Negotiating free-time between new parents is a delicate matter. Everyone needs a break. Yet, the sleep deprived mind doesn’t like for others to bask in the glow of free-time without knowing when theirs is coming. For some figuring out free-time is easy, for me, it’s one more check box on the to-do list.
This summer, the learning curve was steep at our house. With the regularly scheduled summer events of golf, softball, and Stampeders, my husband had overestimated his free-time quotient. I, on the other hand, had underestimated. While my husband knew exactly when and what he wanted to do with his time. I didn’t and the resentment grew.

The challenge is that his requests weren’t little. Like, “I’d like to go to the the store to buy a pair of shoes”. They were full-on, five hour time commitments. Like golf. That’s a big dose of free-time even without a newborn at home. And its huge amount of time when it’s infringing on Mommy’s weekend time off.
As my mountain of resentment grew, my husband was good at insisting that I figure out ways to leave the house as well. But my brain couldn’t engage the thought. The best I’d come up with is 1) sleep or 2) stare at a wall. Even going to get a coffee seemed hard, pointless. Required me to wear clothes or brush my teeth.
Then one night it happened. I went to Babies R Us and Walmart, snuck in dinner at McDonald’s (eaten in the car), all on the way to a Board Meeting. I hate to admit that I loved it. In fact, when I got home, I was a bit snarky saying that it didn’t count. It sounded so dull and errand-like. Not like a fun hobby done in the sun with beer.
When I bemoaned this sentiment to my husband, he replied, “Are you kidding me? It sounds like your perfect day out.” And truthfully, he is right. I’d like to think that I have some fantastic hobby or could line up a day at the spa to use up my free-time window. Maybe in a year, my brain will work enough for me to figure that out.
For now, wandering the aisles of a big box store while chomping on some fries is a huge step up from wall staring.

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