If I had a nickel for everyone who has asked me that question in the last couple of months, I think I could pay the bill for Michael's graduate school. Hand on heart.
At first, when the question was put to me, I tended to legitimately answer. It went something like this:Well, I plan on being in the school volunteering at least one day a week, and that doesn't include field trips. And I've still got a household to run. And I have a job to do at church that will require me to attend weekly meetings. And I've joined a new book club that meets during the day. And I have a substantial job with the PTA. And I have to take my kids to the doctor, still (two starting orthodontia).And I'm going to go to the temple more. And visit my grandma. And...
By this time I was stammering and the person who asked the question was looking at me like she didn't care that much.
Then, I moved on to my next phase: The Smart Alec Phase. It went something like this: Oh, you know, with all my kids in school, what else is there to do but eat bon-bons all day?
I'm not proud of that phase.
Next, I entered the defensive phase. Well, I still have six people's laundry to do. I still have six people's meals to plan, shop for and prepare. I still have the same number of toilets to scrub, sets of stairs to vacuum. And I thought, Why do I have to justify my time to you? Do I ask you for a daily itinerary of your tasks completed?
You get the idea. Thankfully, that phase didn't last long because I realized that people didn't know how very many times I had been asked that exact question. And that they ask it for different reasons.
I think that young mothers ask it because they want to hear that I get to go to the bathroom all by myself when the urge hits. I think they want to know that this day can and will happen for them. And to them I say, I have gone on long walks alone and come home to curl on the couch with a good book!
I think some people are curious because they cannot imagine how I can't be anything but bored in this, my new station in life. They simply do not know how much work it takes keep a household running and to be the kind of mother and person I want to be. I am glad that I have the time to do all the service, volunteering, and trips to doctors without it being a conflict with another career. My family is my primary occupation and that hasn't changed because my kids are all out of the house for 5 hours a day. Believe me, those are the fastest 5 hours of the day!
And when I have some extra down time for a little luxury like a lunch date with my Michael, all the better. I don't feel bad at all--I work pretty hard for a kept woman!