Mommy Free Time – The Ultimate Oxymoron

Friday’s “What the frak…?” moment (WTFM) is brought to you by………..

Mommy “Free” Time: It is neither free nor consisting of much time. In fact, it can cost a lot…

It is no secret how I have looked forward to both children attending Mother’s Day Out. In theory, I have four hours (three and a half once you count drive time and pick-up lines) to myself to relax.

I dreamed of all the writing time open to me.

Talk about a “what the frak” eye opener.

All mothers who have been here before are laughing maniacally.

So is Murphy.

I find I have even less time with my children away. Why?

Because I suddenly have the opportunity to attempt my Things To Do When My Children Aren’t Around List.

And after four and half years, it’s really frakking long.

I feel obligated to at least shorten the list before I enjoy “me” time.

So what did I do Tuesday?

As I drove away from their school to run two errands, I remembered Item #431 on the list: Go shopping.

As any parent will tell you, this is by far one of the most difficult tasks to do with two children, particularly those who have no compunctions about running rampant and destroying the store.

So I shopped. For over three hours, leaving barely enough time to run my two errands.

Leaving the household massive re-organization planned completely untouched.

This time was not “free” by any means, even if you didn’t count the cost of my kid’s MDO program.

I tried on clothes, something impossible with even one of my children in attendance. I found a shirt, a skirt, and a pair of jeans that actually fit.

I found not one, but three handbags – each for a different purpose.

Those who know me are saying “what the frak, Kelly!”


My favorite (and smallest) of the three bags.

Because I am not a “purse” person.

I never have been.

I used the college plastic bus pass holder as a wallet until all ten of them fell apart.

My old purse? Twenty years old and given to me in high school (ok, I’m not that old, right?).

After the bus pass wallets died, I had a briefcase bag, which held everything for my job.

Then I had children, and everything went into a diaper bag.

But the diaper bag isn’t always with me now – if I’m out without Lil Diva.

And my old purse was dying.

So I have three now.

And wallets.

And a couple of shirts and piles of pants for both kids, because they only had about two apiece that fit for when it’s no longer 100 degrees.

All from uninterrupted shopping time.

But the really cool secret?

I spent under $100 on everything.

Shh… don’t tell.

After splurging on Item #431 on Tuesday, I felt obligated to knock out a few things in the top ten on Thursday – my time greatly shortened because of Zumba class.

I vowed I would get CG’s vehicle registration done, because it was sort of due last month and he can’t get it inspected until we have valid registration.

I planned to zip to the office before Zumba.

I turned to head there and figured I would double check to make sure I had a copy of the insurance in my car. It had been there before our trip, but CG had cleaned the car.

There was one card. From 2010.

Luckily, I’d strategically pulled over in the parking lot right next to my insurance agent. A quick three minutes and I had a copy of my current one.

I patted myself on the back for my brilliance.

I fought traffic to the office and it sucked ten minutes. I was delighted to see the parking lot wasn’t busy.

As I tried to open the door, I found out why.

A white sign taped to the door read:

Thursday September 15th – Cedar Park and Taylor tax offices closed to the public for staff training. All other offices open regular business hours.

What. The. Frak.

I struggled to hold onto Mommy Zen, because the one thing I didn’t have time to do was check their website before I left the house. I was so frustrated I didn’t take a picture of it. Or of the huge fold out sign in front of the doors which I’d completely missed because I parked on the side.

I was already bolting off to the bank to close my accounts for Item #3.

Free mommy time indeed….

What do you do during your “free” parenting time? Is there such a thing?

* * *

Also, don’t forget to link up over HERE with your Pay it Forward Challenge post.

I don’t care if it’s a single paragraph saying you didn’t yell at your kids when they painted the walls with your make up.

I will be visiting every link up. Please pass it on to anyone who might have missed it!

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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16 Responses to Mommy Free Time – The Ultimate Oxymoron

  1. Annie says:

    I get 3 hours of mommy time twice a week – but after driving time, it’s more like 2.5. It’s totally not enough. It makes me crazy. It’s really only enough time to workout and shower.

    Having only one kid at home now is tough. He’s constantly nagging me, and so lonely. TGIF! 🙂

    • Yeah, I’ve been wondering if it will be like that with Lil Diva if the Tackler goes to kindergarten next year. It was actually really nice to have time with just Lil Diva last summer when he was in the old MDO program. If I can, I plan for him to do it next summer when his current one is out for summer (Lil Diva will still be too young for it).

      Hopefully she won’t be too used to constant attention and activity at that point.

      I would never have a workout or shower without childcare at the gym. I actually didn’t get a shower on Tuesday because I was so busy organizing.

  2. Katie says:

    Mommy time … I’ve heard of that. This is why I do most of my shopping online. But I don’t like to buy shoes online and what I need right now is flats for work. Hence the reason I’m still wearing my old ones that give me blisters 😦

    And yes, there is never enough time to do everything that needs to be done. I’m just resigned to that now. But getting my house cleaned helps 🙂

  3. Sparky says:

    I have to admit…I was one of those Mommies laughing maniacally because I have recently learned the same thing…

    I was ecstatic when The Diva started Kindergarten! I dreamed of hours and hours of typing and running errands with The Climber tagging along like the perfect well-behaved little partner. I was delusional. Apparently without big sister as a distraction, the illusion that The Climber is “the good one” is just that…a wonderful illusion. Now he is delighting in the fact that he has Mommy all to himself for hours and hours everyday…and Heaven forbid she even LOOK at a computer screen because she might miss something vital in Monkeyland!

    • This is what I fear will happen with Lil Diva if/when The Tackler attends kindergarten. For now, she wants to do what he does, and she was okay when he was gone for his summer MDO program…

      Without anyone to snatch toys, knock her down, or get into trouble, she was near angelic.

      I fear that will change as she gets older…

      Good luck! Hopefully The Climber will adapt as mommy time becomes old news…

  4. Now that Monkey is older, “me-time” isn’t really an issue. But I remember those lean years when I was short-tempered and I just felt like running out the door the second my husband came home.

    The best advice my SIL ever came me was: Don’t play with your kids. She wasn’t joking. As a parent to one child, it would be too easy to run to his beck and call every minute. She told me if I let him play independently, he wouldn’t look to me to be his playmate. It is so true. While standing on the diving board, he doesn’t shout: “Look at me, mom! Look at me! Hey mom! Mom. MOM! MOMMY!” He never did. He jumped for the simple joy of jumping. And this attitude has carried over into everything he does. He doesn’t need my approval for things. He knows I’m here if he needs me, but I’m not his default setting.

    Um, he’s also 12. So…

    • Well I’m already screwed because I play with my kids. The play makes the whining and other parts worth it.

      That being said, they still know how to play alone. And with each other.. sort of.

      Wow, he’s 12? Sheesh. I suppose you’ll be lucky to get a few sentences out of him over the next few years as he approaches the teen years. 🙂

  5. CG says:

    I denounce these baseless accusations that I lost your insurance card and substitute my own…

  6. It is amazing how quickly those few hours disappear. I still feel that way. From 9am to 3:30pm I am kid free and yet, my list never seems to get completely crossed off. (And the house still looks amazingly trashed!) I love your new purse. Good for you! I think every woman needs a fabulous collection of handbags and purses. And you are right – they are all for different purposes!

  7. What are these words “mommy free time” you speak of? I have never heard of them before!! HA!

    With Buggy still being 15 months old I don’t have any kid free time. BUT it is much quieter with just he and I in the house, or out running errands. Its much more relaxing. Big T is at school all day and Sweet Pea is in school for 3 hours. During those three hours Buggy sleeps for anywhere betweeon 45 minutes to 2 hours. So we have enough time to go to one store! HA!

    But I’m so glad you got out and bought yourself some fun things. I can’t wait until I’m released from the diaper bag so I can start carrying cute handbags!

    • Wow.. that’s almost free time… granted, you can’t go anywhere during it, but I’d take it!

      My children rarely ever napped at the same time when The Tackler still took naps. Until he started a different Mother’s Day Out program last March, I was always with at least one awake child, except for when they were at the gym’s child care (and then I had to stay at the gym, so it wasn’t at good for household cleaning or errands).

      I did get a workout and a shower though, which is the only reason part of my brain is still intact.

  8. Mommy free time?? Errm, nope. Havent a clue what you mean.
    I had a moment on Sat where my folks came to fetch the kids to take them to the park and bond. I had roughly 2 – 3 hours to myself. Hubby was at a gaming thing again.
    What did I do with my blissfully peaceful time? Relax? Hot bath? Read a good book? no.
    I spent it cleaning the kitchen, tidying the lounge and bedrooms. By the time I was done I roughly had 30 minutes to take a decent shower and look at least half presentable instead of looking like I had been run through the washer myself.
    If anybody has experienced Mommy Free Time, contact me and let me know! 😉
    Also maybe teach me some Mommy Zen too.

    • My time is a bit better since I hired people to clean my house twice a week. Now it just basic maintenance and picking up madly the day they clean. 🙂 It helps a lot and is worth every penny in my opinion.

      That being said, my laundry is ready for its own zipcode. I should sort it while Lil Diva naps…. Really… I should…

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