I must say, I love being married with children. I wouldn’t want to live any other way. But, as I whined awhile ago, having a husband and two kids and working full time does sometimes lead to the feeling that every minute of your life is scheduled to someone else’s convenience, leaving you wtih very little time to just be selfish.
Jason and I sometimes fantasize about being irresponsible. We know irresponsible people and sometimes we imagine what it might be like to be like them, to not be the people everyone can rely on. Neither of us could really imagine living that way, though.
This week I’ve enjoyed the luxury of a little selfishness. Of course, I’m off work, and that helps me feel a little less responsible. Then, in New York, Jason and I were kid-free for three days. It’s a strange, weightless feeling to travel without kids when you’re used to being with them. We could walk for blocks without hearing anyone whine that they were tired; we could strike out in a new direction without being absolutely certain where we were going; we could stop for something to eat without wondering, “What’s here that the kids will eat?”
Returning to St. John’s alone while Jason stayed in New Jersey to work for the rest of theweek, I slipped back into parenting responsibilities. But I’ve been enjoying a different kind of freedom — single-person freedom. Not that I’m not missing Jason or anxious for him to get back, but there is a certain luxury in knowing that once the kids are in bed I don’t have to compete with anyone for use of the computer (especially important now that I’m revising a manuscript), don’t have to take into account anyone else’s desire to watch something on TV or go somewhere or do something. I can stay up as late as I want revising. It’s all about me.
I’m so fond of my husband and kids that life without any of them would get old fast. (A real break — being completely on my own and irresponsible — won’t come till August, when I have my getaway weekend with the Strident Women at Eastport). Jason comes back tonight and I’m looking forward to sharing the computer, the TV, and the bed once again. But once in awhile, for a day or two … yeah, it’s nice not to have to think of anyone’s needs but your own. A little selfishness can be a very restorative thing.