100% Off the Clock

It’s a Sunday evening and today has been a good day. This morning after a really rare decent night of sleep, Little Man and I had breakfast at home (translate: I had breakfast while he scattered food crumbs and goober-y fingerprints around the room and all over my clothing).

After breakfast we drove out to S’s house — now J’s house as well. S offered me coffee and then wandered off to work on a broken toilet. She and I have never really been friends but we get along okay. When J and I were trying to make it as a couple I felt a lot of resentment toward S, who was influencing some big decisions in our relationship and had in many ways supplanted me as J’s primary person. Now that J and I are separated I still feel randomly hostile toward S, but it is easier to shrug off that feeling. S is a complicated person, not a bad one. She is reasonably responsible and is an emotional support for J.  All in all I am glad they are there for one another.

J and I chatted for a while over the coffee and watched Little Man toddle around. Then I left kiddo with J and drove back into town. It was a day off. I am still not used to these.

Before the separation I did have time away from parenting, but the problem was that my free time was rarely 100% free. If J agreed to get up with Little Man during the night I would still wake up with them both; I couldn’t help it. During the day if J was watching him they were often at home, which made it harder for me to clean or to just hang out in peace. The problem was that Little Man always makes a beeline to me if I am in a room. So no matter how well-intentioned J’s help was, I pretty much had to hide out upstairs or leave the apartment if I wanted time to myself. These days J takes kiddo 2-3 days per week. I do have mixed feelings about not seeing him for these long stretches of time, but we meet up sometimes for a meal as a family, and I have to admit… It is really nice to have a quiet place to myself at regular intervals. I appreciate Little Man so much more when I get him back, and I am able to appreciate J’s efforts more as well.

I’m very happy to putter around alone for long stretches of time, but today was nice in that I got out and did a bunch of social things as well. A friend had invited me to a book group, and we had that meeting this morning. Mostly it involved sitting around talking about random things and eating food, but we did talk about the book as well. I really had a good time, and I am proud to say that because I went to this thing only knowing one person in the group.

Later in the afternoon I met up with an acquaintance from my parent group. We went out for coffee and chatted about a lot of things. She was a teacher before her daughter was born, and since I am looking at possibly entering the teaching profession after my current job ends, it was very informative to talk to her. If I make a career switch I want to know what I am getting into. She is also just an interesting person, somebody it might be nice to know better.

This evening I am enjoying the peaceful silence of the apartment once more. I was feeling a little sad for an hour or so, but then I messaged J for a few minutes and felt better. Tomorrow she will come over for breakfast, and then I will have kiddo again for several days.

I’m not sure yet what to think of this new life I am living, but so far it is manageable.

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