Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Playdates

Play dates can be a parent's salvation. The child gets to play with other children her or his age hopefully (not always necessary) & the parent gets to interact with other adults his or her age (maybe this is true, not always necessary). : ) I participated in a few of these encounters while on maternity leave, then again last summer & this summer, too. We met friends at the zoo, the pool at the Y, someone's house, downtown library for story time, the park - you name it, it felt like I did it this summer. It was fun, Julia had a good time, I had a good time.

But there's a but ... I don't know, busyness, too full calendar, not enough down time. Yet I remember feeling so alone & bored sometimes as a new parent, especially when Julia was really little. I had to get out - I hated being stuck at home despite the fact that I love being home. It's such an ironic paradox, you know. What is that about? Where is the peace, satisfaction, solace of being at home, my safe place? Why do I feel the need to fill up my time with appointments & stuff?

Sometimes I feel like I'm never alone in my house. I'm alone when I leave to go to work, but that's it. Jai rarely participates in play dates. They go to the library or park often. Julia interacts with children at the Y and church nursery. However, this summer there were only a handful of times I was at my house with NO ONE ELSE there. It's rare - the last time was many days ago. Jai & I joke about him going to get a pedicure (I like to do that) & have lunch with his invisible friends (again I've done that a bit this summer with VISIBLE friends). However, Jai isn't alone during those activities, he watched Julia so I could enjoy myself.

However, I have to ask Jai to leave with Julia in order to be alone at the house. It's different & yet it's not. Before Julia was born, even while pregnant, I was a busy person; my appointments usually were all out of the house, after work, in the evening, on the weekends. Yet I didn't notice the lack of alone time in my house. Usually I was home before Jai got off work so I had that time.

I realize that being alone is a relative experience. Getting up at 6am when no one else is awake (to exercise or write a blog post or read a book) is an opportunity for solitude. Having a child changes your life - I have less time for me. I'm selfish - I want more ME time.