After getting up late (my Kung Fu Panda let me sleep until 10:30 while he played and looked at books quietly), I spent the morning and early afternoon writing a query letter to Parents magazine. Then, with an air of triumph, I announced we were going for a walk. When KFP asked me where, I told him we were going to mail a letter and then play in the park. I figured we’d have plenty of time to kick a ball around before we needed to head back so I could make dinner.
But every parent knows: You don’t simply walk out the door, just grabbing your purse and keys like in the old days. That’s madness! No, getting out of the house is a complicated process involving filling water bottles; checking the status of KFP’s diaper; packing a small backpack with diaper-changing materials, a change of clothes, and a snack; putting on shoes and hat; checking the weather; and carrying the stroller down the stairs from the porch to the sidewalk (curse the 1920s and their non-ADA-compliant homes). This process takes at least 30 minutes, and that’s if it all goes smoothly.
On the move at last, after handing KFP his water and an apple slice, I felt good. I felt accomplished. Here I was, balancing my writing career and parenting: about to mail a query letter and then enjoy quality time with my boy. He kept up a steady stream of chatter all the way to the post office, remarking on everything we passed: “The stop sign is an octagon! The tree has a shadow!” Sometime in those last three blocks, however, he conked out.
So now I’m sitting under the shade of a sycamore in our favorite little park, watching him sleep and wondering what to do. Waking him would violate my “Don’t wake a sleeping child unless absolutely necessary” rule. However, if I let him sleep, we’ll run out of time for fun, and the last time I did that, skipping the park and wheeling him home while he slept, he cried for a whole hour.
I guess if I let him sleep a little longer, I’ll still have time to cook and eat dinner before starting my night’s transcription work. It will be a little tight, and we may only have 10-15 minutes to kick the ball, but it’s the best I can do.
Compromises and flexibility are the only way to go when you’re a WAHM. Getting up a little earlier probably would have also helped, but there’s no need to go to extremes.