As Jessie Spano proclaimed in a caffeine-pill-induced stupor, “There’s no time! There’s never any time!” And she was just in high school going above and beyond. Try motherhood, Jessie. You think you don’t have time in school? Wait until every moment your eyes open, and some when they’re closed, being eaten alive by needy, snotty, whiny children who believe you are at their beck and call every minute of every day.
I long for the days when I could do what I wanted, when I wanted, for as long as I wanted. When I had the time to take part in frivolous activities because no one needed me to make mac and cheese for dinner or for me to help them get dressed or go potty or just, ya know, stay alive.
Those days are gone for the foreseeable future, so I’d like to recount all the things I would do if I had the time:
1. Read a Book
A title without pictures or barnyard animals or talking trains. A book that’s filled with 300 pages of Times New Roman and adult language and situations. I want to get lost in a story so deeply that I spend the entire day reading the entire thing from start to finish as my ass goes numb from sitting in the chair and I forget to eat.
2. Get My Eyebrows Waxed
It’s not pretty above the pupils. If the light in the bathroom is just right, I can see the reflection of what appears to be two caterpillars preparing to mate.
3. Binge Watch a New Show on Netflix
I guess I could do this, but the repercussions of staying up until dawn watching Master of None only to have a toddler wander out to start their day just as the end credits roll is not a situation I want to create for myself.
4. A Long Brunch With Friends
I miss going out to meals with my gal pals with no assigned end time because the babysitter has a life. Those late mornings that would stretch into mimosa-fueled afternoons that would stretch into maybe tacos and a movie night—I can’t do those things anymore because at some point I have to come home to clean my home that has been destroyed in my absence, spend time with my kids, and a myriad of other things that suck up all of my time.
5. Go for a Long Walk by Myself
I fondly recall the days when I could just wander away for hours at a time with no destination or true intention of what I was going to do aside from clear my head. Now my days are planned from sunrise to sundown, and my head is in a constant haze of mom fog.
6. Take Up a New Hobby
I’m sure there’s something scientific that says the more new things you learn, the more apt you are to live a long and healthy life. I can’t do it, though. Sure I’d love to learn to paint or sing or rock climb (I’m a woman of varied interests), but the time used for those activities is time I could be spending scrubbing the poop stains out of my carpet, because let’s face it, voice lessons will always be around, but poop stains should not be.
7. Fall Into the Deep Abyss of the Internet
There are so many rabbit holes to fall into when you’re online. You start with one article about how to clean the grout in your shower, then somehow in a matter of minutes you can be reading celebrity gossip and then current events and then new movies coming out and then it’s midnight and you were blissfully unaware of those hours gone by. This is not something I can do any longer as those hours are best used to, ya know, take a shower or shave my legs or find a creative way to get my kids to eat more than cheese.
8. Make a Super Elaborate Three-Course Meal for Me and My Husband
You know who doesn’t have time to spend all day in the kitchen rolling and sautéing and grilling and Béarnaise-ing? This girl. I have about 30 minutes tops built into my day for making dinner, so unless my husband considers toast an appetizer, this idea ain’t happening.
9. Call My Faraway Friends
I miss my friends from high school and college. We keep in touch via social media, but it’s just not the same. I wish I had unlimited time every day to just catch up with someone, but kids are needy and know when you’re on the phone and use that moment to get their head stuck in a chair. Mission impossible.
10. Figure Out What I’m Doing With My Life
Seriously. There’s gotta be more to it than just work and motherhood, but what is it? What is my bigger purpose? What footprint am I going to leave on this Earth? Why is the damn oven timer going off while I’m trying to sort all these things out?!
Someday, my kids will be grown and out of the house, and I can do all these things. Until then I’ll just print this out, pin it to my vision board, and dream.