Having a child redefines "busy" and gives you a new appreciation for even a minute of free time. We used to read in women's magazines about mothers trying to find just ten minutes in the day for themselves and wonder how it was possible to not be able to find ten minutes for yourself. They must be exaggerating we thought. Now we know better.
A friend with a newborn son recently commented that she'd love just 20 minutes to run around and clean her apartment and it got us thinking about what we really want for Christmas this year - time. (Quality) time to spend with family and friends. Time to read a book (heck, flipping through a magazine would be nice). Time to try a new recipe. Time to make something (in our case, dusting off the sewing machine). Time to see a movie - in a real theater instead of on our couch. Time for a few of the little things we took for granted before becoming a parent.
What we're (slowly) learning is that it's not as hard as we thought to receive the gift of time. We're remembering all those offers to babysit from friends when our baby was born that we never took them up on it and we're going to give them a call. We're going to take turns with our spouse having some time to ourselves and maybe even swap some babysitting time with some neighborhood moms we trust. We'll even reconsider our mother's (daily) offers to visit and lend a hand.
And time is also something we can give this year. Time spent with our child when we're not also trying to accomplish sixteen other tasks. Time to help a neighbor get groceries, run errands or just have someone to talk to. Time spent volunteering for a charity or our local park, especially if we can bring the kiddo along.
It's not always true that time is money. In fact, this year especially, time is something we can give and receive without spending money. So that's our plan. What's yours?
(image by Jek in the Box on flickr)