Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Stay At Home

Monday morning.  Paul leaves for work and I get Ellie bundled out the door to meet her bus.  Then I sit down at my computer with a cup of coffee.  I don't feel guilty about this; lots of people have jobs where they check their email over a cup of coffee first thing in the morning.  Ada plays nearby and we chatter back and forth.

9:00: I put my mug in the sink and start tidying up from the weekend.  I straighten all the public areas of the main floor and wipe down the hallway bathroom with Clorox wipes.  Ada helps, putting her plastic balls back into their ball pit.

9:30: Our school district Parents as Teachers Parent Educator arrives for a quarterly visit with Ada and me.

10:30: I sit open a cookbook to create a menu for the week (three meals a day plus snacks and desserts) and develop a shopping list.  Ada drops by to "help" and we spend some time practicing her reading/spelling/typing skills on my laptop.  She likes to ask me how to spell words then seek out the individual letters and watch them magically appear/disappear on the screen as she pushes the keys.

11:30: Ada and I make her lunch together, then go grocery shopping.  She decides on a macaroni and cheese quesadilla with pea pods on the side.

1:00: All that shopping made Ada hungry, so she finishes her interrupted lunch while I put away the groceries.  Then she goes potty, we read some stories together, and she goes down for her nap.

2:30: I heat up some leftover chili for my lunch and sit down to eat.

3:00: There's not quite enough time for a workout, not quite enough time to get a solid chunk of freelancing done, and I have an annoying cold.  I remember some advice from my Writer Mama book that lying down for a few minutes - even if you don't sleep - can help make you feel more refreshed than a full nap.  I decide to give that advice a try.  Research!

3:30: Bundle up to wait for Ellie's bus.  When Ellie gets home from school, everyone goes potty and I get snacks for the girls.  Then I bring the Valentine's decorations up from the basement and we decorate the house together - pausing to read Valentine stories from time to time - until Daddy gets home.

5:45: Daddy's home and I've managed to organize all the ingredients for dinner on the counter but am currently sitting on the couch nursing a mug of hot tea and trying to stop my nose from running quite so much.  My darling husband offers to put the meat on the grill and boil water for the couscous.

So.  I was "home" all day and yet didn't have a hot dinner waiting for my husband after work.  The shame!  On the other hand, I was reading to and playing with our children a lot of the time.  Plus the house was straightened (bonus!).  There's a menu for the week - neatly typed and hanging on the frig - and the pantry is full of groceries.  When the girls were babies, taking care of them was a full-time job.  I sometimes didn't even eat until Paul got home from work.  Now they're bigger and more independent, so I can get little things done throughout the day (creating grocery lists, tidying around the house, checking email).  It's quite nice.

But if I have a free hour or two during the day, I'm far more likely to spend the time working (freelance project, my own writing, research, etc.) or working out than doing heavy cleaning or preparing an elaborate dinner.  NMJ, YMMV.

I'll close with my menu fail from last night.  We had herb-garlic couscous and palak paneer with . . . steak.  "There are non-Hindus who live in India," Paul said. "They probably eat beef."

1 comment:

RobMonroe said...

Our house is messier this week than normal, and we're all home!

Hope your cold moves out shortly!