Saturday, November 5, 2016

On the Homefront: Cherishing Saved Time

I wanted to write about Halloween last weekend. I didn't.
I wanted to throw in a column about hypocrisy in the media and society to give you a feel for me the person, instead of me the dad. I didn't do that either.
It's been a busy time. Everyone is busy, I understand. And sometimes there just aren't things interesting enough to write about.

Then as I finished writing something about whoknowswhat, I realized that we all get to enjoy something tonight. Something we could all use a bit more of:
Tonight, we get an extra hour.
Looking at the clock on my computer, I see that it is 2:30 p.m. Which means that later tonight it will really only be 9 p.m. when the clock strikes 10. And 10 p.m. when it strikes 11. And so on.
Parents, whether working or staying home with their kids, used to think they understood the value of sleep before actually becoming parents. Once kids enter the picture, that understanding is improved upon by leaps and bounds.
The more children a family has, the more sleep the adults need.
We've seen the memes on various social media platforms. Once the kids are in bed, do you go to sleep early? Do you watch TV on a low volume? Do you eat that hidden piece of cake or chocolate bar?
Tonight? Tonight you get to do both! We all do!
We are all allowed some time to be a bit selfish, and do what we want to do. Right now, as of this typing, my youngest is taking a nap, my middle child is at a friend's house, and my oldest is outside playing with a visiting friend. It's quiet in the house.
Know what's on the schedule for me the rest of the day?
Upon completing this, I'm cleaning out my car (a long overdue chore if there ever was one), and then I'll probably doze off while watching some of the Syracuse/Clemson football game. Later tonight, the Boston Bruins play the NY Rangers, and that is also on TV. When that game is over? I don't know what I'll do, but I do know that I'll have an extra hour to get it done.
Time is always short for parents, and when we get some to ourselves, we need to make the most of it.
Our kids are in our lives so much, that there's nothing wrong with letting them by them for a bit so that you can be you, and when they need you, you're the best version of you that you can be.
Sorry, that was uber-sappy. But it was true.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Howard Balaban is a stay-at-home dad. These are his adventures.