I have been plowing away at my post-pandemic to-do list. The carpets have been cleaned. The massage appointment is coming up. I just booked the window washers. I’ve had friends over and sent the kids to my parents. But this weekend, this is a big one. This is one I didn’t even dare to dream of.
My husband is taking the kids camping.
The idea of waking up in my own bed a morning, or even two, and having to speak to nobody, having to clean up after no one but myself, not having to serve another human is more precious to me than diamonds. Seriously, if you said “You can either have this weekend or a diamond tennis bracelet” why would I take that stupid bracelet?
A non-witch may ask, “Don’t you want to go camping with your family?” but you all don’t need me to tell you: not really! Camping was pleasant in the old days when it was just my husband and me but no, I don’t prefer to combine all the responsibilities of parenting plus no wall to separate me and my kids, plus sleeping hot. “Don’t you want to camp with us?” my son asked and I said, “Yes, but if Daddy is going to give me the chance to stay home alone, I’m going to take it.” “You don’t like us,” he said. I said that two things can be true: That I love them and I love time by myself.
I have been thinking about this very carefully, because I know opportunities like this don’t come along very often. I know, from experiences like Mothers’ Day, that this type of time flies by absurdly fast. Like Aerosmith, I won’t want to miss a thing. So here is how I have plotted it thus far, based on prior errors:
I will not: Invite girlfriends over. As my kids get older, seeing friends is not as hard to plan. I can get away with leaving my husband and kids at home and seeing pals, so I’d rather save socializing time for when I want to get away. Plus, I don’t want to spend any of my potent alone time preparing my house to accommodate other people. Cleaning up just to have people come over just to clean up again? I’m sad just thinking about it.
I will not: Make appointments out of the house. I thought about running errands while the guys are gone, maybe getting a pedicure, returning some clothes and attending an exercise class IRL. No. See above. Those are “get away from the house/people” activities.
I will not: Drink. I want to wake up these blessed days feeling as great as possible. I’ve made this mistake in the past with my husband—childfree nights at home ruined because I partied too hard and slept badly. What a waste.
I will not: Cook yummy food that I love. If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound? And if a mother is home alone without her family, grocery shopping and cooking and washing dishes, is she truly home alone? My mom gave me some fancy restaurant gift cards for my birthday and I’m going to use those for takeout.
I will not: Do administrative stuff. This is tempting. Without distracting I could finally source who will fix our front door or figure out what kind of shade to get in the back yard. I don’t know when will ever be a good time to do these things but not Quiet Solo Memorial Day weekend, that’s for sure.
I will not: Work. This one almost got me! I contacted an editor of mine a few weeks ago saying I was available for assignments and she told me this week she had an assignment for me but the source was only available this weekend. Aargh! I hate not being agreeable and available and I hate turning down work. But, thankfully, she is a witch. Not only did I turn the work down, I told her fully why (I almost lied and said I was going camping as well.) To my relief she said godspeed. Two guys I know also asked if I was free to do a call with them to tell them what I know about Substack newsletters. Because I am technically free this weekend, and because they used to employ me, I considered saying I’m free. But I didn’t!
So what will I do? Here’s the plan:
Stay in bed every morning drinking coffee until I feel gross
Catch up on my reading
Practice guitar for longer than ten minutes/three songs.
Do long workouts uninterrupted by someone asking me where a LEGO guy is or someone letting the dog into the living room to sit on me while I try to do floor exercises
Watch comedy specials, Younger and drag-related TV shows
This one might be controversial but: clean. It’s partially to thank my husband for taking the boys out, but selfishly, oh, to live in a house that remains clean for several hours. What if. And if I eat an edible and listen to a podcast or call a friend while I do it, it’s actually fun.
I hope it’s as amazing as I think it will be. I’m proud of my restraint in that I haven’t started packing the kids’ stuff yet. I will try not to be annoyed if they take too long to leave the house on Saturday. I will try to mitigate my disappointment if some weather event precludes this. But this is my time. I hope you have yours soon, too.
I hope you enjoyed this issue of Evil Witches, a newsletter for people who happen to be mothers. Feel free to forward it to a friend or enemy who might like getting this in their inbox twice a week or so. If you haven’t, please consider supporting this independent, nonsponsored work and joining the subscription level (less than a dollar a week!), which gives you extra context and access to fun/helpful/honest witchy discussion threads.
So, how would you use a responsibility-free weekend at home alone to yourself?? And how are you doing on your post-COVID wish list?