Have you ever noticed that what you think you'll do with an hour of free time is usually much different than what you end up doing?

By Jacqueline Burt Cote
January 30, 2017

As overscheduled, overextended moms, we all dream about the amazing things we would do if we actually got an entire hour all to ourselves...but how often does the reality of free time match up with the idealized version in our head?

1. A Relaxing Bath

The Fantasy: Soaking in a hot tub with a glass of wine, scented candles, and a fun, fizzy bath bomb to wash all your troubles away.

The Reality: You spend an hour scrubbing the grout between the shower tiles and de-clogging the sink. You were going to take a bath, really you were, but as soon as you sat down and saw how scummy the bathroom was, you just couldn't relax.

2. A Much-Needed Mani-Pedi

The Fantasy: A spa mani-pedi at a nearby salon where you can turn off your phone and lose yourself in celebrity gossip magazines. Maybe you'll even pay extra for a neck massage this time!

The Reality: An hour spent cleaning out your car. You were all set to drive to the salon, but first you thought you'd just toss out a few of those empty water bottles the kids left in the backseat...then you thought you should probably dig all those cracker crumbs out of the car seat...wait, who left a crayon to melt all over the floor mat?!

3. Solo Yoga

The Fantasy: An hour spent practicing restorative yoga without having tiny people climb all over you the entire time (especially during downward-facing dog).

The Reality: About 10 minutes spent practicing restorative yoga, and 50 minutes snoring facedown on your yoga mat. You only meant to rest your head for a few seconds when you came out of plank pose, but then...zzzzzzz.

4. Calling Your Best Friend

The Fantasy: An hour-long phone call with your oldest and dearest friend. Without all the usual interruptions from hungry/bored/cranky kids, maybe you'll finally be able to catch up for real—for once!

The Reality: You spend an hour on hold with the pediatrician's office while trying to make appointments for your kids. You were about to dial your BFF's number, but since you had the phone in your hand and a few minutes of quiet, you figured you'd make a quick call to the doctor...now, instead of an update on your friend's life, you're stuck with an earful of cheesy hold music and an even busier schedule.

5. Shopping Spree Just for Me

The Fantasy: A trip to the mall where you will shop for yourself and only yourself. Let's face it, you could really use a new pair of jeans...and your underwear drawer is looking pretty sad.

The Reality: Shopping for your kids and only your kids. Let's face it, everybody's sneakers are getting awfully tight...and the shoe store had a 50 percent off sign in the window.

6. Netflix & Ice Cream

The Fantasy: Quality time with your TV and a pint of ice cream. No cartoons and no one begging to share your dessert!

The Reality: You spend an hour trying to figure out where that weird smell in the freezer is coming from. It hit you the second you opened the door to get your ice cream and it still won't go away. (Seriously, has somebody been hiding a giant dead fish in there?!)

7. Indulging in Social Media

The Fantasy: Scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. You haven't had time for a vacation in years, but at least looking at everybody else's pics of tropical beaches and fancy dinners gives you a temporary (if vicarious) fix!

The Reality: Sending RSVPs for the 43 birthday parties your kid has been invited to in the next month, because her social life is clearly way more active than yours. You should have known this would happen when you logged into your Gmail account...

8. Losing Yourself in a Book

The Fantasy: Sitting alone at Starbucks with that best-selling book everybody was raving about two years ago. This could be the day you finally make it to the last page!

The Reality: Sitting alone at Starbucks staring into space with that bestselling book sitting unopened on the table. Even after a latté, you're still too tired to concentrate. (In fact, you're starting to think you've developed an immunity to caffeine.)


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