I just got a good laugh out of this article on "personal time" after kids. The best part is it's written by a dad, and an unusually honest one at that:
Obviously, the desperate need for personal time is universal, so we've battled this one in our own household too. This is what I've officially carved out: I don't do the kids' breakfasts (that's daddy time, and time for me to lie in bed working up the energy for the day ahead, or to shower without kids running about), and after getting the twins to bed at about 8pm, I call it quits for the night and Kyle has to put Claire to bed. This is my balance to the fact that other than Mondays and Wednesdays (and a couple hours on Thursday about twice a month), I am 100% on kid duty the other five days of the week, all day long. And yes, even a Saturday morning with Claire and without the twins still counts as kid duty - it's certainly not personal time.
I now have to consider office time also as "pseudo personal time" - it's time away from kids at least, time that allows for adult conversation and a stray personal phone call and such - otherwise I'd go a little crazy thinking that my only personal time is from 8pm to midnight each night. And let's face it - that's not all pleasurable personal time, right? That's paying bills, sorting mail, doing laundry, cleaning the house. So once you remove the daily chores from the 8pm to midnight stretch, that leaves about an hour and a half of true personal time. Hence the reason I continue to stay up until midnight. If I turned off the lights at 10:30pm instead, I would barely have a minute to myself. And being a true introvert, I recharge my battery with quiet reflection time, which means I won't ever get that light turned off at 10:30pm.
So here's to my last half hour of personal time before bedtime tonight. I think I'll watch a little more Jon & Kate Plus 8 - multiples reality TV. You think they ever get any personal time?