Monday, May 16, 2011

Married mamas: what would you say?

I have spoken often about the fact that generally speaking, single people have much more disposable time on their hands than their married (and child-rearing) counterparts. While some singles are better at filling up their time with commitments more quickly than others, the question beckons for me: how do I best use this time?

Now that it is summer session, my work schedule has changed from 9-5 to 8-4, and I find myself with even more free time in the evening hours. So, how do I most prudently and fruitfully spend my time, especially my alone time?

Learning new skills, like learning new cooking techniques? Or perhaps getting involved in more service opportunities? Reading some more of those classic books that I have been wanting to read? Or maybe I should take the road least traveled (at least in my life, haha), of cleaning and tidying around my house with greater precision.

I realize that this abundance of time is quite a gift, and one that a great many people are not fortunate to have. Additionally, I often think about the time and flexibility that a single person has as a time for cultivation. It is a time where we can cultivate our gifts and passions in a more focused way, and allow these pursuits to form our character for whatever long-range plan God has for us.

So as I was pondering my 'free-time' as I arrived home from work this afternoon, I began to wonder. When (if) I get married and have children, what sorts of things will I wish that I had focused on more during these years, hours, and minutes of availability? What things will I be grateful that I focused on and cultivated? What will make me a better person, and bring grace, peace, and joy into my heart?

And so I pose the question to any of you married women out there, as well of any of you mothers out there. (Not sure that I have all that many mothers that follow my blog, considering that I focus on topics of the single life, but I might have a few. :-) What would you tell to the single ladies that you know who have extra time on their hands? What skills to pursue? What opportunities to seize? What will form us to be the women God wants us to become?


  1. Maria, this is a fantastic question! I have found that I always feel like I don't have much time to explore the types of opportunities you've described here...and then my life changes, and I think "wow, I used to have a *lot* more time, why didn't I ____??"

    The avenues I most wish I had pursued before I was married and before my daughter was born are the same ones I'm trying to squeeze in here and there now -- those related to learning. I wish I'd spent more time acquainting myself with classic literature, reading about history, philosophy, theology -- just making myself more well-rounded and knowledgeable. Whether my daughter ends up being schooled traditionally or at home, my husband and I will be her primary teachers, and part of me feels like I could never know enough to do that job adequately. I realize that's not true, and let's face it -- she's 10.5 months old now, so we're not quite discussing philosophy yet. ;)

    Given your educational background, you're probably a lot more familiar with the subjects that I'm just beginning to pursue. But I'd still say -- anything you've been wanting to read is probably a good place to start! I find it very difficult to make time for reading now, and my bookmark's progress through whatever I'm working on is accordingly slow.

    I hope that you are able to find a very fulfilling way to fill your evening hours! I'd also add that, in the beauty of summer, time exploring the outdoors is time well spent for the soul. :)

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Louise! I definitely agree -- there is so much that I would like to read! And yes, time spent outdoors does bring me a lot of joy. God bless!

  3. As a mom of five, who's had babies that wander and can be a danger to themselves for the past ten years, I would relish sitting on a porch on a sunny morning, drinking coffee, dozing off, looking at birds, and not having to worry that someone is going to die because of it.

    In other words, do nothing and enjoy it, whenever you get the chance.

  4. Thanks Betty! I need to remember to take more time to appreciate moments like those. :-)