Last month, the strangest and oddest thing happened to me—I was home alone for 51 hours. I had not woken up in an alternate universe, nor was my family abducted by aliens. Instead, my husband had headed off on a two day adventure with both children while I got to experience the freedom (and boredom) of being home alone.
I made two goals for myself:
- Drive as little as possible as I often feel that I spend more time in my car than a truck driver.
- Talk as little as possible. Having a three year old means most of my day consists of saying “please stop licking ___(insert random object)” or answering the ultimate question “why”. My son questions everything right now and my previous strategy of just pretending I did not hear anything is no longer working as he just asks louder.
My husband dropped me off downtown and I headed for my first luxury—a pedicure. As I sat looking out the window while my feet were being massaged, I could actually feel my stress levels decrease. I am someone who truly lives (survives) day-to day as I try to manage work, a six-month old baby, a toddler, and all the other chaos that the modern woman faces. I feel like I never get a chance to ponder the future. I no longer have five or ten year goals. I know there will be a time when I will sleep more than three hours in a row, wake-up in the morning and walk straight to the bathroom without being stopped for milk, a diaper change or a top-up of the cat food dish. After years of fertility treatments, pregnancies, newborns and managing an aging parent, I learned not to think beyond five days, let alone five years. But, there was a time when I was ambitious and had goals. I am sure those goals are somewhere—I just can’t remember where I last left them!
After the pedicure, I headed to the movies to see “Girl on the Train”. My husband and I are this weird couple that actually like going to movies alone. I joke that we have “movie date night” but just not with each other. Afterwards, I took the bus home because I could. I ate dinner in complete silence, watched “Keeping up with the Kardashians” and went to bed with the intent of sleeping 10 hours straight and waking up after 9am. I woke up seven hours later—slightly disoriented and but actually rested.
I don’t remember much from that day. I went to aquafit, took the bus downtown, ate oatmeal, wandered around the harbour and then spent an hour walking home. During that walk, I realized that I was getting bored. Yup, you read that right. Bored. I went to “Paint-Nite” with some friends and I broke my rule about not talking. It would be rather odd to go to a pub with friends and not talk!
That night, I went to bed knowing that I had one more night to get caught up on six months of lost sleep. I woke up seven hours later. Perhaps I was not as tired as I thought I was? Maybe I had just fallen victim to all the articles about “mommy fatigue” and was actually functioning well with staggered sleep and lots of caffeine. I was oddly comforted by that thought.
I headed back downtown for oatmeal (a recurring theme in my dream day), came home, cleaned up the house and prepared for the family to come home. I am not going to lie—I felt no guilt for my two days of alone time and recommend it to anyone with a spouse and children. I felt that I could finally hear my own voice throughout all the silence. And it was telling me that I was doing fine.