this isn’t the first time we get solicited or unsolicited advice (where to go to college, what to choose as a major, what profession to pursue, who to date, who to marry, what dress to wear to the wedding, who to invite to the wedding, what type of alcohol to serve at the wedding..) the birth of a child seems like the first time that SO MANY opinions are given. It’s already a time of anxiety and unknowns that the opinions of others can easily feel overwhelming.What, I should have gotten the rocker that swings from side to side ins…

Work Family

Did you know that you spend around 90,360 hours at work during your lifetime? I usually only write about my job in the most vague terms but work is, and always has been, a really important and vital part of my life. A hundred years ago, when I left my first professional job, I remember it felt like somebody died. At the time, Andy, who, shockingly wasn't in touch with my emotions, asked me why I was felt this way. I told him I was so upset because I felt like I was leaving my family. I can still remember, clear as day, when I gave my resignation. I had just taken a ride in the Oscar Meyer wiener hot dog mobile (Yeah I know I had an awesome job) and I felt incredibly sick to my stomach. I went home that night and cried like somebody died. I remember Andy asking me why I was so upset and I wasn’t sure how to articulate it. Looking back now I better understand why I had such a visceral reaction to leaving my employer. I think part of it was because it was my first real job. I think …

Your Feedback Needed: My Business Venture!

I believe that I have an entrepreneurial spirit. Over the course of my adulthood I have come up with a number of exciting entrepreneurial ventures. From a scrapbooking B&B to a website dedicated to things that happen in the bathroom, I put my creative mind to use to come up with some pretty cool business ideas. Unfortunately, Andy, and everyone else in my life with whom I’ve shared these ideas, have told me that, while all of my ideas might be interesting, fascinating, or funny, they would never get off the ground or make any money. Since I’m rather adverse to risk, I respected their opinions and trusted their judgment. Yet, I just can’t help myself from coming up with more entrepreneurial concepts on any given day.  My most recent one likely would not produce any income, like all of my other ideas. However, I feel I need to share it because it truly aligns with my skill sets and strengths. I’m not afraid to be shut down so I’ll go ahead and share my idea with you and see what you…