This morning, I managed something I had never even considered as a possibility. I like to think I have ambitious targets, big life goals, and a healthy curiosity to the limits of my own potential. But even I didn’t think for a single minute of my life, until this day, that it would be possible to have a nap before 7.30. That’s right, half seven in the AM.
I’m not talking about going back to bed after an early start and delaying the rest of the day accordingly. I mean fitting in a strategic power nap after half a day of work already, and getting back up to start part two of the day by 8.30am.
My first alarm went off at 4am, a necessity with a busy week ahead and when I’m flying solo with two kids on half term while Mr C is abroad for work. If I didn’t get a pre-lunchtime chunk of achievements ticked off by breakfast time, my work day was headed out the door with the weekly bins. Provided I remembered to take the bins out, that is.
By the time my kids had stumbled out of bed at their usual time, I had met one writing deadline, replied to a sack full of emails and started writing notes for the monthly women’s cycling podcast, The Cycling Podcast Feminin, which I’m due to record tomorrow night, as of the time of writing. I felt less than no guilt, if that’s possible, about setting out the kids’ breakfast and leaving them in the capable hands of our sometime babysitter, Netflix, to grab an hour of extra sleep.
When I re-emerged, it was straight to the hairdressers with both kids in tow, before a trip to the zoo, a dash home for lunch and a work Zoom meeting, a ride out to my daughter’s piano lesson and home again to meet another writing deadline, finish the podcast notes and launch a brand new podcast while cooking dinner.
I understand that this might read like the most shameless form of humble bragging, but you should know that each of these tasks was done either running late or at 70% capacity, at best.
I’m pretty sure my overload of assignments on any given day is because of my inability to say no, or lack of time management, or a combination of both.
Either way, I’m quite certain there’s a better way that a better person would be doing this. No, it’s not a humble brag, unless I’m doing so on behalf of every harried mother on the planet.
You see, what I hadn’t realised until I tried it myself, is that the mum running late for after-school club pick-up, with her jacket keeping only one shoulder warm while the other half is hanging somewhere around her elbow, is not disorganised.
Quite the opposite. She’s already taking on at least three times the number of jobs of any respectable human.
My question to myself is, what the hell did I do with my time before having children? Seriously, what was I doing other than front-loading rest and shoring up the brain space that is now chipped away by a hundred “but why though?” questions a minute?
If I can get this much done in a single day, how had I not been using the same number of hours in the day to achieve something truly great? Instead, I spent a lot of time getting drunk which, to be fair, felt like a pretty great thing at the time.
The problem with this kind of time (mis)management awareness is, the knowledge is wasted on the child-rearing. We may be bringing up the next generation, but the future most certainly doesn’t belong to us.
We’re too busy being late for stuff while not dropping literal plates and keeping our lipstick from bleeding to be getting involved with the rest of the world.
No, the child-free are the ones with the energy, the time and the disposable income to truly change the world.
The fate of woman, and mankind is in your hands, my friends. No pressure.
For the parents, just congratulate yourselves for getting out of bed to do the same thankless tasks as yesterday, all over again. Even if you’re back under the covers by 10am.
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