It’s early. Still-dark-outside early. I closed my eyes (finally) at midnight last night, but left my warm bed a mere five hours later.
Why? To enjoy sitting in silence and sipping my coffee. As a wife, a mom and a newly-minted freelancer, there are very few moments in the day that someone isn’t asking for something from me. I don’t even get to go to the bathroom in peace. (It’s like a sixth sense, really. Hearing that bathroom door close is my son’s cue to stop doing whatever he’s doing, no matter how engrossed or engaged with it he was, and come ask a million questions or need something urgently.)
There are no minutes during normal-people hours to steal for myself. Each of those minutes is claimed by someone else – my husband, my son, my daughter, a client. There are meals to cook, errands to run, a baby to nurse, emails to answer, laundry to do. So. Much. Laundry.
If the days are a marathon, the evening is a mad sprint for the finish line. Getting dinner made, mouths fed, bodies washed and kids in bed, while racing against the unraveling of everyone’s patience and good humor. Once little eyes are finally closed, it’s time to find out how my husband’s day was. Or maybe do some work for a client. I’ve never been a night owl, but I find myself becoming one just because I need more hours in the day. Finally, I let the fatigue win and crawl into bed. But even my sleep feels furious and purposeful, as I try to take advantage of every minute before the littlest one wakes, hungry. Needing me.
And so I find myself rising from my bed after my daughter’s first feeding of the day, stealing time from the only place it’s available: sleeptime. I sit, soaking in the peace of a still-sleeping household, curled up on the couch under a warm throw blanket. I fight the urge to straighten up the bonus room or fold that basket of clean clothes sitting on top of the dryer. The TV stays off. The stillness will be broken soon enough. The minutes aren’t many, but they’re the only ones I have the luxury of calling my own.