Missing: A box where time stops

I sometimes want to put in family in a box. A special box where time stops. If my husband and children were in the box they would be blissfully unaware that I am off doing my own things. If they were in the box I could do my own things without missing time with them. I could disappear for a while then come back without having missed anything because they were in the box.

Have you ever noticed how things that seem perfectly normal when you are single (writing, going on a road trip, visiting a friend, working out, napping) can suddenly become “selfish?” They can become selfish when you get married, but even more so when you have kids. “Me time” is the luxury that used to just be called “time.”

But it’s not like being single and childless is so great either. It’s nice to have someone to come home to. To have a partner on this journey we call life. It’s fun to have the love of children and watch them grow. And yet…

I sometimes feel like been I’ve been put in a box. A cruel box where time stops. Where I am painfully aware that I can’t run off and do my own things. Where I know that if I do my own things I will be missed. Where I will miss time with my family. Evenings with my husband. The funny and sweet things my kids say and do.

There is no escape from going missing. I am either missing me, or I am missing them. Every opportunity has an equal and opposite missed one.

I want the freedom of my single life AND the inclusiveness of my married/motherhood life. Perhaps selfish is an apt description.

I don’t long for a parallel universe. That would imply the existence of a parallel me, and I don’t want want to share the things I want, even with myself. All signs really do point to selfish, don’t they?

But I swear I don’t want much. Just the ability to stop time and escape for while. A weekend. Just one weekend where I don’t have to worry about being a good wife and mother or feel guilty about the fact that I’m not. Just one freebie weekend. Then I swear I’ll be satisfied. At least for a little while. Until I figure out what else I’m missing.

RELATED POST: Sarah Ruhl on life intruding on writing

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